Symposium The Era Hofmann
Tendencies in Graphic Design: 1950s – 1980s

The online symposium at FHNW Academy of Art and Design is intended for students and researchers from the areas of design history and practice, alumni, and other interested parties. It uses Hofmann’s graphic and pedagogical work as a starting point for a series of online lectures on tendencies in graphic design and typography during Hofmann’s period of influence. The lectures serve to embed his contribution in a historical and international context and focus on current approaches in design history that do not view actors, practices, teaching philosophies, ideas, and formal principles of design in isolation, but as part of transnational networks.
In this sense, the symposium brings together design historians and designers with different research foci, whose lectures open the “field of vision” beyond Swiss graphic design. Topics include professional collaborations, exchange, and migration in practice and teaching, and parallels to Hofmann’s work with regard to formal principles or ideas.

October 30, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FHNW Academy of Art and Design

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the event was held online and made available as live-stream.

A video documentation of the symposium can be found here.

October 30, 2020

All times CET

Welcome by Dr. Claudia Perren and Prof. Michael Renner

Catherine de Smet
How to go down in history: the case of Gérard Ifert’s papers

David Crowley
Hands, eyes and ears. Humanism in graphic design in the 1950s and 1960s

Chiara Barbieri
Speaking Italian with a Swiss-German accent: Walter Ballmer and Swiss Graphic Design in Milan

Constance Delamadeleine
Spreading Swiss Graphic Design in Paris: the case of the Studio Hollenstein

Michael J. Golec
Finding design competency in the Hofmann Era

Alison and Robert Probst
A love affair in Basel with consequences for America




Catherine de Smet, Professor, University of Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint-Denis

David Crowley, National College of Art and Design Dublin

Chiara Barbieri, Researcher, ECAL University of Art and Design Lausanne

Constance Delamadeleine, PhD candidate, Zurich University of the Arts, University of Lausanne and HEAD-Genève

Michael J. Golec, Associate Professor of Art and Design History, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Alison Probst, Faculty Saint Ursula Academy, Cincinnati

Robert Probst, Professor & Dean Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

Moderators: Marion Fink, Michael Renner

Video documentation of the “Era Hofmann” symposium

Catherine de Smet David Crowley Chiara Barbieri Constance Delamadeleine Michael J. Golec Alison and Robert Probst