Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and GE Present “Why Design Now? Solving Global Challenges” Conference
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and GE will present the “Why Design Now? Solving Global Challenges” conference Friday, Oct. 1, to explore the role of design in solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Held in conjunction with the museum’s “National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?” exhibition, the conference brings together diverse thought leaders, scientists and designers to share their expertise on how design can accelerate innovation and improve efficiency and scalability of solutions to address urgent global needs.
The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center (33 West 60th Street, New York). Admission to the conference is free. Preregistration is required at http://www.cooperhewitt.org/designconference.
“Design has emerged as a powerful tool to help businesses develop solutions to the world’s most complex problems,” said Bill Moggridge, director of the museum. “As we wrestle with a range of difficult challenges, there is an urgent need to harness and celebrate the transformative power of design.”
Richard Saul Wurman, founder of TED Conference, will offer the keynote address, “Ignorance is Bliss: The More We Know, The Less We Understand.” The daylong conference will feature interactive panel discussions around four major themes: sustainable energy, world health, emerging markets and data visualization. Case studies of two works will be presented, the Car Parts Incubator by Design that Matters and the Cimzia Prefilled Syringe by Smart Design. In addition, brief talks will be held throughout the day on fostering design-thinking environments.
“The role of design is increasingly recognized as a way to accelerate innovative, efficient and scalable solutions to real-world problems,” said Beth Comstock, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of GE. “We are delighted to partner with Cooper-Hewitt to help elevate and champion the importance of design thinking.”
The panels will include the following experts:
• Adam Bly, founder and CEO, Seed Media Group
• Stephen Burks, founder, Readymade Projects
• Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer, GE
• Chris Conley, founding director, Gravity Tank
• Eric Freitag and Dan Formosa, designers, Smart Design
• Joao Geraldo Ferreira, CEO, GE Brazil
• José Gómez-Márquez, program director, Innovations in International Health
• Corwin Hardham, founder, Makani Power
• Reena Jana, writer, Harvard Business Review
• Stephen Kieran, partner, KieranTimberlake
• Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
• Cara McCarty, curatorial director, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
• Bill Moggridge, director, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
• Josh Morenstein, design director, fuseproject
• Chuck Pelly, founder, DesignworksUSA
• Timothy Prestero, co-founder & CEO, Design that Matters
• Ed Schlossberg, president & principal designer, ESI Design
• Jhonatan Rotberg, founder and director, MIT NextLab Program
• Lorna Ross, design manager, Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic
• Bob Schwartz, general manager of global design, GE Healthcare
• Elizabeth Scharpf, founder, Sustainable Health Enterprise
• Lisa Strausfeld, partner, Pentagram
• Joel Towers, Deans, Parsons The New School for Design
• Helen Walters, editorial and research consultant, Doblin
About the National Design Triennial
Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial series seeks out and presents the most innovative, forward-thinking designs at the center of contemporary culture from the previous three years. This year’s exhibition asks “Why Design Now” to examine why design thinking is an essential tool for solving some of today’s most urgent problems; what draws creative thinkers, makers and problem solvers to this critical field of discovery; and why business leaders, policymakers and consumers should embrace design values.