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Design Lecture Series: Michael Ellsworth (Civilization)

Jan 29 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


511 Building - Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design


Graduate Lectures

511 NW Broadway
Portland, Oregon, 97209   [map]

The Design Lecture Series welcomes regional design thinkers to share their work and what moves them.

Michael Ellsworth will kick off the new decade showing examples of design’s power to inspire conversations, create community, and promote collective action.

As the director of Civilization, Michael has led over a decade of far-ranging design work meant to spark systematic change and create meaningful connections. Civilization builds identity systems, digital experiences, printed materials, environmental graphics, exhibitions and campaigns striving to be empathetic, socially relevant, and sustainable. Civilization works on a variety of projects for public, private and non–profit clients that share their commitment to creating positive change and promoting greater insights about the world.

In conjunction with their studio work, Civilization produces a variety of public programs such as the free Design Lecture Series in Seattle; the podcast interview series Beyond This Point, and prominent graphic design gallery project Non-Breaking Space.

Civilization is a recipient of the National Design Award for Communication Design from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in honor of “excellence, innovation, and enhancement on the quality of daily life.” Their internationally-recognized work is included in the permanent collection of SFMOMA and the Milton Glaser Design Archives at SVA. Their long list of awards includes a Webby Award for Best Activist Website, and they are regularly featured in major global media outlets such as The Guardian, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and NPR.

See more from Civilization at, or follow them on instagram @builtbycivilization.

Presented by PNCA Graphic Design in collaboration with FISK Studio, the PNCA Design Lecture Series launched in Fall 2016 as a way to open our doors and minds to the broad and vibrant possibilities in design. In 2019, we joined forces with the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies to provide exciting talks on art and design every Wednesday night, open to the public throughout the school year.

We’re welcoming in design thinkers who break expectations of what graphic design can be and do. Join us!

Hear more from Michael in our Friday Five Q+A with him here