Acclaimed designer Massimo Vignelli to speak Oct. 21 as part of VPA’s Golden Mean Series
Massimo Vignelli, one of the most recognized and internationally acclaimed Modernist designers, will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m. as part of “Design is One,” the fall theme of the Golden Mean Series in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Grant Auditorium. Parking is available in SU pay lots.
Vignelli will be joined by his wife, Lella, with whom he co-founded Vignelli Associates in New York City. Using architecture, interior, product and graphic design examples from their studio, the Vignellis will explore the “Design is One” theme—how smart and effective design not only supports but improves the way we live.
The Golden Mean Series, whose name references balance and harmony, brings together design, business and creative professionals of national and international significance. Each event is a conversation about current, relevant issues in design and how it can affect individuals, businesses, environments and society. Based in the Department of Design in VPA’s School of Art and Design, the series brings together audience and guests in a colloquium format.
The Vignellis established Vignelli Associates in 1971 and, seven years later, Vignelli Designs. They previously opened the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milan in 1960. Known for their graphic design work, they have created logo/identity systems for such clients as American Airlines, Benetton, Bloomingdale’s and the New York City subway system; product design work for Heller tableware and bakeware, Corning Glassware and Knoll furniture; packaging design work for Gillette, Perugina and Saks Fifth Avenue; and exhibition/interior design work for Jaguar, Olivetti and Xerox.
The Vignellis’ work is included in the permanent collections of several museums, notably the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York; the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Montreal; and Die Neue Sammlung in Munich. Their many awards include the Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Brooklyn Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
Born in Milan, Massimo Vignelli studied architecture in Milan and Venice. He came to the United States from 1957-60 on fellowships from Towle Silversmiths in Massachusetts and the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In 1965, he became co-founder and design director of Unimark International Corp. He is a past president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AlGA), a vice president of the Architectural League and a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).
Vignelli recently appeared in the documentary “Helvetica,” where he discussed his iconic 1972 signage and diagram for the New York City subway system. He updated the diagram in 2008.
Born in Udine, Italy, Lella Vignelli received a degree from the University of Venice’s School of Architecture and became a registered architect in Milan. In 1958, she received a tuition fellowship as a special student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture. The next year, she joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago as a junior designer and later served as head of the interiors department for Unimark International Corp. She is a member of the IDSA, AIGA, the International Furnishings and Designer Association and the Decorators Club of New York.
The Golden Mean Series is funded by a major contribution from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information, contact Cookie Caloia at (315) 569-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.