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Annie Coggan
BGC Lee B. Anderson Fields of the Future Fellow
Pratt Institute School of Design

Hidden in the rare book collection of Bard Graduate Center is a book whose very fragmentation, deconstruction, and misuse captures a spirit and energy particular to mid eighteenth century London. This book—entitled Household Furniture in Genteel Taste for the Year 1763—was compiled by the Society of Upholsterers and Cabinetmakers.  The BGC’s rare book is unique in that it was used by two people: the book’s author, London cabinet maker and “wannabe” Chippendale, Robert Manwaring, who printed the book as a calling card for his entry into the London furniture milieu beginning in 1763; and young sailor James Phillips, who used the left side and various margins to teach himself mathematics between 1777 to 1780. This presentation by BGC research fellow Annie Coggan will illustrate—through haptic research—how one object can tell the story of its creator and also of its user, and how it can frame a particular 18th-century ethos of betterment and aspiration.

Annie Coggan is a designer, educator, and principal at Chairs + Buildings Studio, a multiscale design studio based in Brooklyn. She is a full-time associate professor at Pratt Institute School of Design. Coggan’s practice involves textiles, furniture, and drawings that create a haptic research agenda. She was awarded a Winterthur Museum Creator / Maker Fellowship (2018–19) and an artist in residence position at Domaine de Boisbuchet, France, in 2021. With A Public Space Books, she recently published The Book of Errors, a book of illustrated essays looking at the complicated preservation of three American historic houses through drawings and ephemera. She received her BA from Bennington College in Vermont and her Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 9, 12:15 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

Lunch will be served starting at noon. Registration required.

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