Designing an America of the People
The June Freeman Lecture Series continues its 2017/2018 series by welcoming back Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, with a lecture entitled, "Designing an America of the People, by the People and for the People"
Smith spent two years in search of more inclusive and sustainable communities, traveling to "shrinking post-industrial cities, sprawling metro regions, struggling rural towns, areas affected by natural and manmade disasters and places of persistent poverty." She will discuss By the People: Designing a Better America, an exhibition of 60 collaborative designs from throughout the United States, and past exhibition displayed at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York (Sep 2016-Feb 2017) The exhibition is currently on display in Fayetteville, AR at the Fay Jones School of Architecture in the Smith Exhibition Gallery through December 16th. By the People: Designing a Better America is a call to action to create more inclusive, equitable, healthy, and just places-to design an ecosystem of opportunity for all people across the country. By the People is the third exhibition in Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's socially responsible design exhibition series and examines how innovative people- and place-based designs are emerging within our cities, small towns, and rural counties, spanning regions and borders, in response to decades of divestment, social and spatial segregation, and mounting climate challenges.
Trained as an industrial designer, for over a decade Smith led multidisciplinary planning and design projects for cultural institutions. After earning a graduate degree at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, she joined Cooper Hewitt, where she integrates her work experience with her advocacy on human rights and social justice issues. She co-authored The Politics of Genocide: U.S. Rhetoric vs. Inaction in Dafur for the Kennedy School Review; co-curated the 2010 Design Triennial: Why Design Now?; curated 2007 exhibition Design for the Other 90%; 2011 Design with the Other 90%: CITIES; and 2016 By the People: Designing a Better America. Named a 20/20 New Pioneer by Icon design magazine and one of Metropolis magazine's "next generation of young curators", a member of World Economic Forum Expert Network, she serves on international design juries and lectures widely on socially responsible design.