Letterform Archive – Salon Series 34: Designing Resistance


Salon Series 34: Designing Resistance

Salon Series 34: Designing Resistance
with Nikki Juen, Rick Valicenti, Ziddi Msangi

Online Event at Letterform Archive
Thu, Nov 3, 2022
12:00pm–1:30pm PT

The history of protest is grounded in the continuing saga of struggle. Fiery calls for resistance have been heard, heeded, and amplified thousands of times over. And versions of this message — built upon by activists working on behalf of civil rights, the antiwar movement, gender equality, LGBTQIA+ rights, environmentalism, and more — have found their way onto the print materials used to rebut the status quo. This panel will assemble Strikethrough artists from around the globe whose visual innovation merges with their social justice mission. Each of the panelists will briefly describe their practice and the issue(s) it addressed, followed by a group discussion among the panelists and Q&A with the audience.

About Nikki Juen
Nikki Juen

Nikki Juen is a relational designer, educator and activist.

Juen is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and Chair Emerita of the MFA in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she pioneers the study of design pedagogies with the goal of making design education an accessible and equitable possibility for non-traditional learners.

Juen’s collective, Public Displays of Affection (PDA) is a collective of artists, designers, educators, and organizers that engage in nonviolent direct art action. Their actions start with hope and aim to build communities that thrive on intersecting relationships. To resist misogyny, sexism, and exclusion they practice rematriation and believe interconnectivity is essential in honoring the earth and all living beings.

About Rick Valicenti

Rick Valicenti is a producer, director, collaborator working with a wide network of designers and artists. Formerly the founder and design director of Thirst, a venerable Chicago design studio. Valicenti is a recipient of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) Medal, 2006, and the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, 2011. He is also an invited member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale).

His complete works are recently archived at the Newberry Library, and Letterform Archive in San Francisco. Large selections of Valicenti’s work are at: the Ryerson Library at The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Lubalin Center at Cooper Union, and the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography at Art Center in Pasadena CA.

Valicenti shares a studio with Anna Mort and together provide catalytic invention and design.

About Ziddi Msangi

Ziddi Msangi is a designer and educator. He was born in Tanzania and moved to California as a child. This early experience fostered an awareness and curiosity about history, power and place.

Cultural interpretation, and placing the narratives that form identities into a social, historical, and cultural context have influenced how Msangi teaches and designs. He is interested in the liminal space that is created between what we understand our reality to be and the multiple narratives that form that perception.

Research into cultural interpretation also informs his design practice. His recent investigations look at the synthesis of traditional motifs with contemporary content. He finds continual challenges to his assumptions about the power of visual communication in the space between the author’s intended message and the users response to the design.

Msangi received a BFA from Boise State University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been a professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth since 1998.

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