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.