Thursday, March 20, 2014
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Materials Resource Center, RISD Library

Moderators: Eric Anderson & Chris Specce
Panelists:  Josh Owen, Debra Folz, Andrea Parikh, Katie Stout

Objects serve myriad and complex needs of individuals and societies–from solving utilitarian problems to providing emotional and spiritual fulfillment. For designers, objects hold particular creative, ethical, commercial, and pedagogical significances. This panel will explore a range of meanings, focusing especially on the effect of materiality on meaning. How does the physical nature of the object and its materials shape the ways that designers and users understand objects? What roles do influence and history play in the design and experience of objects?

Panelists in the session will present favorite objects and materials, discussing how they understand and teach the relationship between materiality and meaning. Presentations will be followed by a conversation moderated by Eric Anderson and Chris Specce.

Josh Owen is President of Josh Owen LLC and Professor and Department Head of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Debra Folz is faculty member in the Department of Furniture Design at RISD and New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University and Principal of Debra Folz Design.
Andrea Parikh is an MFA student in the Department of Furniture Design at RISD whose thesis deals with the impact materiality has on the perception of objects.
Katie Stout is an alum of the Department of Furniture Design at RISD, former Gallery Director at Johnson Trading Gallery and has an active independent design practice.
Eric Anderson is a design historian and Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Culture at RISD.
Chris Specce is Assistant Professor in the Department of Furniture Design at RISD.