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Alice Twemlow

Alice Twemlow |UK| is a design historian, writer, and educator.

She a head of the Design Lectoraat at KABK/University of Leiden and head of the MA in Design Curating & Writing at Design Academy Eindhoven. Before moving to Amsterdam in 2015, she was the founding director of the SVA MA in Design Research, Writing & Criticism in New York. Twemlow has a Ph.D from the History of Design program run jointly by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal College of Art in London, and her book, Sifting the Trash: A History of Design Criticism, was published by MIT Press earlier this year.

Her current research focuses on the material manifestations and the meanings of design when it becomes trash, via the social behaviours, infrastructures, economies, governance, language, and systems of practice that shape and gather around its disposal. She is also developing an exhibition about self-destructing design, titled “Design Will Eat Itself.” Twemlow is a strong advocate for the enriching role of research in design education, and often speaks at education conferences on this topic.

Twemlow writes and lectures on all aspects of design culture—but with a particular emphasis on graphic design—and has recently contributed essays and reviews to Dirty Furniture, Journal of Design History, Design and Culture, Graphisme en France (CNAP, 2016), Design Observer, Eye, Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things (Berg, 2014), Lolita—Story of a Cover Girl: Vladimir Nabokov’s Novel in Art and Design (Print, 2013), and The Aspen Complex (Sternberg Press, 2012), among other publications. She also wrote the book What is Graphic Design For? (Rotovision, 2006).