Though I am still regretting the fact that I wasn’t there to witness that glorious display of pigeon-esque artistry (that almost killed one of our staff members, NBD) during Day 1 of the A Better World by Design conference, the second two days certainly did not fall short! Here are some testimonials and highlights from the last two days of ABWxD.
“It’s important to plan ahead- there’s lots happening! People try to do everything, but it’s impossible. You just have to find your way, and remember to make friends! Meeting all these new people, that’s actually the best part. Especially if you’re a RISD student and don’t get to interact frequently with Brown students”
-Tate, RISD ’15
“All the students add a lot of energy, and it’s nice to see that the conference doesn’t take itself too seriously. Try to meet as many new people as you can, and remember that social networking is crucial!”
“I’m an environmental studies concentrator so this is right up my alley. This trumps SW, and it’s my favorite thing here.”
Daily Tous les Jours
Daily Tous les Jours is an organization founded by Melissa Mongiat and Evan Schindling that aims to bring art to public spaces in a fun and interactive manner. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, public spaces are transformed into performance areas where the general public can engage wholly in the artistic project at hand. The project I found most fascinating was the “musical swings.” These are swings installed in public spaces that produce different notes according to your swinging elevation. They also light up at night, making the experience all the more magical.
Brian Glenney is a philosophy professor with a side project that involves challenging accepted design notions, and his current work involves repurposing our senses. With the “kromophone” device, for instance, Glenney hopes to give one the opportunity to perceive the world in an unorthodox manner. Overall, Glenney stresses the importance of a “problem-seeking” approach, specifically, one in which you strive to disturb accepted norms, and in the process, stimulate innovation and creativity on a large scale.
We decided to head downtown for the Urban Carnevale, not really knowing what to expect. After witnessing a Cirque du Soleil-style performance by Australia’s Strange Fruit, we were convinced that we actually had no idea what this carnival really entailed, though were loving it nonetheless. The show was a pretty spectacular sight when set before the beautiful downtown backdrop. There was also an Italian folk music group that got the entire crowd up on their feet. This, coupled with the open bar and Spanish wine tasting table, made for very happy bloggers.
A Better World by Design is more than just a series of informational panels and lectures. It is a hub for social innovation and the proliferation of ingenious ideas that serve for the betterment of humanity. Perhaps this event organizer said it best:
“We exist in a cool place between the purely theoretical- people just bouncing ideas off each other- and the tangible, where people actually use this as a springboard to start networking and implementing their ideas. This conference always keeps things in the perspective of saving the world. If people are looking to do good, then this conference will guide you.”
-John, Brown ‘15
Images via Mariana Castro, ’15 and via.