The MIT Press announces their sponsorship of this fall’s annual Design Observer conference.

The MIT Press will sponsor the annual Design Observer conference

For immediate release

Cambridge, MA, July 29, 2019 —The MIT Press announces their sponsorship of this fall’s annual Design Observer conference. The Design of Business |The Business of Design two-day conference will take place at the MIT Samberg Conference Center on Saturday (50 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02142), September 14–15, 2019.

The conference theme—a wide-ranging exploration of design, technology, culture, and the humanistic values that govern how we live, work, and thrive together—reflects the vision and ideas explored in the Press’s innovative and renowned publishing program in design and related fields.  In celebration, attendees will be able to preview and purchase the latest MIT Press books and journals in the field and will receive tote bags featuring the iconic MIT Press colophon.

Victoria Hindley, editor in design and visual culture at the Press, views this partnership as an extension of the Press’s mission to bring cutting-edge scholarship to bear on the issues of the day. “In an era when walls literally and symbolically epitomize a perverse, exclusionary outlook on the world, Design Observer offers a different strategy: the open, inclusive examination of the countless ways design and visual culture impact our daily lives. Dispensing with the narrative of ‘Business as Usual,’ the conference will ignite healthy critical reflection and positive change,” explains Hindley. “With the common aim of embracing and examining challenging questions, MIT Press and Design Observer are natural partners. We are thrilled to welcome this significant conference to MIT.”

Founded in 2003, Design Observer pursues a mission to embrace a broader, more interdisciplinary, and circumspect view of design’s value in the world—one not limited by materialism, trends, or the slipperiness of style. Dedicated to the pursuit of originality, imagination, and close cultural analysis, the site has become a lively must-read forum for readers in the international design community.

This conference is the latest iteration of ongoing collaboration between the Press and Design Observer. In 2018, the Press published Culture is Not Always Popular: Fifteen Years of Design Observer, which featured an edited collection of writing about design from the influential and eclectic website, and Jessica Helfand’s new book Face, an elaborately illustrated A to Z of the face, from historical mugshots to Instagram posts will be available in November 2019.

“Founded on the belief that design is an international language, and dedicated to the pursuit of originality, imagination, and close cultural analysis, Design Observer has, since its inception, drawn the most enlightened and influential readers from the design community and beyond,” says co-founder Jessica Helfand. “These values are shared by our media partner, MIT Press, and we are delighted to be partnering with them for this year’s conference.”

For more information on the conference, including the schedule and the full list of confirmed guest speakers, please visit Additional sponsors include Target, Mastercard, and IBM.

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is a not for profit, university-based publisher aligned with the values and mission of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With offices in Cambridge, MA and London, the Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design.


Media Contacts:

Betsy Vardell, Design Observer, executive producer,

Nicholas DiSabatino, The MIT Press, publicist,