How to Give a Gift$20
A paradox of gift giving, according to design scholar Clive Dilnot, “is that when conducted as obligation, it is profoundly depressive.” In this workshop, we’ll question the assumptions of what a gift can be, talk about who stands to gain (and who is harmed) by thinking about gifting in a certain way, call up memories of meaningful presents we’ve received, and develop a shared taxonomy for gifting, in order to make space for a euphoric, rather than depressive, kind of giving. Then we’ll use that space to brainstorm and design a gift for a friend or loved one, and take what we’ve learned from the exercise and apply it to our everyday practice of making.
Elan is a Pittsburgh-based designer and educator currently leading the product team at a nonprofit criminal justice news organization called The Marshall Project and teaching design at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. Elan runs a pop-up design studio that funnels its profits to mutual aid projects, and obsesses over the least visited corners of the internet in the newsletter Straight to Spam.