Watch: When I Could No Longer Touch My Work

We’re excited to share the second iteration of 2021 from our partnership with the Design Conversations Lecture Series with the Vignelli Center for Design Studies. The career of designer Marissa Brown is full of incredible experiences and her career speaks for a long-term dialogue between design and craft. In this talk, Brown reiterates the importance of the craft in the early years of her career and how it influenced her design process. As new tools flow into the industry to accelerate design, she explores how to preserve the craft in a process that increasingly separates the hand from the work.

Watch – and make sure you stick with the questions and answers!

Marissa Brown moved from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to Dakota Jackson as the creative director of his luxury furniture studio and then to her own studio, Brown Graves, where she taught. Eventually, Brown became VP Design Director at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she designed and managed furniture for a variety of living spaces. Brown led teams of designers to respond to large-scale production while handling licensed partnerships for Macy’s, The Home Depot, Bernhardt, Staples, the Home Decorators Collection, and others. In 2018, Brown became the first female design director in the 120-year history of Stickley, a historic hardwood furniture company outside of Syracuse, NY. There, Brown worked closely with hardwood specialists and artisans in the factory to create hundreds of pieces they personally designed.

If you enjoyed this talk, read the previous repetitions here.

To find out more about the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the RIT, they started digital access to the archives via Google Arts & Culture and joined over 2000 cultural institutions from all over the world. The first launch includes nearly 900 high resolution images of artifacts from the archives, so now anyone with access to the internet and Google Arts & Culture can browse the Vignelli archives, or search by color or chronological order. Very exciting!


This series of lectures is made possible in part by the generosity of RIT Alumnus, Chris Bailey, and Bailey Brand Consulting.

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