Gretchen Von Koenig
Historian | Designer | Educator
I analyze, teach and theorize about the objects that surround us every day.
First trained as an industrial designer, then a design historian, I have had a relationship with material culture for quite some time (as we all have). I am interested in the role objects play in giving form to our lives, framing our social interactions, and conveying identities of people, cultures and societies. The focus of my recent research surrounds historical and contemporary pedagogical models employed in undergraduate design education, specifically the integration of critical studies to practical studio training. My other research involves the effects of capitalism on design and design education, American popular cultures, class/social identity issues found in everyday objects of mass production as well as how the making of objects facilitates global cultural exchanges, influences economic structures in trade & commodities, and how this informs problematic labor forces both at home and abroad. Poke around!