Graphic Practices: Glen Cummings

Modes of Practice

Glen Cummings will give two 30 minute presentations that consider different ways of practicing design.

Modes of Practice 2A is a close reading and appreciation of — "Les Levine: Bio Tech Rehearsals 1965 - 1975” — from the perspective of a practicing graphic designer. The 2016 exhibition, curated by Columba University’s Felicity Scott and Mark Wasuita, considers a hyper productive 10 year period for the media artist known as the Plastic Man. Levine, a contemporary of Warhol, was trained as a production artist but flourished as a conceptual/media artist by reframing his practical interests in commercial processes, publicity and serial production in the language of his audience – the NYC Art world. Cummings will unpack his strategies and innovative moves - which suggest a less confined way of working for practicing designers today.

Modes of Practice 4C presents the work of NYC design studio MTWTF. Cummings will outline the 5 modes that the studio has engaged since 2008. Clients include cultural and educational institutions, architects, think tanks, cities, and community groups. At MTWTF, a normative mode of practice has never existed. Unpacking the specificity of each situation has always been the core tenant of practice. Cummings will make a case for trying things out and for engaging models other than modernist, artistic, or ethnocentric modes of practice.

The goal of Cummings talk is to open up new ways to think about, and talk about, the aspects of design practice we think we already know. 

Glen Cummings is the creative director of MTWTF, a New York-based design consultancy that collaborates with clients including cultural and educational institutions, architects, think tanks, cities, and community groups to translate complex content into engaging visual and environmental experiences.

Glen operates as an editorial adviser and designer, driving the narratives that shape MTWTF's response to the topics concerning organizations today— from housing shortages to innovative workspaces to New York City’s music scene. His collaborations with performing and visual arts institutions include signage and environmental graphics for Red Bull Music Academy, the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA. Glen’s work with the public sector includes identity, wayfinding and placemaking projects commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Construction Company (MTACC), Newark Riverfront Park, Design Trust for Public Spaces and the Brooklyn Public Library. Glen's work in print has been widely exhibited and published by Monacelli Press, Metropolis Books, and Columbia University.

From 2002-13, Glen acted as a design critic at the Yale University School of Art, where he received his M.F.A. in Graphic Design. In New York City, Glen has engaged with the design community as Vice President of AIGA/NY, a fellow for the Design Trust for Public Space, and the founder of GDNYC, a consortium of designers and educators that promote design research. Before establishing MTWTF in 2008, Glen was an art director at 2x4 working with clients such as MTV, Prada, Chanel, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, and the Muhammad Ali Center.


Graphic Practices is a new Lecture Series from AIGA Maine. We are inviting fresh design voices from across the country who are pushing the boundaries of traditional graphic design through their practice.

AIGA Maine is the Maine chapter of AIGA, the professional association for design. It exists to advance design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force.

When & Where
Thu, Oct 19, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EDT
Maine College of Art, Osher Hall
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101