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The Home Front: American Design Now

A Series of Public Programs, to be Presented in the MAD Theater from January to April 2012


New York, NY (January 11, 2012)

Returning for its second season, The Home Front brings together respected voices in the field of object design to explore the theme “American Design Now.” This year’s programming, which runs from January 12 through April 12, 2012, and has been guest curated by Dan Rubinstein, Editor-in-Chief of Surface magazine, explores the ideas, developments, and talent moving native design forward. The series aspires to lay the groundwork for American designers to gather, respond, and construct new possibilities for the success of native design on a global stage.

The Home Front: American Design Now is to be presented in three constituent parts. The first will be a series of monthly lectures, featuring movers and shakers in the worlds of art, design, and architecture, including collector Adam Lindemann, architect Rafael de Cárdenas, DwellStudio founder and creative director Christiane Lemieux, Rockwell Group principal and studio leader Barry Richards, Monica Khemsurov of Noho Design District, and lighting and furniture designer David Weeks, to name just a few. These notable guests and panelists will discuss and debate a variety of topics from product placement to the influence of regionalism on design to the mechanics of design fairs and competitions.

The second part will showcase members of the American Design Club (AmDC), a loose collective of leading young design talents, who will take over MAD’s Open Studios from March 1 to March 8, to design and construct objects, while the public watches and asks questions. Their creations will then featured in their seventh show, “THREAT,” time and place to be announced later.

The third and final part is the take-away literature, Temperature 2012, specially created by Volume, a design gallery in Chicago, for The Home Front. Attendees to any of the lecture series will receive this free publication, containing interviews with some 35 leaders in the field.


All lectures will be held in the Theater at MAD $12 General, $8 MAD Members and Students with Valid ID

The Open Studios program, on the 6th Floor, is Free with Museum Admission

The Home Front: American Design Now is guest-curated by Dan Rubinstein, Editor-in- Chief of Surface magazine.One free copy of the publication Temperature 2012 by Chicago’s Volume Gallery will be available to each lecture ticket holder while supplies last.

The series of programs will include:


January 12, 2012, 7 pm

Blurring The Lines: Between Art, Architecture, and Design

As the public becomes more aware of contemporary art, so too does it become more interested in architecture and design. As a result more and more young American designers’ careers are being launched not in showrooms, but in galleries, with collectors commissioning interiors and furnishings that finally match the adventurous spirit of their art collections. This blurring of hierarchies has created a sophisticated new breed of practitioner who effortlessly navigates the worlds of art, architecture, and furniture design. The Minneapolis-based designer Matt Olson of RO/LU and the New York architect Rafael de Cárdenas will be discussing this trend together with the Rauschenberg Foundation’s Executive Director Christy MacLear, and collector Adam Lindemann. The panel will be moderated by Felix Burrichter, founder and editor of PIN–UP Magazine.

February 16, 2012, 7 pm

Product Placement At MAD: Design For Kids

Ever gaze at an object and wonder why the designer chose that material? Or why that shape? Aiming to demystify design is Product Placement, a bimonthly series founded in 2008 by journalist Julie Taraska and publicist Kimberly Oliver. Each installment features a range of designers presenting the inspirations and creative process behind one of their pieces, followed by an audience discussion. This installment, curated for MAD, explores design for kids with DwellStudio founder and creative director Christiane Lemieux; Rockwell Group principal and studio leader Barry Richards; and lighting and furniture designer David Weeks, among others.

March 8, 2012, 7 pm

Show Time: Raising The Curtain On Design Events

Fairs, exhibitions, competitions, pop-ups. Events like these are the lifeblood of the American design publicity and creativity machine. Four New York impresarios discuss the ABC’s of conceiving, executing, and promoting design happenings—Faris Al- Shathir of BOFFO, Monica Khemsurov of Noho Design District, Kiel Mead of the American Design Club (AmDC), and Chad Phillips of the New York Creative Social Concern—with moderator Dan Rubinstein.

April 12, 2012, 7 pm

Local Behavior: What Makes An American Designer? What effects do the lines on a map have on a designer practicing today? Volume Gallery curators Claire Warner and Sam Vinz interview a cross section of designers working in various scales, including Alex Munstonen of Snarkitecture, Christopher K. Ho, Drura Parrish of Parrish/Rash to discuss the effects of regionalism in a hyper- connected, globalized era.


March 1 – 8, 2012, 11 AM – 6 PM

“The Open Studios: AmDC” presents “THREAT: Objects For Defense And Protection”

 Free with Museum Admission

Most of us are frightened by the idea of a criminal breaking into our homes. In our minds we’ve imagined how we would react: Will I run? Will I hide? Will I fight? The American Design Club (AmDC) will invite participating designers in their upcoming seventh show “THREAT” to create their own visions of contemporary arms and armor live for museum visitors in the 6th floor studios.


The Museum of Arts and Design explores the blur zone between art, design, and craft today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to digital. The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. The Museum’s dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum’s collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium.


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