Making History

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Willoughby Design



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Remembering and preserving design history in AIGA communities.

This year Willoughby is looking back on 40 years in design and business, and I am looking forward to launching KC Making History, a new AIGA national initiative to preserve the rich history of design in cities throughout the United States. During Willoughby’s 40th Anniversary we are busy writing our history, and preserving our design archive for the KC Making History Collection.

As Ambassador to the AIGA Archive, I see Making History as a series of local AIGA chapter collections that will expand our national Archive. The AIGA Archives date from 1914 and are noteworthy digital and on-site collections that document and preserve the rich history of American design as a vital industry and cultural force.

AIGA Making History is the brainchild of Louise Sandhaus. In December 2017, Louise assembled a national task force of twenty two AIGA educators, archivists and historians to launch Making History. Our goal is to engage local designers and the public to discover the hidden and undocumented stories and images of design and designers throughout the United States. We are designing a new Making History open-source digital platform that will enable more than 24,000 AIGA members to learn how to properly collect, preserve and archive design narratives and artifacts. Timing is critical as institutional memory and design artifacts are lost to dumpsters and antiquated technologies everyday.

Currently we are researching how cities and individual designers are preserving their archives. I took a field trip to Chicago with former Willo-bee and committee member Trenton Kenagy. We took a deep dive into Chicago Design History with Bart Crosby and Tanner Woodfield. Check out some pics from our visit!

Bart Crosby - Chicaigao - Design History

Bart Crosby’s iconic design for Chicaigao.

Tanner Woodfield - Design Vignelli - Design History

Tanner Woodfield with signed copy of Massimo Vignelli book, design:Vignelli

Bart Crosby - Design History

Bart shares 40 years of his meticulously catalogued and preserved Crosby Associates design archive

AIGA Making History - Design History

At Chicago Design Museum discussing AIGA Making History

Chicago Design Museum - Design History

Chicago Design Museum

Ann Willoughby has been a dedicated member of AIGA for over 40 years. AIGA honored Willoughby in 2014 with the prestigious AIGA medal. Ann is currently serving on the AIGA National Board of Directors as the official Ambassador to the AIGA Archive.