April 5 – Cars: Accelerating the Modern World Lecture at Cranbrook

April 5 – Cars: Accelerating the Modern World Lecture at Cranbrook


Lecture and Conversation with Brendan Cormier

Senior Design Curator, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Sunday, April 5, 2020 | 3:00pm

Cranbrook Art Museum, deSalle Auditorium

39221 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

The Lecture will be followed by a Reception in the Art Museum’s Art Lab located on the Lower Level of the Art Museum.

The Cranbrook Archives Reading Room will be open before the lecture, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, and during the Reception from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. On display will be a selection of documents, drawings, and photographs related to “Cranbrook and the Car.” The Reading Room is located in the Art Museum’s Collections Wing, near the Art Lab.

Admission is Free

Seating is Limited

Exhibition Catalog

$45 (tax included)



Brendan Cormier is the co-curator of the V&A’s current groundbreaking exhibition, Cars: Accelerating the Modern World (on display in London through April 19, 2020). More than a show about car design, the exhibition and accompanying catalog present the car as a force for change that increased the pace of life in the twentieth century. Often embodying an image in constant, fast, free-flowing movement, the car has symbolized all kinds of social, political, personal, and economic transformation.

Today, as the car approaches its 150th anniversary, Cormier argues that the short but significant history of this nearly ubiquitous machine is entering a period of drastic change. With oil stocks running out, the climate warming, and massive crowding and congestion on our roads and in our cities, designers, manufacturers, town planners, politicians, and economists are all aware that the design of the car needs to shift if we want to survive. Presented from a European perspective, Cormier’s lecture will not only celebrate the ingenuity of the car and its fascinating impact on the world, but also confront some of the more undesirable outcomes brought about by the invention of the automobile.


Brendan Cormier is a Senior Design Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and co-curator of Cars: Accelerating the Modern World. From 2014 to 2017 he was the lead curator of the V&A Gallery at Design Society in Shenzhen, China. In 2016 he curated the first Pavilion of Applied Arts at the Venice Biennale, with an exhibition called A World of Fragile Parts. Prior to working at the V&A, Cormier was the managing editor of Volume magazine.


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