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Human by Design: Center for Design Launch

Join the College of Arts, Media, and Design community for the official launch event of the Center for Design. Human by Design is both an overview of the nature, structure, and initiatives of the Center for Design (CfD) and a showcase of the exemplary interdisciplinary design-oriented research activities it incubates, with the Co-Lab for Data Impact initiative – bringing together Design and Journalism – being one of the most advanced.

Design is a bridge and interface between the opportunities that arise from scientific and technological advancements, and human needs and aims. By foreseeing and shaping technologies into products, services, and systems, design enables meaningful experiences and new behaviors. When design is everywhere, and everyone designs, capturing, understanding, and cultivating its fluid nature becomes essential, to make it stronger and let it play the role of catalyst and facilitator across disciplines.

Come to hear about and discuss the future of design as an ‘interdisciplinary and integrative discipline,’ and the mission of the CfD as a space for these new interdisciplinary exchanges. We encourage you to spread the word by sharing this event with your peers and ask that all guests please RSVP below. 



Click here for parking information and directions to campus. 

Schedule of Events:

4:15 p.m. | Doors open

4:30 p.m. | Welcome & Introduction to the CfD

5:10 p.m. | Keynote Speaker, Giorgia Lupi

5:40 p.m. | Panel Discussion

6:00 p.m. | Reception

Welcome Remarks & Introduction to the Center for Design
Hear about the structure and mission of the CfD as well as meet its’ core faculty members:

  • Ang Li, Architecture
  • Dietmar Offenhuber, Art + Design and Public Policy
  • Kristian Kloeckl, Architecture and Art + Design
  • Margarita Barrios Ponce, Art + Design
  • Mark Sivak, Art + Design
  • Miso Kim, Art + Design
  • Paolo Ciuccarelli, Art + Design
  • Pedro Cruz, Art + Design

Data Humanism with Giorgia Lupi

Giorgia Lupi is an information designer whose work takes a humanistic approach to data. In her practice, she challenges the impersonality of data, designing engaging visual narratives that reconnect numbers to what they stand for: stories, people, ideas.

Lupi was born in Italy and received her Master’s Degree in architecture at Facoltà di Architettura at Università di Ferrara and her Doctorate in Design at Politecnico di Milano, where she focused on information mapping. In 2011, she co-founded Accurat, acclaimed data-driven research, design, and innovation firm with offices in Milan and New York. She joined Pentagram as a partner in 2019. She has been honored with numerous awards, her work has been exhibited internationally and is even part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where she was commissioned to create an original site-specific piece in 2017. Learn more about Giorgia and her work here.

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Panel Discussion:
While design pretends to humanize the technology, algorithms and AI plot to mimic design and creative practices – is Design robot-proof? Panelists include:

Ari Adler
Managing Director, IDEO

Ari Adler is a Managing Director of IDEO’s Cambridge Studio where he leads client relationships, shapes work, guides teams and individuals, and regularly plays Tetris in order to keep the studio running smoothly. He is particularly interested in how emerging technologies are enabling new human experiences and fundamentally changing the way we relate to the physical and digital worlds around us.

At IDEO since 2000, Ari has contributed to the designs of dozens of products and services across industries and has advised corporate clients, academic institutions, and nonprofits on design and innovation. Ari has been named as an inventor on over 20 patents. He has lectured on design thinking and human-centered design, most recently teaching a course titled Designing Things for Humans at the Harvard GSD. 

Ari holds a BS in Physics and Math from Brandeis University, and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, where he was a researcher at the Media Lab. He is happy to be back to MIT often, acting as IDEO’s liaison to the Institute. In addition to the East and West coasts of the US, Ari has lived in Mexico and Colombia and is fluent in Spanish.


Gigi Gormley Kalaher
Head of Design Strategy, Fidelity Labs

Gigi Gormley’s expertise in innovation and design thinking comes from her training at IDEO, work at gravitytank and frog design, plus starting innovation groups for firms seeking competitive advantage. In the creation of innovation teams at T-Mobile and Bank of America, she trained others and led projects on disruptive new products, services, and business models three to five years out. Now as the director of design research at Fidelity Labs, she makes sure that unmet consumer needs are uncovered to inspire product development. She leads a small start-up incubator within the organization as well as coaches designers, researchers, and product managers in other locations. She loves to teach, and has been involved with courses at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Kellogg School of Management as well as the Stanford


Jeffrey Schnapp
Chief Visionary Officer at Piaggio Fast Forward
Carl A. Pescosolido Professor, Harvard University

Jeffrey is co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and the founder-director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, a knowledge and technology design studio dedicated to exploring and expanding the frontiers of networked culture.

Professor in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and at the Graduate School of Design, holder of the Carl A. Pescosolido Chair, he is a leading international figure in the digital media field, has led a number of pioneering software development and design projects, and is the author of an influential corpus of publications that includes twenty-five books and hundreds of essays. In addition to widespread coverage in the international press, Schnapp’s research has received support from leading foundations such as John Simon Guggenheim, the National Science Foundation, Getty, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Hewlett, and Knight.

His work in the domains of design, digital arts, and curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Canadian Center for Architecture.


Giorgia Lupi
Partner, Pentagram