What to expect at this year’s Better World by Design conference

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Tomorrow, the famed Better World by Design conference returns to College Hill for its eighth installment. The theme for this year’s lecture-workshop-panel series, which will take place both up and down the Hill over the course of this weekend — is “access.” According to its website, the conference will strive to “craft a society that is inclusive” by “focus[ing] on collaboration and new mediums of translating ideas.”

So what should you expect this weekend? For one, there’s going to be a lot going on — just check out this schedule. With fourteen different events on Friday alone and a slate of over 50 presenters, this year’s Better World by Design promises to be jam-packed.

The event kicks off today at noon in Salomon, with opening remarks from Annie Wu of Greater Good Studio. Other speakers not to be missed include Alexis Loyd, Creative Director of New York Times Research & Design Lab, and Jason Severs, Executive Creative Director at frog design.

The event exists in blocks that range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Be sure to check out the schedule to find which presentations spark your interest, as many run at the same time.

One presentation that caught BlogDH’s eye is “Speaking in Brick – Lego as a Creative Tool.” This workshop will explore LEGO as a storytelling language, accessible to people of all ages. Participants will get to discuss “the difference between access to a tool, and the access afforded by a tool.” They will also get to build with legos! This workshop will take place on Friday at 2 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. in Faunce 225.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out the workshop “Rethinking Food and Kimchi,” which will explore food waste, accessibility, and sustainability. This workshop/discussion takes place on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Peterutti. And yes, it promises a kimchi sample (on a space available basis).

“Visualizing Baltimore,” an exciting panel by the MICA Center for Social Design, will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday also in Peterruti Lounge. This panel is centered around the social design work grounded in Maryland’s largest city.

One final recommendation: “The Revolution Will Not Be Auto-Tuned: Collaborative Composition as Community Empowerment and Cultural Diplomacy.” This presentation comes from Jeremy Thai of Found Sound Nation. Found Sound Nation explores music composition as a vehicle for cultural diplomacy. Found Sound Nation runs a “street studio” in order to give all people a chance to create original music. This talk will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Tap Room.

Before tomorrow, be sure to take a look at the Pocket Guide to Human-Centered Design, which explores problem solving centered on empathy and innovation. It’ll give you a better sense of the central ideas behind BWxD.

To top it all off, there are parties, too! BWxD will be throwing a social event on Friday night at the Steel Yard and on Saturday at the Arcade. Of course, we couldn’t shout out all the incredible programs happening this weekend so once again, here’s the schedule.

Did we mention food will be included?

And (of course) there’ll be plenty of BlogDH coverage, too.

See you this weekend!

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