Events Schedule

Renowned filmmaker Gary Hustwit speaks as a guest for the Vignelli Center's Design Conversations lecture series.

The Vignelli Center maintains robust programming that brings esteemed designers and professionals — like filmmaker Gary Hustwit, above — from around the world to RIT for lectures and exhibits that are open to all. Below is the Vignelli Center’s 2019-20 event schedule. Please note there are cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The Vignelli Center’s Design Conversations lecture series features six lectures by professionals from various areas within the design industry. Each is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. in University Gallery, on the second floor of Booth Hall.

Portrait of Amy DeversDevers is an artist, designer, maker, host/producer of design-related media, and Emmy Award-winning television personality. A book smarts + street smarts double threat; Devers is armed with both formal education and practical hands-on experience. She holds an MFA in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design, has done a major stint as a chief prototype fabricator and machine shop foreman, and has spent years as an independent designer/builder of furniture, art and interiors. A fine artist as well as a designer, she has exhibited internationally in galleries and museums. 

portrait of Andrea PonsiBased on the author’s books Analogy and Design and Drawing Analogies, the lecture presents a drawing method for moving directly from the study of a precedent to a design proposal based on ideas derived from that precedent. 

Using freehand drawing as the principal tool, several case studies related to objects, buildings, urban contexts, and natural landscapes are examined. 
The method proposed is based on four distinct drawing phases: observation, analysis, abstraction and analogy. While observation and analytical drawings are part of the typical academic curriculum of an architect or a product designer, less explored are the phases of abstraction and analogy: abstraction refers to a subjective interpretation of the precedent in formal or conceptual terms; analogy entails a new project proposal inspired by the precedent, applied to a hypothetical context more or less similar to that of the precedent itself.
Practical applications of the four phases drawing method are further analyzed by presenting a series of projects developed by the author along with the referents on which they were based.

portrait of Evan SnydermanEvan Snyderman is the owner and co-founder of R & Company, a gallery in New York dedicated to the promotion and preservation of 20th and 21st century design. R & Company is considered one of the most prominent and groundbreaking design galleries in the world and contributed to creating a renewed global interest in collectable design through their research, exhibitions and publications program. The gallery represents some of the preeminent historical and contemporary figures in the design world, including Wendell Castle, Greta Magnusson Grossman, The Haas Brothers, Joaquim Tenreiro, David Wiseman and Jeff Zimmerman. Since 1997, Snyderman has curated exhibitions, contributed to multiple publications and lectured internationally on interior and industrial design history as well as the current market and trends for fairs and institutions which include SUNY Purchase, Parsons The New School for Design, Design Miami/Basel, The Museum of Arts and Design (NY), The Museum of the City of New York and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.

portrait of Gary HustwitHustwit is an American independent filmmaker, photographer, and vice president of He is best known for his Design Trilogy of documentaries, which examines the impact of European and American trends in graphic design, typography, industrial design, architecture, and urban planning. He told Dwell magazine, "I like the idea of taking a closer look at the things we take for granted and changing the way people think about them, whether it’s type or objects or whatever."

Hustwit is producing a new book of portraits of Massimo Vignelli. These images will be exhibited at RIT by the Vignelli Center as part of the 10th Anniversary events.  His presentation will be about documenting significant designers.

portrait of Paul SahrePlease note that this event, as scheduled, has been cancelled. It may be rescheduled for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sahre is one of the most influential graphic designers working today. He has doggedly remained independent, operated his own practice since 1997. He is a frequent visual contributor to The New York Times; designed book covers for authors such as Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Moody, and Clarice Lispector; authored books; and built and destroyed a life-sized monster truck hearse for the band They Might Be Giants. Paul received his BFA and MFA from Kent State University and has taught graphic design at the School of Visual Arts for the past 13 years. He lectures extensively all over the world and is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale.

Having previously written a design memoir Two-Dimensional Man:
A Graphic Memoir, published by Abrams Press, September, 2017,
Paul will share some of what he has learned during his first 52 years on planet earth (30 as a graphic designer). Paul will use examples of his own work for wildly imaginative clients: directors, writers, musicians, and artists (as well as a series of seemingly unrelated life experiences) to arrive at an (un)expected conclusion–that ultimately, the designer’s life is one of constant questioning, inventing, failing, dreaming, and ultimately making.

Event Listing

portrait of Natalie NixonPlease note that this event has been postponed and will be rescheduled for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Natalie Nixon, Ph.D. is an innovation strategist and President of Figure 8 Thinking, LLC. She advises leaders on change management at publicly traded and privately held corporations as well as non-profits. She helps them design optimal ways to leverage creativity, sustain innovation and achieve priority business goals—resulting in happier customers and employees.

Natalie is a published author (Strategic Design Thinking and INC online magazine) and a global speaker represented by the BigSpeak speakers bureau. She is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in social innovation and design thinking and a Senior Advisor at Econsult Solutions. She has a background in cultural anthropology, fashion, and service design. She is certified as a foresight practitioner by the Institute for the Future and in charrette facilitation by the National Charrette Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Natalie received her Ph.D. from the University of Westminster in design management, and her AB (cum laude) from Vassar College in anthropology and Africana Studies. 


Spring Semester
February 5 Gary Hustwit

The American independent filmmaker and photographer is screening his documentary on German industrial designer Dieter Rams. The showing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in University Gallery.

March 26 CANCELLED: Jan Conradi

Please note that this event, as scheduled, is cancelled. It may be rescheduled for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

April 15 CANCELLED: Reza Aliabadi

Please note that this event, as scheduled, is cancelled. It may be rescheduled for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

April 21 CANCELLED: Bill Bonnell

Please note that this event, as scheduled, is cancelled. It may be rescheduled for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).


Fall Semester
October 4 Metaproject: 10 Years of Innovation Exhibit RIT City Art Space
Spring Semester
February 5 Gary Hustwit: Photographs of Massimo Vignelli Hamlyn Trust Room Vignelli Center for Design Studios
May 16 POSTPONED: 10th Anniversary Event at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, NYC

Please note that this event is postponed with the goal of rescheduling for a future date. This action is being taken to mitigate the potential spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Past Exhibits

2002 Massimo Vignelli Bevier Gallery
2006 Mark Resnick (American posters) Bevier Gallery
2010 Massimo and Lella Vignelli Bevier Gallery
2010 Armando Milani (posters) University Galleries
2011 Bruno Monguzzi Bevier and University Galleries
2011 Erhard Gruettner (posters) Bevier Gallery
2013 Burton Kramer (paintings) University Gallery
2015 Pierre Mendell (posters) Bevier and Universities Galleries
2015 Bob Cato University Gallery
2015 Saint Peter's Church Exhibit University Gallery
2016 Ryszard Horowicz University Gallery
2017 Norman Ives Bevier and University Galleries
2017 Massimo Vignelli Italian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
2017 Roberto Bertoia (sculpture) University Gallery
2018 Abram Games University Gallery
2019 Steff Geissbuhler University Gallery