Grad students attend Design After conference in Bogotá
November 08, 2019
Connecting with a global community of academic peers to address key topics in design in the 21st century, nine PNCA graduate students recently attended Cumulus: The Design After conference in Bogotá, Colombia. The first- and second-year students in the MFA in Collaborative Design and MA in Design Systems programs in PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies spent a week in Bogotá bracketing the conference.
Central themes for the conference included biodiversity-driven design, design and counterculture, and de-innovation. Highlights of the incredible international roster of speakers included the keynote by Daniel Grushkin, founder of the Biodesign Challenge, and Dori Tunstall, who spoke on decolonizing design. Students attended sessions on bio-design, speculative design, and designing with not for communities.
“It was an incredible opportunity for our students to connect with and think alongside faculty from institutions in Singapore, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Oslo, and more,” says Meghann Gilligan, faculty member who teaches the MFA in Collaborative Design Thesis course.
“The biggest thing for us was knowing that we are connected to a larger community that is doing this work including bio-driven design, collaborative practice, and systems thinking,” says Leah Payne, a candidate in the MFA in Collaborative Design. “We are one of only three or four graduate programs doing this work in the country. The conference really validated the work we are doing.”
Payne appreciated the wide range of talks and paper presentations including Marysol Ortega Pallanez’s talk entitled “Handmaking as the interplay of the personal and collective in designing transitions” that “focused on group quilting and group stitching, talking about hard things while your hands are occupied.” A presentation entitled “Collaboration as a Form of Counter-Culture” was another highlight.
Gilligan said that in addition to the conference, students also toured Hacienda Coloma, a sustainable coffee farm that employs permaculture techniques. They also participated in a Breaking Borders tour of the Egipto neighborhood as part of a project by Universidad Externado de Colombia.
“We made so many connections. I met two people from Johannesburg who were talking about the difficulties in collaboration between architecture and urban planning. We talked about how collaboration is billed as being this magical thing. And when you get into it, you realize, ‘Oh, it’s really tough.’ You have to confront your own things when you collaborate.”
Payne connected with colleagues in a working group focused on writing bio-design curriculum as she is currently developing a course for anchoring the collaborative design experience during the student’s first year employing the metaphor of the ecotone.
Payne say, “I’m very inspired. I will be participating in the next conference in Rome.”
Oregon’s Sculptor, Lee Kelly BFA ‘59, passed away on March 28, 2022, at age 89.
Pacific Northwest College of Art is offering an affordable and accessible option for transfer students who want to earn a BFA degree.
We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Cole has accepted our offer to become the next dean of the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), effective March 2022, and delighted that she will hold Willamette’s first named deanship, recognizing a generous new gift from Jordan D. Schnitzer.
Willamette University and the Pacific Northwest College of Art today finalized their merger, officially making the Northwest’s oldest school of art and design an integral part of the region’s leading liberal arts university.
Schnitzer family's $2M gift to support Willamette University/Pacific Northwest College of Art merger
Willamette will launch a search soon to retain a nationally recognized educator and leader in art and design to serve as PNCA’s new dean. This $2 million gift from the late Arlene Schnitzer will create the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer PNCA Dean’s Initiative Fund, and provide the new PNCA Dean with resources to test new initiatives, facilitate collaboration between the PNCA and Willamette faculties, and more. Please enjoy this video to learn more about this generous gift.