Design Migrations: Circuits of Graphic Exchange

Design Migrations:
Circuits of Graphic Exchange between Switzerland, the US, and Beyond

April 4-5, 2019

Organized jointly by the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Visual Communication Institute at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel, this conference brings together designers and design historians to examine and reflect on the past, present, and future of design migrations between Switzerland, the US, and beyond.

The years after the Second World War witnessed the emergence of several distinct national design traditions that rose to global prominence. Within the broader contexts of the Cold War and the emerging global markets established by postwar reconstruction, such design traditions served to define discrete cultural identities for the nations that fostered them, including Italy and the Scandinavian countries as well as Switzerland, and reinforced the status of those nations as independent geo-political entities through the international dissemination of distinctive products and services. Since the end of the Cold War and the subsequent expansion of globalized systems, however, design practices themselves are increasingly transnational, a condition that simultaneously undercuts the significance previously accorded to national design traditions and contributes to the heightened stakes of current discussions of national identity. This conference aims to explore the historical emergence of this aspect of contemporary design culture with an eye toward developing a better understanding of the diverse roles that design plays in constituting and disseminating identities at the local, regional, national, and international scale.

Thursday, April 4

Panel Discussion
Reception to follow

22 West Washington Street
Chicago IL 60602

Friday, April 5
10:00AM – 7:00PM 

UIC Architecture + Design Studios 1300 
845 W. Harrison Street 
Chicago IL 60607

All events free + open to the public



Chiara Barbieri, Hochscule der Künste Bern

Amir Berbic, UIC School of Design

Sandra Bischler, Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited 

Philip Burton, UIC School of Design

Ted Davis, HGK Basel Visual Communication Institute

Michael Golec, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Art History, Theory and Criticism

Julia Meer, Humboldt University Bild Wissen Gestaltung Laboratory

Jonathan Mekinda, UIC School of Design

Piotr Michura, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Visual Communication Design

Sarah Owens, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Visual Communication

Michael Renner, HGK Basel Visual Communication Institute

Alisa Wolfson, Leo Burnett Chicago 

Generous support for this conference has been provided by swissnex Boston and the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, 
University of Illinois at Chicago.