This talk took place on Saturday, June 16, 2018, in The Great Hall at The Cooper Union as part of the Typographics Conference. This recording was made possible by a generous sponsorship from Google Fonts.
“Visual communication” is one of graphic design’s most pervasive and exclusionary myths. “Visual communication” is a symptom and signpost of ocularcentrism—modernity’s obsession with the empire of the eye. Designers’ single-minded devotion to visual communication excludes people who touch, hear, or smell but do not see. Inclusive design practices range from eyes-free interaction design and audio description to typographies and topographies of touch. Ellen Lupton is co-curator of the exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision (open through October 28, 2018, at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum).
Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at MICA in Baltimore. Her latest exhibition is The Senses: Design Beyond Vision (April–October 2018). She recently published Design Is Storytelling with Cooper Hewitt.