Elizabeth Guffey, critical design and the international symbol of access

On Thursday, November 17 the College of Design hosted a guest speaker: Elizabeth Guffey.

This lecture looked at the history and the evolution of the international symbol of access and the form of critic that design can often held through the theory of critical design or as Guffey prefers to call it « critical practice in contemporary design ».

With Guffey, we looked at the history and development of the international symbol of access from its creation within a design school to the universalization of the symbol and its use worldwide as the legal symbol. We also looked at the new international symbol of access first created as an activist tool.

This talk addresses the critic of a universal symbol taken into the wheel of the formative design where its original aim was to create an engaging tool to have the society better acknowledge people with disabilities in our society.

Elizabeth Guffey is currently finishing her book on the International Access Symbol. She teaches and writes on art and design history, theory and criticism. She is the Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is founding Editor of Design and Culture (www.designstudiesforum.org/journal/), the peer-review journal of the Design Studies Forum. She is also the author of Retro: The Culture of Revival and Posters: A Global History.