An exhibition of 60 collaborative designs from throughout the United States and across borders, By the People challenges the country’s persistent social and economic inequality. Curator of Socially Responsible Design Cynthia E. Smith conducted over two years of field research—traveling to shrinking post-industrial cities, sprawling metro regions, struggling rural towns, areas impacted by natural and man-made disasters, and places of persistent poverty—in search of design for more inclusive and sustainable communities. Presented in the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery and the museum’s Process Lab, the exhibition delivers a powerful message of optimism for achieving a more just and equitable society for all Americans through design.


PROCESS LAB: Citizen Design

The museum’s Process Lab gives visitors firsthand experiences with the activities designers use to solve problems and develop new ideas. Now on view, Citizen Design, which invites visitors to engage, empathize, and help envision a better America. Citizen Design was inspired by the GRAY AREA project, featured in By the People, and developed in partnership with Interface Studio Architects. Learn more about Citizen Design.

Exhibition Highlights