Alice Rawsthorn OBE (QuarARTine special episode)

Russell & Robert meet Alice Rawsthorn OBE, the award-winning British design critic and author. Based in London, she is chair of the boards of trustees at Chisenhale Gallery in East London and The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Yorkshire. Alice was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts.

We discuss growing up in Manchester, studying at Cambridge University, her role as design critic for New York Times with a weekly column that ran for more than a decade, her experiences as a Turner Prize judge in 1999 and as director of the Design Museum in London from 2001-2006. An influential public speaker and social media commentator on design, Alice has participated in important global events including TED and the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Her TED talk has been viewed by over a million people worldwide. We learn of her passion for the Michael Clarke Dance Company, the box furniture of Louise Brigham, the challenges and rewards from being a trustee of arts organisations and the specific challenges art spaces face during and post the current global pandemic.

Finally we learn about @Design.Emergency, a new project set up by MoMA's senior curator of design Paola Antonelli with Alice to explore design’s role and impact on the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. Since the coronavirus outbreak began, designers and their collaborators have come up with ingenious solutions to help protect the public from the pandemic, improve treatment facilities and methods, and prepare us for the future. The duo plan to publish a book on Design Emergency, and are beginning the project with a series of weekly Instagram Live talks.

Follow @AliceRawsthorn on Twitter, @Alice.Rawsthorn on Instagram. For images of all artworks discussed in this episode visit @TalkArt. We've just joined Twitter too @TalkArtPodcast. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to Talk Art, we will be back very soon.


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