Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. An author of numerous books and articles on design, she is a public-minded critic, frequent lecturer, and AIGA Gold Medalist. Read More

About

Ellen Lupton is a writer, curator, and graphic designer. She is director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. As curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 1992, she has produced numerous exhibitions and books, including Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office (1993), Mixing Messages: Graphic Design and Contemporary Culture (1996), Letters from the Avant-Garde (1996), and Skin: Surface, Substance + Design (2002).

Her book Thinking with Type (2004) is used by students, designers, and educators worldwide. D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), co-authored with her graduate students at MICA, explains design processes to a general audience. D.I.Y. Kids (October 2007), co-authored with Julia Lupton, is a design book for children illustrated with kids’ art. The Lupton twins’ latest book is Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things (St Martin’s Griffin, 2009).

Other books include Graphic Design: The New Basics (with Jennifer Cole Phillips, 2008) and Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book (2008). She is the co-author with Abbott Miller of several books, including The Bathroom, the Kitchen, and the Aesthetics of Waste (1992), Design Writing Research (1996), and Swarm (2006).

Lupton is a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, one of the highest honors given to a graphic designer or design educator in the U.S.

Ellen Lupton has contributed to various publications, including Print, Eye, I.D., and Metropolis. She has published essays and illustrations in The New York Times. A frequent lecturer around the U.S. and the world, Lupton will speak about design to anyone who will listen.

Other exhibitions she has curated and co-curated include the National Design Triennial series (2000, 2003, 2006, 2010), Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500–2005 (2006), Solos: New Design from Israel (2006), and Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age (1999), all at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

· Download CV (Word), updated October, 2010

· Ellen Lupton, AIGA Medalist Gallery

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Jon Mueller on Indie Publishing, 2009

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Jean-Christophe Loubet, Planet Typography, 2007

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Jean-Christophe Loubet on Planet Typography, 2007 (French)

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Nicole Bearman and Gabrielle Eade, 2007

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Lawrie Hunter, 2006

· Interview, Ellen Lupton with Steven Heller, 1998

· Video of lecture, Personal Views series at ESAD, Porto, Portugal, May 25, 2007. Organized by Andrew Howard.

· Abbott Miller bio

Ellen Lupton, 2009. Photo by Michelle Qureshi, 2008.

Ellen Lupton, 2009. Photo by Michelle Qureshi.

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Ellen and Julia Lupton. Photo by Bob Moeller, 2009.

Julia, Mary Jane, and Ellen Lupton. Photo by Ken Baldwin, 2008.

Julia, Mary Jane, and Ellen Lupton, 2008. Photo by Ken Baldwin, 2008.

Welcome to Busytown

I produced my Busytown narrative (indebted to the great Richard Scarry) as a way to talk about themes raised by the exhibition Graphic Design: Now In Production, curated by Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center) and myself (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum), 2012. Illustration by Ellen Lupton. Read more →

The Myth of the Working Mom

Essay published on AIGA Voice, September 12, 2006. Read more →

David Barringer

A conversation with David Barringer, published on Design Observer, 05.28.2009. Read more →

Typography in the 1990s

Essay published on Printmag.com, October 25, 2009.

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Design and Social Life

Essay published in Design Life Now: National Design Triennial (Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2006).

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Learning to Love Software

Essay published in Artifact 1(3): 149-158 (2007).

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Univers Strikes Back

Essay published in Helen Armstrong, Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009). Co-authored with Julia Lupton.

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The Designer as Producer

“The Designer as Producer,” essay by Ellen Lupton, published in The Education of a Graphic Designer, ed. Steven Heller (New York: Allworth Press, 1998), 159-62.

Reprinted in Graphic Design: Now in Production, ed. Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2012), 12-13.

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Lupton, Ellen (2007)

Interview by Nicole Bearman and Gabrielle Eade for Design Hub, a design news and portal created by the Powerhouse Museum in Australia.

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Lupton, Ellen (2006)

Interview, Lawrie Hunter, “Critical Form as Everyday Practice, An Interview with Ellen Lupton.” Published in Information Design Journal 14, 2 (2006): 130-137.

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Lupton, Ellen (1998)

Steve Heller interviews Ellen Lupton, 1998, for his book Becoming a Designer

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Lupton Twins/D.I.Y. Kids

Originally published on the blog Babble.com, October 2007.

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Scher, Paula

Interview, August 10, 1995. Paul Scher with Ellen Lupton, August 10, 1995. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996

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Rock, Michael

Interview, Ellen Lupton and Michael Rock, August 7, 1994. Unpublished.

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Kunz, Willi

Ellen Lupton interviews Alex Isley, June 23, 1994. Unpublished. Read more →

Isley, Alex

Ellen Lupton interviews Alex Isley, June 23, 1994. Unpublished. Read more →

Hoefler, Jonathan

Interview, Ellen Lupton and Jonathan Hoefler, June 23, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

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Friedman, Dan

Ellen Lupton interviews Dan Friedman, June 15, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996

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Frere-Jones, Tobias

Interview, Ellen Lupton with Tobias Frere-Jones, November 1, 1995. Unpublished.

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Drucker, Johanna

Profile, “Johanna Drucker: The Flesh of the Word,” written by Ellen Lupton, published in Eye magazine, 1995. Read more →

Drenttel Doyle Partners

Interview, Ellen Lupton with Stephen Doyle and William Drenttel, July 14, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

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de Bretteville, Sheila Levrant

“Sheila Levrant de Bretteville: Dirty Design and Fuzzy Theory,”
interview with Ellen Lupton, published in Eye magazine, 1992 Read more →

Cooper, Muriel

Conversation with Ellen Lupton, May 7, 1994. Unpublished.

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Free Font Manifesto

A small but growing number of designers and institutions are creating typefaces for the public domain. Gathered here are notes from a controversial 2006 lecture about “free fonts.” Read more →

How to Write a Book Proposal

Readers are sometimes curious about how to prepare a book proposal. In my experience, an effective book proposal includes some or all of the following elements. Read more →

Swim Suit Stats

When people started swimming 50,000 years ago, no one bothered with swim suits. Why get the fur wet on your new caveman outfit? When cultural norms demanded that bodies stay covered, skinny dipping went underground and bathing attire was born. Changes in the history of swimsuit design reflect shifting cultural values as well as new beliefs about athletic performance. We’ve seen the body go from naked to covered to nearly nude—and back again. Recent athletic competitions have raised ethical questions about extreme swimwear: is it fair, or is it doping?

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Graphic Design I Syllabus, Fall 09

GD200.04
Instructor: Ellen Lupton, elupton (at) designwritingresearch.org
Teaching Assistant: Molly Hawthorne
Maryland Institute College of Art

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Hamlet Apron

tn-HamletApron72

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Carson, Carol Devine

Notes from a conversation, Ellen Lupton and Carol Devine Carson, April 15, 1994. Corrected by Carol Carson, June 7, 1995. Unpublished. Read more →

Bureau

Interview, Ellen Lupton with Donald Moffett and Marlene McCarty (Bureau), June 27, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996. Read more →

Eccentric to Whom?

“Eccentric to Whom?” Essay by J. Abbbott Miller, published in special issue of AIGA Journal of Graphic Design on eccentricity, edited by Steven Heller, 1992 Read more →

Design and Production in the Mechanical Age

“Design and Production in the Mechanical Age” (excerpt), essay by Ellen Lupton, published in Deborah Rothschild, Ellen Lupton, and Darra Goldstein, Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age: Selections from the Merrill C. Berman Collection. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998. pp 50-81. Read more →

Going Public

Essay by Ellen Lupton, published in Print magazine (January/February 2005).

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Fluid Mechanics: Typography Now

“Fluid Mechanics: Typographic Design Now,” essay by Ellen Lupton, published in Donald Albrecht, Steven Holt, and Ellen Lupton, Design Culture Now: National Design Triennial. New York: Princeton Architectural Press and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2000. Read more →

Rough Ideas: New Design from Israel

“Rough Ideas: New Design from Israel,” (excerpt), essay by Ellen Lupton, published in New Design from Israel. New York: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2006. Published in conjunction with the exhibition Solos: New Design from Israel, 2006. Read more →

Deconstruction and Graphic Design

Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller. Published in special issue of Visible Language on graphic design history, edited by Andrew Blauvelt (1994). This is an earlier version of the essay “Deconstruction and Graphic Design,” published in our book Design Writing Research.

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Critical Wayfinding

“Critical Wayfinding,” essay by Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, published in The Edge of the Millennium,. ed. Susan Yelavich. New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1993. 220-232. Read more →

How Books are Sold

“How Books are Sold.” Essay by Ellen Lupton, posted on AIGA Voice, April 4, 2006.

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Writing 101

“Writing 101: Visual or Verbal.” Posted to AIGA Voice, January 2009. Read more →

Important Artifacts (book review)

Book review for I.D. (International Design) Magazine, 2009. Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry. A novel by Leane Shapton. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2009. Read more →

Why Collaborate?

Essay, 2005. Read more →

Exhibition List

exhibition_list
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Brides Show

tn-brides-show
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Wild, Lorraine (interview)

Interview, Lorraine Wild with Ellen Lupton, July 1, 1994. An edited version of this interview appears in the book Mixing Messages: Graphic Design in Contemporary Culture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996.

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Modern Design Theory

“Writing Lessons: Modern Design Theory,” unpublished essay by Ellen Lupton, written for graduate seminar taught by Rosemary Bletter, City University of New York Graduate Center, 1988.

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Reskilling the Art Student

“The Reskilling of the American Art Student.” Essay by Ellen Lupton, filed in Voice: AIGA Journal of Design, March 29, 2005.

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Savage Diary

Unpublished essay, written for a graduate seminar at University of Baltimore with Stuart Moulthrop, 2003. A mother thinks about theories of literacy and representation in the digital age while observing her tween-age son work and play with media.

Skin: New Design Organics

“Skin: New Design Organics,” essay by Ellen Lupton, published in Ellen Lupton, Skin: Surface, Substance and Design. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. Book published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2002.

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Does That Look Green to You?

Essay, 2009. Read more →

The Producers

“The Producers,” essay by Ellen Lupton, published in Ellen Lupton, Susan Yelavich, Donald Albrecht, and Mitch Owen, Inside Design Now: National Design Triennial, 2003. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003. T-shirt by Geoff McFetridge.

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Underground Matriarchy

“Underground Matriarchy in Graphic Design,” essay by Laurie Haycock Makela and Ellen Lupton, published in Eye magazine, 1994. Read more →

Women Graphic Designers

Excerpt from essay by Ellen Lupton from Pat Kirkham, ed. Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000. London: Yale University Press, 2000. Read more →

Woodward, Fred

Interview, magazine designer Fred Woodward with Ellen Lupton. Conversation, June 6, 1996. Unpublished. Read more →

Zukin, Sharon

Interview, “Shopping with Sharon Zukin,” interviewed by Ellen Lupton for I.D. magazine, 2005. Zukin is author of Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture (New York: Routledge: 2004). Read more →

Bierut, Michael

Interview, Ellen Lupton with Michael Bierut, June 16, 1994. Unpublished. Read more →

Design Your Life

book-dyl

Design Your Life, by Ellen and Julia Lupton, is a series of irreverent snapshots about design and everyday life. Design Your Life casts a sharp eye on everything from roller bags, bras, porches, and stuffed animals to parenting, piles, and potted plants. The book is illustrated throughout with original paintings of objects both ordinary and odd.

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