‘What is Good Design?’ Athenaeum Salon

(11.6) Designer and design historian Matthew Bird will speak this Friday at the Athenaeum Salon on “Expanding a Point of View: What is Good Design?”

We all know what is good, but each of us uses different factors to arrive at our decisions and opinions about design and taste. Designer and design historian Bird will share revelations brought home from a month-long summer seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and present different methods to add layers of thinking to deepen and expand our interpretations. He will consider culture, gender, geography, history, and other factors that make us instantly certain we are correct in our decision making, and are nearly always wrong.

Mr. Bird founded the art and design retail gallery RISD WORKS, as well as his own retail shop, the Curatorium on Wickenden Street. He is seen here with “Wheels & Heels: The Big Noise Around Little Toys,” an exhibition he curated last year.

Matthew Bird just can not be boring. I’ve heard him speak twice: once about skyscrapers and airships, and again when the topic was a sheet of U.S. postage stamps celebrating industrial design. Both presentations were edifying and hilarious.

The Salon is free and open to the public, 5pm to 7pm, Friday, November 6, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street

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