On the Consideration of a Black Grid with Silas Munro

Lesley University and AIGA Boston are pleased to present On the Consideration of a Black Grid, a lecture and exhibition by Silas Munro.

From the funky, fresh Black modernism of the Johnson Publishing Company’s headquarters designed by John Warren Moutoussamy with Arthur Elrod and William Raiser to the expressive graffitied grids of Adam Pedelton’s monumental canvases in black and white, there lives a wide-ranging matrix of possibilities for what I consider to be a Black Grid. The renowned design scholar Audrey G. Bennett’s text, Follow the Golden Ratio from Africa to the Bauhaus for a Cross-Cultural Aesthetic for Images, traces a lineage of fractal ingenuity in the Sub-Saharan Cameronean palace of a Chief in Logone-Birni that likely influenced Egyptian, North African Temple architecture, linking to Italy through the mathematician Fibonacci know for his so-called “golden ratio” that then informed European ideals of beauty circulating in the infamous Bauhaus art school. Bennett’s postulations connect to my meandering search to see myself as a Black designer, artist, and unexpected design historian in a sea of pedagogies that don’t represent me or my lived experience. This brief visual essay charts a series of experimental meditations on how grids can shape Black liberatory forms. My Polymodal design investigations set a curious space that asks, What might be a Black Grid?


6:00–7:00 PM | Lecture
7:00–8:00 PM | Reception + artist talk in the gallery


  • AIGA Member: $15
  • AIGA Student Member: $10
  • Non-Member: $25
  • Student Non-Member (ID Required): $15


Lesley University College of Art and Design
Lunder Arts Center Room 203 and 204
1801 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

For more info on the Lesley University College of Art and Design, look here.

There is a pay-per hour lot behind University Hall (1815 MassAve). Access to the lot is on Roseland Street. University hall is right next to the Lunder Arts Center.

Public transportation is recommended: Porter Square on the Red Line is nearby. People should not park in the Porter Square shopping center lot. There is a risk of getting ticketed or towed.


Silas Munro is an artist, designer, writer, and curator engaging multi-modal practices that inspire people to be the best versions of themselves in order to effect positive change on society as a whole. He earned his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

He is the founder of Poly-Mode, the LGBTQ+ and Minority-owned design studio primarily working with cultural institutions and community-based organizations including collaborations with The City of LA, The Phillips Collection, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Housing Works, MoMA, MOCA, The New Museum, Walker Art Center, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and David Kordansky Gallery.

Munro’s research addresses the relationship between the designer’s personal identity, formal systems and strategies they utilize, and how both interact with the communities they serve. He is particularly interested in the often unaddressed post-colonial relationship between design and marginalized communities. He is the curator and author of Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest which opened at Letterform Archive in 2022. Munro was a contributor to W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America and co-authored the forthcoming first BIPOC-centered design history course, Black Design in America: African Americans and the African Diaspora in Graphic Design 19–21st Century.

A seasoned and dedicated educator, Munro’s pedagogy focuses on image-making and typographic systems, expanded and inclusive design studies, our present experience of ecology, and novel formats of design pedagogy. He has been a critic and lecturer at leading programs including Yale School of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, NC State, RISD, and CalArts. Munro serves as faculty co-chair for the MFA Program in graphic design at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.


AIGA Boston is committed to hosting events that are accessible for all. If you need special assistance to participate in this event, please contact Catherine Headen (catherine@boston.aiga.org) Director of Diversity & Inclusion. For reasonable assistance accommodations to be provided, please notify us at least five business days in advance of the event. If we do not receive timely notification of your reasonable request, we may not be able to make the necessary arrangements by the time of the event.


There are no refunds for this event.


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AIGA Boston has adopted the AIGA Code of Conduct with regard to its activities. We reserve the right to refuse admittance for violations of this Code, or other unlawful or disruptive actions. Any concerns should be addressed to the Director of Membership or Community Outreach.



Lesley University

When & Where
Tue, Mar 5, 2024 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST
Lesley University College of Art and Design
1801 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140