During the COVID-19 pandemic, designers, cartographers, and visual journalists visualized the invisible contours of an unfolding crisis. Organizations like The New York Times and Policy Map as well as individual artists and designers tracked the spread of the virus and exposed demographic inequities. Expanding on Cooper Hewitt’s current exhibition Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics, this talk shows how designers have used dots, lines, and colors to tell the most important story of our time.

Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics is made possible with major support from Crystal and Chris Sacca. Generous support is also provided by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer and Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.


Ellen Lupton

Ellen Lupton is senior curator of contemporary design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Her recent exhibitions include Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics (2021–2022), Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master (2019–2020), and Face Values: Understanding Artificial Intelligence (2019–2020). She is the Betty Cooke and William O. Steinmetz Design Chair at MICA. Her books include Health Design Thinking, Design Is Storytelling, Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers, and Thinking with Type.


Julie Pastor

Julie Pastor is a curatorial assistant at Cooper Hewitt, where she develops and organizes exhibitions and books on modern and contemporary design. She has contributed variously to curatorial projects and publications including Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics (2021), Willi Smith: Street Couture (2020), E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising (2020), The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility (2018), The Senses: Design Beyond Vision (2018) and By the People: Designing a Better America (2016).



Elizabeth Sanders

Elizabeth Sanders is an MA candidate in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies program, offered jointly by the Parsons School of Design and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Her interests in contemporary design and curation relate to the intersections of design and activism, design and displacement, and design and environmental justice. She is currently based in Brooklyn.



This free program will feature a lecture followed by an audience Q&A hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation in this program, please email us at CHCuratorial@si.edu.

About the Graphic Design Histories Series

Four lectures explore the history of print and digital culture, presented by Cooper Hewitt’s extraordinary community of curators and scholars. The series is presented by the Parsons School of Design/Cooper Hewitt Master’s Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies.