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Julia Allison To Present At Parsons on March 23.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 15, 2009

I’ve invited the very famous Julia Allison to present to my class on Design At The Edge next Monday, March 23, at 6PM. She’s at the SXSW conference right now—

Julia goes to all the right conferences. I met her at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

I’m inviting her because the design of identity and the creation of self are among the most important design issues facing us as individuals and institutions today. We all live in beta now, with conventional organizations, leaders and values failing us. We have to redesign our world and our ourselves.

Julia is designing her persona in public in social media as we speak. Yes, she’s controversial. Yes, she has lessons to share. And the women students love her.

What kind of presentation should Julia make? What would you like to see/hear/experience?

Reader Comments


March 16, 2009 1:18 AM

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Have you seen her website? From a design perspective and many others, it is the worst site I have ever seen.

This must be a joke, no? This is a serious stain upon Design at the Edge. Do you realize what this woman is all about?


March 16, 2009 1:24 AM

How about mime?


March 16, 2009 1:30 AM

"women students love her" are you kidding? this woman is an embarrassment.

please read:

and then cancel.


March 16, 2009 1:40 AM

Another person deluded into allowing this twit to present. Yes, she's notorious, the fame is secondary.

Maybe you were deluded by a healthy chest and sex kitten (ask her past paramours about that) come ons.

Find someone of more worth and merit to speak.

Edward McBragg

March 16, 2009 2:14 AM

Ask her about all her technical achievements. Oh, yeah, there aren't any, sorry.


March 16, 2009 4:31 AM

Julia Baugher Allison is a horrible person! As a woman, I am offended you would consider having her speak. She is an insult to most women... which students did you ask that gave you a different opinion? Most women and men are thorougly repulsed by her. If you did a simple Google search you would see that.


March 16, 2009 7:58 AM

How about the presentation where she explains how when media outlets are decreasing such as gawker, Valleywag, and etc how the technique of putting one out there via tips to gawker really does not work anymore to get NS pageviews like Julia has done in the past and one mus tnow suddenly invest in profiding real content.


March 16, 2009 10:39 AM

this is a joke, right? i'm sorry, but julia is not controversial -- she's a clown. she tries to make herself the center of attention without actually contributing anything of value to any dialogue. if anything, she sets women back by offering little more than tired stereotypes. i'm surpised a place like parsons would even consider a platform to this empty skirt. it's not too late to rescind that invitation...


March 16, 2009 2:37 PM

Why would anyone want to have Julia Allison speak anywhere. Who cares if she goes to all the right conferences, anyone can go to them, and her reporting if you call it that is vapid, limited to some ass kissing and useless comments on clothes, or skiing. Please refer me to one article that she wrote coming out of Davos. And that show that she does is awful TMI is a cheap version of The View- I mean who really cares about when we should sleep with someone. If you are looking for a role model for your students, try someone that has done something to benefit society, maybe a supreme court justice, they shape the world we live in.


March 16, 2009 4:04 PM

wow. that's insane. i didn't realize parsons had a special ed program. nice work.

Parson sibling

March 16, 2009 9:22 PM

My sister is in this class. Apparently, she and a bunch of her classmates consider this a huge insult and plan to skip it.


March 16, 2009 9:25 PM

Please tell me Parsons is not seriously considering inviting this clown to present? I encourage you to do some due diligence and watch one of the numerous web videos of her speaking at past conferences and speaking engagements. She is a horrible public speaker and does nothing but string together a bunch of stale buzzwords to take up the dead air in between her "ummms" and "uhhhhs." Not worth your time.


March 16, 2009 10:02 PM

Is this going into her "eff-you" credentials list?

Jill from LIU

March 16, 2009 10:07 PM

I don't know which is worse - the lack of design or the lack of content on her joke of a website.


March 16, 2009 10:26 PM

Mr Nussbaum must have been very excited by the breasts thrust into his face at both Davos and SXSW.

This woman is not only vapid and shallow, but completely without any soul.

She is a horrible public speaker quite often dressed like a wannabe stripper.

Parsons? what were you thinking?


March 17, 2009 12:52 AM

The very fact that Nussbaum was so "charmed" by Julia Baugher Allison shows he did no research into her history of lying, plagiarism and shady business practices.

Nussbaum simply wanted to get into her pants. Nothing more or less.

This anti-feminist fraud is a disgrace, and I am insulted Parsons invited her to speak. Shame on you.


March 17, 2009 12:35 PM

Maybe time to rethink this Mr. Nussbaum

J Crew

March 19, 2009 12:42 AM

Awesome call, Mr. Nussbaum. She should be perfect for your "Advanced Douche Bag Design" class!

Since you obviously didn't check out her background before you sent the invite, you might want to check her out on the Google before March 23.

Oh, and make sure to ask her about "sloppy third base / 11 dates", "plagiarism", "bipolar disorder" and "Harvard Business School".

You do realize that the people in the audience have paid tuition to be there, right? Somehow, this just doesn't seem fair to them...


March 19, 2009 5:03 PM

As a Parsons graduate and a female designer, I could suggest so many other women who are much more inspiring and interesting that Julia Allison. She is truly a joke to professional women who have real jobs, not fake celebrity jobs, and are working to make a difference in this world. I do hope that Mr. Nussbaum will ask her about controversy and persona myth building online.


March 20, 2009 6:11 AM

ooops, stepped in the poop.


March 23, 2009 8:23 PM

Dear Bruce,

It seems that with this choice of speaker you are encountering that black hole of values associated with the Internet means of production. As networked connectivity allows ever-increasing numbers of people to create and manage their own virtual presence, an accordingly infinite variety of motivations come into play. Some people leverage Internet tools to further their vocational work. Others use it for entertainment or personal connections. And then there is that third category of people who blend the two in ways that can become uncomfortable.
Julia appears to be one of the latter. Her own flavor of personal branding, clearly offensive to many and lacking any specific goal other than notoriety, may be difficult to stomach. But it also represents a more intensified level of what most of us do every day on Facebook, Twitter, and many other applications without much thought--managing our online identities for maximum effect. I imagine that there are as many people out there who despise Julia as have used some of her methods, even unconsciously, to promote themselves in some forum.
I look forward to her lecture tonight, and I would hope she is able to engage with students in a broader discussion on the implications of her personal branding methods, regardless of her own motivations.


March 23, 2009 11:32 PM

So many haters out there. Why don't one of you take the stage and show us what you have to offer, instead of hating those that at least try to make a difference.


March 24, 2009 12:16 AM

Yes, there is a lot to find offensive about Ms. Allison, but putting all that aside, nonsociety is the worst designed site I have ever come across; confusing, unclear, extremely difficult to navigate.

This is not an exaggeration. Show me another site with such simple content (just a personal blog) that requires users to use three separate navigation bars just to look at one post.

Hans Kaspar Hugentobler, ID/IIT Alumni, Switzerland

March 25, 2009 10:15 AM

dear bruce, i still think the design field needs to be reinvented and augmented beyond star-ism and superficiality. where should this lead us if we continue with products as stars, people as stars, designers as stars? it does not bring design anywhere beyond – yes, exactly that. this is not only deeply boring, but it keeps design in the box it is right now perceived to be: the glossy unnecessary touch. unless one thinks personal branding as something really really important – in the face of todays realities - well, beyond the big US cities. i see here only pre-programmed thinking, sorry to say that.

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