Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel

Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel are partners in Winterhouse, a design studio in Northwest Connecticut. Their work focuses on publishing and editorial development; new media; cultural institutions; and education and literacy projects. Recent clients include the New England Journal of Medicine, Norman Rockwell Museum, Yale Law School, New York University School of Journalism, University of Chicago Press and the National Design Awards. Their imprint, Winterhouse Editions, publishes design criticism and literary works by writers including Jessica Helfand, Leon Wieseltier, Paul Auster, Paul Celan and Franz Kafka, among others.

Jessica Helfand
Previously Adjunct Professor at New York University's graduate program in Interactive Telecommunications, Jessica Helfand is currently Thesis Critic at Yale School of Art and is the author of several books, including Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media and Visual Culture (2001) and Reinventing the Wheel (2002) published by Princeton Architectural Press. She received her B.A. in Architectural Theory and her M.F.A. in graphic design, both from Yale University.

William Drenttel
A principal of Drenttel Doyle Partners until 1995, William Drenttel has been a co-editor of three of the Looking Closer anthologies of critical writings on design published by Allworth Press. He is president emeritus of The American Institute of Graphic Arts, a trustee of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. and a Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU. William has lectured at the Library of Congress, the Walker Art Center, and the San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art, among others. He received a B.A. in European Cultural Studies from Princeton University.

Presentation description
Culture is not always popular
The 19th-century philosopher John Stuart Mill once defined a cultivated mind as one "to which the fountains of knowledge have been opened." In contemporary culture, however, the designer's mind is often more likely to be captivated by style than cultivated by knowledge. In this presentation, designers and book publishers Jessica Helfand and Bill Drenttel propose a broader cultural paradigm for design - one that engages multiple disciplines including history, science, language and literature - and which ultimately calls for a completely different approach to design education.
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