Can design touch someone’s heart?

by whitewirestudio

That’s the name of the course taught by Stefan Sagmeister in the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts. Some of my favorite projects are here:

Lydia Reynolds, Poster Boi

Karin Soukup + Cristina Vasquez, Mrs Connection


Lesley Weiner, Maddy Memory

In searching around for these projects, I also came across this article in Communication Arts where Carolyn McCarron Sienicki speaks with Sagmeister about this course—at SVA, Cooper Union and the Universität der Küenste in Berlin.

This isn’t a do-good class. I want my students to pick their own projects, their own audience and be in control of their own content. I want them to become aware of what they are putting out in the world and how it affects people. I want them to think through their intention.

While he says there’s nothing wrong with designing to sell—as he obviously lives out daily—the unfortunate fact is that so many designers are doing only that.

So much of what designers do is technically very good, but it leaves people cold and has little meaning in their lives. The question came out of a frustration of drowning in professionally designed things that nobody gives a **** about, neither the maker nor the receiver. The main reason for all this stuff is that most designers don’t believe in anything. When your conscience is so flexible, how can you do strong design?