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Latham Lecture Series

2021 Latham Series

In an age in which we can make virtually anything, the question for design is no longer the technical question of how do we make it? The question today is foundational: why do we make it? This is the question that we focus on at ID.

With a deep respect for humanity, speakers in the Spring 2021 Latham Series will address topics bearing on this question of corporate responsibility, and more specifically, of what we make and why:

  • March: Why Are We Making This? (behavior, persuasion, production systems)
  • April: For Whom Are We Making It? (community engagement, new economic models)
  • September: Why Does This Organization Exist? (purpose-driven business strategy)
  • October: What Should We Make? (cooperative economies and equitable, sustainable, and just futures)

About Richard Latham

Richard Latham
Richard Latham

Richard Latham (1920–1991) was an influential figure in design planning and strategic design who studied design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the early 1940s. He served as director of design in Raymond Loewy's Chicago office, later founding Latham Tyler Jensen Inc. and Richard S. Latham & Associates Inc., where he specialized in product planning, pioneering an important new area for industrial designers. Latham was interested in using design to make a strategic impact on business and believed that the principles of design should be the core of business planning. Committed to this philosophy, he worked only with visionaries who had a deep respect for users, and who understood that sustaining their organizations depended upon this respect.

Is all this design necessary or literally are all these things necessary?...Had [we] not pursued the planning philosophy I probably wouldn't be asking myself these kind of questions, but rather concentrating on the next client and all the next things that we should design, whether the world needs them or not."

—Richard Latham

Today, Latham Fellows connect to Latham’s philosophy and are selected because of their ability to challenge the boundaries of design and transfer knowledge about design planning and its value. Fellows give a lecture hosted by ID and share their emerging ideas with the ID community and the wider public by publishing freely available digital content in the form of a paper, article, or other presentation that acknowledges their fellowship.

Past Latham Fellows:

Smiljana Antonijević (Amongst Digital Humanists)
Antionette Carroll
Fernando de Mello Franco
Aymar Jean Christian (
Open TV)
Carl DiSalvo (Adversarial Design)
Paul Dourish (The Stuff of Bits)
Hamid Ekbia (Heteromation)
Robert Fabricant
Karl Fogel
Rob Girling
Andrea Guzman

Chris Le Dantec (Designing Publics)
Nassim Parvin
Dawn Nafus (Self-Tracking and Quantified)
Winifred Poster (Invisible Labor)
Daniela Rosner (Critical Fabulations)
Marques Rhyne
Andrew Schrock (Civic Tech)
Adrien Segal
Knut Synstad
Skip Walter
Molly Wright Steenson (Architectural Intelligence)

 

April 2021 Latham Fellows

Jon Veal, Richard Wallace, and Chris Rudd

March 2021 Latham Fellows

Morgan Ames, Tope Sadiku, Evan Sharp, and Ruth Schmidt