Lecture Series

Sarah Kirk Hanley Print Media Visiting Artist Lecture, 2017. Photo by Sarah Blanchette (Photography ’17)

Lectures Held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium

All lectures are held in Cranbrook Art Museum’s deSalle Auditorium and are free to ArtMembers and students with identification, and included with Museum admission for the general public. Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

The Public Lecture series at Cranbrook Academy of Art is a critical and idiosyncratic look into the conversations and inquiry that drives the 10 departments in Art, Architecture and Design. Our open structure allows for a responsive approach to curating our lecture series so that the conversations on campus are timely and engage urgent issues in our fields. Our open pedagogy means between 30-50 visiting artists, designers, curators and thinkers are bringing their research to our studios and impacting the practices of this community. This spring we are thrilled to have John Corso Esquivel join us as our Critical Studies and Humanities fellow, John will give two public lectures throughout the spring.

Upcoming Lectures:

Güvenç Özel
January 24, 6pm

Machines, Bits and Pixels: Toward a Postarchitecture
Güvenç Özel is an architect, artist and researcher. He is the Technology Director of IDEAS, and the principal of Ozel Office, an interdisciplinary design practice located in Los Angeles, USA, working at the intersection of architecture, technology, visual arts and research on urban culture. A native of Izmir, Turkey, Özel studied architecture, sculpture, and philosophy in Bennington College, USA. In addition, he holds a Masters of Architecture degree from Yale University, where he graduated with multiple awards. Prior to establishing his own practice, he worked in the architecture offices of Rafael Vinoly, Jürgen Mayer H. and Frank Gehry, amongst others. His projects and experimental installations are exhibited in museums and galleries in the USA and Europe. He formerly taught at Yale University, Woodbury University and University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Studio Greg Lynn.

 Sponsored by the Architecture Department and the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund

February 8, 6pm

Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn are a Baltimore based artist team striving to transform public spaces into playful and vibrant experiences. Since 2011, Jessie and Katey have been consistently creating large-scale, public murals. The all inclusive and socially engaging nature of creating art for the public is a driving force in their art making. Inspired by the architectural surfaces of each environment, their dynamic paintings often curve around corners and spill onto the ground. Their work explores themes of movement and symmetry, inspired by bold color combinations, patterns in nature, and woven textiles. Over the past two years the team has been exploring tradition batik, hand dyeing, and appliqué methods in their studio where they have created several large scale framed paintings. These paintings have been exhibited in Brooklyn, Miami, Baltimore and Russia.
Sponsored by 2D and 3D Design Department 

February 14, 6pm
F***  IT
Oana Stanescu is an architect and founding partner of Family and co-founder of Friends of + POOL. Her  New York-based design firm creates ambitious and whimsical architecture, from a floating, filtering pool to a 50-foot volcano for Kanye West to a net-zero residential complex in Dallas. She has written for numerous architectural publications such as Domus, MARK and Abitare, and co-taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. Stanescu was profiled in the New York Times and has lectured at the at the Bezalel Faculty of Architecture in Jerusalem and the Memphis chapter of the AIA. Before founding Family with Dong-Ping Wong, her partner in Family, Oana graduated from the University of Timisoara in Romania. Stanescu has worked at Herzog & de Meuron, OMA, SANAA, Architecture for Humanity and REX.Sponsored by the Architecture Department and the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund 

February 2, 2pm  

In conjunction with Maya Stovall’s solo exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum, Liquor Store Theatre Performance Films, the Museum will host the artist’s public defense for her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Wayne State University. The Liquor Store Theatre project is the focus of her dissertation. Stovall will discuss her theoretical framework and strategy of working across the disciplines of dance, theory, anthropology, ethnography, and contemporary art.Hosted by Cranbrook Art Museum in partnership with the Wayne State University Department of Anthropology


February 2, 5:30pm 

Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. As Dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, she is the first black female dean in the faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities. With a global career, Dori served as Associate Professor of Design Anthropology and Associate Dean at Swinburne University in Australia. In the U.S., she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She organized the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative and served as a director of Design for Democracy. Industry positions included senior UX strategists for Sapient Corporation and Arc Worldwide. Dori holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University and a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

Hosted by AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship


February 6, 6pm 

John Corso Esquivel is the Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art for the spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. He is a critic and art historian based in Metro Detroit. His current book project, Feminist Subjectivities in Fiber Art and Craft: Shadows of Affect, is under contract with Routledge and will appear as part of the Research in Gender and Art series. His writings have appeared in the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Mosaic, RACAR, Brooklyn Rail, ART21 Magazine, and Art Papers. Corso Esquivel is the Doris and Paul Travis Associate Professor of Art History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Hosted by the Critical Studies and Humanities Department


February 13, 4pm 

Currently living and working in New York, Rooney received a BA from Hampshire College in 2005 and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in 2011. In 2012 she attended the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. Recent exhibitions include group shows at Skibum MacArthur (LA) and Simone Subal (New York), with a forthcoming 2018 exhibition, Being: New Photography, at The Museum of Modern Art. She has hosted recent two-person and solo projects at locations such as: The Vanity East (Los Angeles), Raising Cattle (Montreal), Bodega (New York), Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus), The Good Press Gallery (Glasgow), Vox Populi (Philadelphia). Her writing has appeared in Art Papers, Performa Magazine, and The St. Claire. In 2016 Rooney was part of the Center for Experimental Lectures performing her piece Deep Black Lakes.

Hosted by the Photography Department


February 20, 6pm 

Ross Rudel makes sculptures rising from or submerging into the edges and boundaries of the gallery. He calls into question the physical aspects of nature and creates an alternative logic—a logic more suited to dreams. He shifts the perception of solid matter from fixed to fluid in a subtle and elegant way. His work physically interrupts the architecture as well as our understanding of materials and time. Rudel received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine and his BA from Montana State University at Bozeman. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Hosted by the Sculpture Department


March 7, 6pm 

HHF Architects was founded in 2003 by Tilo Herlach, Simon Hartmann and Simon Frommenwiler. Since then, HHF Architects have realized numerous projects in Switzerland, Germany, China, France, Mexico and the USA. The scope of work ranges from urbanism and large-scale construction to public pavilions and interior design. From the beginning HHF was looking for collaborations with other architects and artists in order to widen their view on projects and enrich the quality of specific proposals. In this context, worldwide perceived group projects such as Ruta del Peregrino and the fruitful collaboration with Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei emerged. In addition to building, teaching is an important activity of the office. The principals of HHF were visiting professors at the University of Innsbruck, the Karlsruhe institute of Technology KIT, MIT School of Architecture + Planning in Boston, and will be teaching at Yale School of Architecture in 2018. HHF has also participated as jury members at numerous universities worldwide.

Hosted by the Dean’s Office


March 10, 2pm 

Contemporary artist and graphic designer Ryan McGinness is currently presenting the exhibitions Ryan McGinness: Studio Views and Collections Views at Cranbrook Art Museum. He will discuss his practice and upcoming publication.

Hosted by Cranbrook Art Museum


March 21, 6pm 

Against the Architectural Imagination: Sustainability’s Image Problem
Esther Choi is Assistant Professor of Criticism and Curatorial Practice (CRCP) and Photography, and a faculty member in the Interdisciplinary Masters in Art, Media, and Design program at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). As an architectural historian, her research interests center on the entanglements between architecture and the life sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the intersections between artistic and architectural movements throughout the twentieth century. Her publications are often centered around contemporary issues in architecture and design practice.

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund


March 22, 6pm

Ruby Neri lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She first found success under a different name and in a different medium: her graffiti images of horses, made under the alias of ‘Reminisce’, could be found all over her hometown of San Francisco in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since her subsequent switch to sculpture – and to a gallery setting – human figures not equine ones have become her subject. Neri says, however, that she still wants her work ‘to have a street edge, like some kid broke in with a spray can’. Some recent solo and two person exhibitions include Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, David Kordansky Gallery and Los Angeles Museum of Art. 

Hosted by the Ceramics Department


March 24, 4pm 

Meleko Mokgosi (born in Francistown, Botswana) is an artist who works within an interdisciplinary framework to create large-scale project-based installations. Mokgosi works across history through painting, cinematic tropes, psychoanalysis, and post-colonial theory. His studio program interrogates narrative tropes and the fundamental models for the inscription and transmission of history along side established European notions of representation in order to address questions of nationhood, anti-colonial sentiments, and the perception of historicized events.

Hosted by the Painting Department


March 29, 6pm

John Corso Esquivel is the Critical Studies and Humanities Fellow at Cranbrook Academy of Art for the spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year. Corso Esquivel is a critic and art historian based in Metro Detroit. His writings have appeared in the Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Mosaic, RACAR, Brooklyn Rail, ART21 Magazine, and Art Papers. His book, Feminist Subjectivities in Fiber Art and Craft: Shadows of Affect, is under contract with Routledge and will appear as part of the Research in Gender and Art series. Corso Esquivel is the Doris and Paul Travis Associate Professor of Art History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Hosted by the Critical Studies and Humanities Program


March 30, 4pm 

Simone Browne is Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and researches surveillance studies and black diaspora studies. Her first book, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness, examines surveillance with a focus on transatlantic slavery, biometric technologies, branding, airports and creative texts. Along with being an Executive Board member of HASTAC and a co-editor of Errantries, she is a member of Deep Lab, a feminist collaborative composed of artists, engineers, hackers, writers, and theorists. 

Hosted by the Photography Department


April 4, 6pm

Nancon Form
Annie Barrett, AIA, is an architect and educator based in New York. She is principal of BAS and a visiting professor at Princeton University where she teaches introductory and advanced design studios. Prior to forming BAS in 2014, Annie led the design of numerous cultural and civic projects as a senior project manager at Architecture Research Office including the Flea Theater Performing Arts Complex, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Environmental Education Center and the Greenwich South Strategic Framework. Her research explores the intersection of architectural form and public programming.

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund


April 19, 6pm 

Stephanie Syjuco creates large-scale spectacles of collected cultural objects, cumulative archives, and temporary vending installations, often with an active public component that invites viewers to directly participate as producers or distributors. Using critical wit and collaborative co-creation, her projects leverage open-source systems, shareware logic and flows of capital to investigate issues of economies and empire. This has included starting a global collaborative project with crochet crafters to counterfeit high-end consumer goods, presenting parasitic art counterfeiting events and developing alternative vending economies and other speculative propositions.

Hosted by the Fiber Department


April 23, 6pm

Amanda Hunt serves on the curatorial staff for The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles as the director of education and public programs. She was previously an associate curator at New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem, where she organized shows about Rashaad Newsome and Lorraine O’Grady. Hunt curated Portland2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, and was a curator at the non-profit art space LA >< ART from 2011-2014 where she organized former Studio Museum Artist-in-Residence Steffani Jemison’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, as well as produced public art projects with Anna Sew Hoy, Sam Falls, and Talia Chetrit, among others. Hunt also helped to produce two major initiatives in Los Angeles, including the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, co-produced by LAXART and the Getty Research Institute, and Made in LA 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART. She has worked at various galleries and institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Hosted by the Photography Department


April 24, 6pm

Sabbatical Lecture: 
Beverly Fishman, Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Painting department, and Elliott Earls, Designer-in-Residence and Head of 2D Design, will each deliver a presentation about their recent sabbaticals. Fishman will discuss living and working in New York, preparing for a solo exhibition and the motivations behind her recent body of work, which explore our contemporary global condition in which drugs construct and contest our identities and in which the production and consumption of art can seem like an addiction. Earls will discuss how disaster capitalism, day-trading strategies, YouTube and Google Adwords can form the basis of an experimental design practice.


April 25, 6pm

Martin Finio is a 1988 graduate of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. A registered New York Architect since 1993, Finio spent nearly a decade at the office of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. His experience there included the Cranbrook Natatorium, the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, and the Hunter Science Center at the Emma Willard School. Since 1999, he has been partnered with his wife Taryn Christoff and taught both design and studio courses at Yale University, where he teaches and tests a design philosophy rooted in the integration of building performance and spatial clarity. He has been recognized by Esquire magazine as “one of America’s most promising young architects.”

Hosted by the Architecture Department and sponsored by the J. Robert F. Swanson Lecture Fund


May 1, 6pm

Camille Ann Brewer is The Textile Museum’s first full-time curator of contemporary textile art.
Previously she served as executive director of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, a membership organization of libraries, universities and archives dedicated to making accessible materials that document the African-American and African diaspora. Ms. Brewer formerly served as an assistant curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts and as an art consultant and curator for her own company, CAB Fine Art, building collections and organizing exhibitions for public museums, corporations, and private collectors.  

Hosted by the Fiber Department

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