I love New York. An amazing city, always buzzing with people, and an infinite amount of things to do. Last week, I traveled to NY to present in a symposium with Design Incubation, my first experience with the organization, which turned out to be a great event. Hosted by The New School—Parsons, the presentations were structured in Pecha Kucha format, and the topics ranged from design education, game/app design, social design, data visualization, and others. My talk touched on resident engagement in community development projects. See more on this topic here: Design as Process—an open model for community engagement.
My friend and one of the co-creators of Design Incubation, Dan Wong introduced me to the organization. Dan and I have collaborated together in the past and it was great to participate in his design event and meet some of his colleagues.
The event was well timed with other festivities happening in New York as well. My good friend and someone I collaborate with often, Cotter Christian, recently relocated from Hong Kong to New York this past August in a new appointment at The New School—Parsons. He invited me to a critique with his interior design students who were working on an interesting project to design a hospice space for dying patients. They were just beginning the process of conceptual development and I was able to participate in this discussion, reviewing mood boards for three hospice concepts.
It was also Christian’s birthday last Friday, and we celebrated with Dim Sum followed by ice cream and some good-old-fashioned nightlife and dancing.
My trip also overlapped with the CAA (College Arts Association) conference, which is held in New York every other year, usually at the Hilton hotel in midtown. The conference brings designers, artists, and academics from all over, hosting presentations/workshops, a book fair, portfolio reviews, and other career development opportunities. Although I was not registered for the conference, I was able to meet up with my former professor, Liz Throop. She and I had lunch and talked about some new opportunities at Georgia State, my alma mater. I was also able to visit with some other friends who traveled for the conference—Colleen Fitzgerald, a photographer based in Massachusetts and Rebecca Tegtmeyer, another collaborator friend that I work with frequently, based in East Lansing, MI.
Another highlight of the trip was visiting the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. They always have fantastic exhibits but I was very excited about two in particular—By the people: Designing a better America and the Process Lab: Citizen Design. Both exhibits highlighted the importance of design for good, design, democracy and citizenship, and design for social innovation, themes that are important to me personally and show up consistently in my research work.