Public Engagement

General Public

Unruly Design: Making, Changing and Breaking Rules

Friday, March 2, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, I 202 55 West 13th Street, Room I-202, New York, NY 10011

A colloquium in Design Studies, Fashion Studies, History of Design & Curatorial Studies

Friday, March 2, 2018

Opening conversation with Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Design and Architecture, MoMA, and Jamer Hunt, Vice Provost for Transdisciplinary Initiatives, Parsons School of Design, The New School
Theresa Lang Center, Arnold Hall 
55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Friday, March 2, 2018

Join us for an unruly feast, RSVP required
Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang
65 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10011

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Panel presentations and discussions
Theresa Lang Center, Arnold Hall
55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

The School of Art and Design History and Theory is pleased to announce its inaugural colloquium, scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, 2018 at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

“Unruly Design” explores the rules that govern design concepts, acts of making and fashion practices both historically and in today’s context. Who sets the rules within a design field, designers, clients, consumers or end-users? How should designers engage the legal structures that bind production and consumption and/or respond to market forces? How might consumers and end-users rewrite explicit or implicit codes of use through practice? How are the rules of design made, changed or broken? Discussions will move across several fields of design— from design history to fashion studies; design studies to intersections of design with artistic practices—taking into account current historical and contemporary perspectives including policy making and service design. This two-day colloquium responds to current discussions on the inherent political and ethical implication of design practices, as well as an expanded cultural terrain where the idea of design has become mainstream. This series of interventions and conversations navigates the complex relationship of design with a certain sense of order—with ways of doing and modes of saying that frame design processes and their outcomes within more or less strict, often conflicting sets of rules. Is today’s design unruly or can it be?

Event Schedule

Friday March 2, 2018 

5:30 - 7:00pm Opening conversation with Paola Antonelli and Jamer Hunt

7:00 - 10:00pm Unruly Feast

Saturday March 3, 2018

10:00 - 10:30am Participants arrival & coffee

10:30am - 12:00pm Session 1 - RULE MAKING

Drawing Beyond the Academy in Eighteenth-Century Rome 
Tracy L. Ehrlich, Parsons School of Design, History of Design and Curatorial Studies

The world of plenty or a headless chicken?
Ulrich Leben

Dangerous Curves: Disciplining the Fat, Female Body Through Design Discourse
Lauren Downing Peters, Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University

Design wants to be free: copying as democratic practice in the USA
Carma Gorman, University of Texas at Austin

Lily Chumley

12:00 to 1:15pm Lunch break 

1:15 - 2:45pm Session 2 - RULE CHANGING

Robes of Resistance: Nuu-chah-nulth Declarations on Cloth
Denise Green, Cornell University

Making and Breaking Rules: Selwyn Goldsmith Designing for the Disabled
Elizabeth Guffey, State University of New York at Purchase

Rule-makers and Their Discontents: Who Changed French Postwar Housing?
Nicole C. Rudolph, Adelphi University

Border Rules: Design and Production across the Rio Grande
Victoria Hattam, New School for Social Research

Design in Autonomy
Jilly Traganou, Parsons School of Design, Design Studies

2:45 to 3:00pm Coffee break 

3:00 - 4:30pm Session 3 - RULE BREAKING

Touching and Taking power: Hacking and DIY Activism
Otto von Busch, Parsons School of Design, School of Design Strategies

Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Era
Andrea Lipps, Assistant Curator, Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, Smithsonian Design Museum, NY

The “Porn-Again Avant-Garde”: Transgression and the Contemporary Fashion Vanguard 
Charlene K. Lau, Parsons School of Design, Fashion Studies

Design for Concepts
McKenzie Wark, New School for Social Research

4:30 - 5:00pm Closing Reception

Organizing Committee:
Rosemary O’Neill, History of Design & Curatorial Studies;
Caroline Dionne, Design Studies;
Rachel Lifter, Fashion Studies

Presented by Parsons School of Design

Event Type

Conferences and Symposia


General Public


Art and Design


Parsons School of Design, School of Art and Design History and Theory


Recent Activity

Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.