We are pleased to share the second rebroadcast of 2021 from our Design Conversations Lecture Series partnership with The Vignelli Center for Design Studies. Designer Marissa Brown’s career is peppered with incredible experiences, and her career speaks to a long-standing dialogue between design and craft. In this talk, Brown revisits the importance of craft in the early years of her career and how it informed her design process. As new tools flow into the industry to expedite design, she examines how she preserves craft in a process that increasingly separates the hand from the work.

Watch – and make sure you stick around for the Q&A!

Marissa Brown went from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to Dakota Jackson as Creative Director of his luxury custom furniture studio, and then on to her own studio, Brown Graves, and then teaching. Eventually, Brown became VP Design Director for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she designed and managed furniture across a variety of home and living spaces. Brown managed teams of designers to answer to large-scale production while navigating licensed partnerships for Macy’s, The Home Depot, Bernhardt, Staples, Home Decorators Collection and others. In 2018, Brown became the first female director of design in the 120-year history of Stickley, a historic hardwood-furniture company outside Syracuse, N.Y. There, Brown has worked closely with hardwood specialists and craftspeople on the factory floor to realize hundreds of pieces she personally designed.

If you liked this lecture, check out the previous rebroadcasts here.

To learn more about The Vignelli Center for Design Studies at RIT, they have launched digital access to the archives through Google Arts & Culture, joining over 2000 cultural institutions from around the world. The initial launch includes nearly 900 high resolution images of artifacts from the archives so that now anyone with access to the Internet and Google Arts & Culture can search the Vignelli archives or browse it by color or chronological order. Very exciting!


This lecture series is made possible in part by the generosity of RIT Alumnus, Chris Bailey and Bailey Brand Consulting.

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