• Profile:

    PJ Carlino  is a designer, design educator and design historian. His work decodes the history embedded in industrially produced products with a particular focus on the vernacular object and the intersection of production and consumption. His dissertation, Docile by design: Commercial Furniture and the Education of American bodies, 1840-1920 investigates how manufacturers instrumentalized commercial furniture intended to teach postures, behaviors, and interactions suited to competencies expected of occupants as compliant citizens and industrious workers. 

    The courses he has taught include: MFA Industrial Design Thesis, History of Design 1850-Present, Undergraduate Product Design Capstone Studio, Prototyping, Technical Drawing and Rendering, Materials and Manufacturing methods, Basic Drawing, Figure Drawing and Watercolor Techniques. He has been active in design pedagogy and design school administration at several institutions.


    Degrees Held:

    PhD candidate at Boston University in American and New England Studies, completion (2020) MA,  History of Design BFA, Product Design BA in Chemistry

    Professional Affiliations:

    Vernacular Architecture Forum American Studies Association Decorative Arts Trust Design History Society Industrial Design Society of America

    Recent Publications:

    Carlino, PJ. "The Art and Science of Examination Furniture." Modern American History 2 (July, 2019): 237-247.

    Carlino, PJ. "Understanding through Performance Black Boston: A City Connects." Transfers 6.3 (2016): 138-41.

    Carlino, PJ. “Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye.” Objective, Journal of History of Design and Curatorial Studies. Cooper-Hewitt Museum/ Parsons School of Design, Spring/Summer 2015.

    “American Childhood in 25 Artifacts: School Desk,” The Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, Blog Post, October 2014.

    Chorpash, Rama, Patricia Beirne, and PJ Carlino."University of Design, to What Degree?." IDSA Education Symposium, Conference Proceedings, 2012.

    Performances And Appearances:

    Conferences organized

    • 2016 Conference Co-organizer, “The Dynamic City: Futures for the Past,” Boston University, April 1-2.

    Panels Organized

    • 2018 Panel Co-organizer, “Material Culture Caucus: Cultural Landscapes as Sites for Emergence and Activism,” States of Emergence, American Studies Association, November 9-12.

    Papers Presented

    • 2020 “De-centering the Bauhaus: Industrial Design Education at Parsons School of Design and RISD,” College Art Association, February 12-15.
    • 2019 “Bleacher Bugs and Fifty-Centers: The Design of American Baseball Stadium Seating, 1880-1920,” Landscapes of Succession, Vernacular Architecture Forum, May 29-June 1.
    • 2018 “Upfront & Personal: Furniture Design and the Feminization of Clerical Offices,” Design and Displacement, Design History Society, September 6-8.
    • 2018 “Commercial Furniture and the Gendering of Office Work,” States of Emergence, American Studies Association, November 9-12.
    • 2016 “The Long History of Urban Planning,” Reclaiming Urban Renewal, Lawrence History Center Symposium, May 7.
    • 2015 “Paternalism Inscribed on the Industrial City: The Case of Lawrence, Massachusetts,” Society of Architectural Historians, New England Chapter, February 28.
    • 2012 “Queens Art Pewter: A Brooklyn Tale of Modern Mettle,” Brooklyn Aesthetics Conference, April 21.
    • 2012 “Quality Furniture at an Affordable Price: Reconstructing Nineteenth-Century Business Models,” Society of Industrial Archaeology, June 2.


    • 2017 “Material Culture Caucus: Material Culture Pedagogy Across the Curriculum,” Pedagogies of Dissent, American Studies Association, November 9-12.
    • 2015 “Brooklyn’s making history: Late 19th & Early 20th Century,” Wanted Design, May 9.
    • 2012 “Design Education for New Manufacturing,” Design for Manufacturing Summit, September 20.

    Departmental Talks

    • 2014 “Buying Time: The Commercialization of Leisure in New England, 1890-1920,” Americanist Forum, Boston University, March 5.
    • 2014 “The Hand and The Machine: 19th Century Factory-made Furniture,” Reconsidering Craft: Its History and Practice, Boston University, November 14.

    Research Interests:

    design history,fabrication,materials,product design,sustainable design,American Hisotry, industrialization

    Awards And Honors:

    2019 Dissertation Fellowship, Boston University. 2018 Dissertation Fellowship, Winterthur Museum. 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, Bentley University. 2015 Dewey Lee Curtis Scholarship, The Decorative Arts Trust. 2015 Outstanding Teaching Fellow, Boston University. 2014 Sewell C. Biggs Scholarship, Winterthur Museum.

    Current Courses:

    Design Studio 4