Jessica Charlesworth

Jessica Charlesworth
Partner, Parsons & Charlesworth
Lecturer, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Jessica Charlesworth is co-founder and partner of Chicago-based design studio Parsons & Charlesworth. She’s also a lecturer in the Designed Objects Program, part of the Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Charlesworth graduated from the Design Interactions Program at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2007. She often collaborates with artists, futurists and scientists including thinktanks Foresight in the United Kingdom and the Institute for the Future in the United States.

She is co-founder of the London-based arts salon Alterfutures and has exhibited at the MAK (Vienna), which also holds her work in its permanent collection. Charlesworth has taught courses at ArtCenter College of Design, RCA, Glasgow School of Art and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, Hungary.


Crafting Narratives: Design as Cultural Production

Throughout the 20th century, design has broadened and fragmented into a diffused array of sub-disciplines, specialisms and practices. Designers today have a greater sense of autonomy and self-determination than ever before. A key aspect of this shift has enabled designers to directly address social and cultural issues through work that sits outside the realm of mass production. Using the tools of object design, designers create potent and moving works that provoke audiences to consider their position on important subjects of our time.

Through the lens of their independent design practice, Tim Parsons and Jessica Charlesworth will discuss the process of treating design as a mode of cultural production. Considering objects as agents of change, they’ll engage humor, irony and storytelling to create new object typologies and propose alternate ways of living that comment on contemporary issues.