Change Through and By Design: Design for America Popup Studio Photo

Change Through and By Design: Design for America Popup Studio

May 12, 2011, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Evanston, IL 60208

Evanston, Ill. — Eager to change the world in which they live, a small team of optimistic, inspired and excited Northwestern University want to share the transformational power of design.

On Thursday, May 12th Northwestern students and faculty will answer a new design challenge: in just 12 hours document the personal transformations they have experienced and share these stories with the world. Working out of the Alice Kaplan Gallery in Northwestern's Kresge Hall under the direction of internationally recognized, visiting Artist in Residence at the Alice Kaplan Humanities Institute, Amanda Herman, the student and faculty team will be crafting a short video presentation about the power of design as agent of personal transformation.

Innovation is critical to our economic and social prosperity. Government and industry depend on educational institutions to play a pivotal role in preparing the future workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge for careers in innovation. Yet, few students are prepared for such careers upon graduation. They have the optimism and excitement, yet struggle to understand how to engage in interdisciplinary project based learning during their undergraduate careers.

Design for America is a new and rapidly growing organization for college campuses that inspires students to use design to create local and social impact focuses on peer mentored human-centered design and innovation for social and local impact in extracurricular settings.

“Design is concerned with interventions to influence outcomes,” explained Elizabeth Gerber, Design For America Faculty Founder and a Northwestern University Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Segal Design Institute. “We use stories to make sense, connect with others, and remember the powerful transformations that occur through and by design. Experiences are more memorable than products. “

The popup studio project will challenge students to explore, report, write, shoot, edit and score a presentation during a single day. They will share the story in person during a public exhibition in the Alice Kaplan Gallery (1880 Campus Drive Evanston, IL 60208) from 6-7:30PM. Refreshments will be provided and local guests will have a chance to interact with team members. The team will also document its progress and share the outcomes digitally. Follow the project at No reservations are required.

Amanda Herman is a San Francisco based artist and educator. She holds a BFA from the University of New Mexico in Photography and Education and an MFA in Social Practice from the California College of the Arts. Her work focuses on themes of survival, memory, and history. Her individual and collaborative work has been shown at the Patricia Sweetow Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Outpost Center for Contemporary Art, Museum of the African Diaspora, New Langton Art Gallery, Triple Base Gallery, Ping Yao Chinese International Photo Festival, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and other national and international venues. She teaches in the MFA Social Practices Program at California College of the Arts and is a visiting faculty member at Valand School of Fine Arts, Gothenburg, Sweden. Her current project is about the making of a science-fiction story based on the life of an Iraqi refugee in Sweden.

Elizabeth Gerber is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern University. She is the principal investigator for the Creative Action Lab which investigates the role of technology (digital tools and work practices) in supporting individual and group design work. She applies the behavioral sciences to the design of tools and practices to improve usability and creative performance. Her current work explores affective computational priming, manipulating affect using digitally embedded stimuli that influence a later response. In 2008, Elizabeth co-founded Design for America™ with amazing and talented students at Northwestern U. Previously, Liz taught at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka the She completed a PhD at the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization and a MS in Product Design at Stanford University.

Jeanne Marie Olson is a lecturer in the graduate program for Learning & Organizational Change in the School of Education and Social Policy, and an adjunct lecturer at Segal Design Institute. She is a Faculty Advisor for Design for America. Prior to her work at Segal, she was a practitioner for 15 years in management consulting, learning strategy, research, and design. Her interests include learning and cognition, participatory human-centered design, and organizational analysis. Ms. Olson completed her B.S. in the School of Technology at Purdue University (1988), and her M.S. Ed. at Northwestern University (1996).

Jeremy Gilbert is an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and the Segal Design Institute, teaching media product design and digital innovation. He has directed award-winning, student-based digital projects and helped revamp the interactive curriculum. In addition to teaching, he is researching the future of mobile journalism as designs mobile, tablet and web-based media applications. Before coming to Medill, he led The Poynter Institute's website redesign and worked as a design director, redesigning a pair of award-winning Florida newspapers.

Learn more about the Design for America Popup Studio.

Contact Elizabeth Gerber at 847-467-0607 or for further questions.