Visual Voices Colloquium is the Professional Lecture Series of the School of Art and Design and represents a window into the professional world of art and design. Speakers are chosen with faculty guidance to represent leading and emerging talented practitioners, as well as artists whose work lies beyond the subject areas of the program offerings. This is an edited recording of the live conversation with Silas Munro on October 20, 2022, hosted on Zoom.
Silas Munro engages multi-modal practices that inspire people to be the best versions of themselves in order to effect positive change on society as a whole. He earned his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
His design studio, Poly-Mode, primarily works with cultural institutions and community based organizations including collaborations with The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Housing Works, MoMA, Walker Art Center, and Wynwood in Miami, Florida. These collaborations have lead to everything from information design of NYC Public City Schools, graphics for protesting activists at Housing Works, publication design for Jacob Lawrence, and the identity of an entire formerly predominately Puerto Rican neighborhood. His community based projects have been supported by grants and residencies from Designers Talking, Sappi Ideas that Matter, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Munro’s research addresses the relationship between the designer’s personal identity, formal systems and strategies s/he utilizes, and how both interact with the communities s/he serves. He is particularly interested in the often unaddressed post-colonial relationship between design and marginalized communities. This has taken tangible form in design work and writing that have been published via books, exhibitions, and websites in Germany, Japan, Korea, the US, and the UK such as: Chronicle Books, IDEA magazine, and Slanted magazine.
A seasoned and dedicated educator, Munro’s pedagogy focuses on image making and typographic systems, expanded and inclusive design studies, our present experience ecology, and novel formats of design pedagogy. He has been a critic at CalArts, Maryland Institute College of Art, Miami University, NC State, and York University. Munro serves as Assistant Professor in Communication Arts / Graduate Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, and Faculty in the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Learn more about Visual Voices Lectures on the website: https://art.gmu.edu/visual-voices.