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
"As a child, I loved art. I also developed an interest in writing and language. Typography is where the two come together".
"I studied design and art in the early 1980s at The Cooper Union in New York City. When I graduated, I was invited to run a small design gallery inside the school. I did that for seven years. I was a do-it-yourself curator, hanging my own shows, keeping the windows clean, trimming the labels. At
the same time, I was publishing a lot, building a reputation as
a writer and critic. In 1992, I was offered a ‘real job’ at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, also in New York City. Now, I had the opportunity to create much larger exhibitions for a bigger public. Each exhibition has been accompanied by a sturdy exhibition catalogue and ambitious public programming. I’ve also had the chance to work with amazing colleagues — great design thinkers. In 1997, I was invited to run the graphic design program at Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore, a big, tough city that is two hours by train from New York. Baltimore is my hometown, and a fun place to live. Cooper-Hewitt has allowed me to live in Baltimore for the past ten years and continue as a part-time curator. It’s a hectic, sometimes scattered lifestyle that allows me to do all the things I want to do (and more!)".
"There are rules people""My Books"
Here's a few handy hints from Ellen..
Use design to organize and improve
your environment at home, at work,
and in the world.
Use design to expand your expressive,
economic, and social horizons.
Produce more, consume less
Design it yourself using digital tools
and craft skills.