walker, talker, thinker

SESSION: Monday, October 19, 4:30

Design Matters with podcast host Debbie Millman and artist Laurie Haycock Makela

Join us for the Design Matters interview as podcast host Debbie Millman returns to Bend Design. This year Debbie interviews AIGA medalist Laurie Haycock Makela, a leading voice in transdisciplinary graphic design practice and education for more than three decades. Recently, Makela designed the book "Speechless: Different by Design" and was one of six artists collaborating on the celebrated multisensory exhibition at the Dallas Art Museum.

SESSION: Thursday, October 22, 12:45

speechless: different by design (a case study) 

Described by Forbes as "a new exhibition that bucks the status quo…broadening the idea of visual communication," the multisensory exhibition "Speechless: Different by Design" wowed visitors to the Dallas Art Museum. In her talk, Laurie Haycock Makela will discuss the exhibition itself, together with the book she designed for this extraordinary project, which focused on the senses, not language. 


A leading voice in transdisciplinary graphic design practice and education for more than three decades, Makela has worked for major clients such as Nike, MTV, Apple, and Warner Brothers; taught at leading design programs in the U.S. and Europe, including Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, the Konstfack University of Art and Design in Stockholm, and ZKM/HfG in Karlsruhe, Germany. She was also the design director at the Walker Art Center. Walker, her 1995 typography and branding project with Matthew Carter, was included in the design collection at MOMA in 2011. 


She has received numerous awards, including the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Medal, the profession’s highest honor, in 2000. Together with her late husband, P. Scott Makela, in the 1990s she founded the design studio Makela (originally Words + Pictures for Business + Culture), and the two co-chaired the 2-D design department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. She continues to teach online and on-site: in 2019, Makela was appointed the first designer-in-residence at University of Southern California, Roski School of Art and Design.

Her most recent large scale project was for the Dallas Art Museum’s 2020 exhibition “Speechless: Different by Design,” where she designed the book (distributed by Yale University Press) as well as the graphic identity and gave the exhibition its title. 


Makela grew up in the San Fernando Valley, lived in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Detroit and Stockholm, Sweden, until settling most recently in Carson City, Nevada, next to the original Pony Express depot. She typically works remotely, often sitting outside at night under the stars, in her pajamas, with her laptop on her knees and her dog by her feet.

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