School of Art, Media, and Technology

Taking a Line for a Walk conversations #4: The real assignment

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Taking a Line for a Walk conversations #4: The real assignment


Tue, December 6, 2016

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The New School | Parsons School of Design

66 West 12th Street

Klein Conference Room, A 510

New York, New York 10011


The relationship between education and professional practice is a rather complicated one. While education is often considered a training ground, professional practice is commonly described as the actual battle field. But is that really true? Isn’t education a real thing in itself? What, then, is the nature of student work? Is it real, fake or fictional? What are the benefits and pitfalls of assignments that emulate professional conditions? What are the positives and negatives of so-called “useless” assignments? What does it mean to bring actual clients into a school environment? When does design education become exploitive? When is design education emancipatory? When is it visionary? Or reactionary? When is education pragmatic? Or hermetic? When is it actually realistic?

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For general public, RSVP here.



Julian Bittiner, Senior Critic, Yale University School of Art

Neil Donnelly, Part-Time Lecturer BFA Communication Design, Parsons School of Design

Rob Giampietro, Senior Critic, Rhode Island School of Design

YuJune Park, Director & Assistant Professor BFA Communication Design, Parsons School of Design

Amy Papaelias, Assistant Professor Graphic Design Program, State University of New York at New Paltz

Mediated by:

Nina Paim and Corinne Gisel

This conversation is part of a series of events investigating current issues in design education in relation to giving, writing, and preserving assignments, initiated by the authors of the book Taking a Line for a Walk, published by Spector Books Leipzig in 2016.

Assignments can give instructions, describe an exercise, present a problem, set out rules, propose a game, stimulate a process, or simply throw out questions. Taking a Line for a Walk brings attention to something that is often neglected: the assignment as a pedagogical element and verbal artefact of design education. This book is a compendium of 224 assignments, edited by Nina Paim and coedited by Emilia Bergmark. A reference book for educators, researchers, and students alike, it includes both contemporary and historical examples and offers a space for different lines of design pedagogy to converge and converse. An accompanying essay by Corinne Gisel takes a closer look at the various forms assignments can take and the educational contexts they exist within. Taking a Line for a Walkderived from an exhibition of the same name at the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2014.

Taking a Line for a Walk: Assignments in design education
Conceived by Nina Paim, Corinne Gisel, and Emilia Bergmark
Spector Books Leipzig 2016

Purchase the book HERE

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