BWxD 2018 Presents: Tensions
Tension can be described as the state or condition resulting from opposing applied forces. This definition can be extended to refer to a strained relationship between conflicting ideas, entities, or people. We have chosen the theme of Tensions as an opportunity to reflect upon recent social, political, environmental, and technological challenges and their implications for design practices.
At today’s crossroads, interdisciplinary and collaborative problem-solving is more important than ever. Together, we will consider innovative possibilities for creating personal, local, and global impact, with a focus on counteracting inequality and amplifying historically underrepresented voices. We hope to bring together a diverse community of designers, activists, artists, scientists, writers, scholars, and more to investigate how these different Tensions shape their work and inform their design decisions.
We are excited to share the current speakers that we have confirmed for our upcoming conference! This page will be updated in the following weeks as we continue to build our exciting lineup.
Ayako Maruyama • SERCs
Ayako is a Filipina-Japanese who has been working, studying, teaching and biking around in Providence and Boston since 2006. Inspired by living around the world with her family, she focuses on design, urbanism and education towards positive social contributions. She teaches Experience of Public Engagement at RISD and taught The Role of Architecture in Creating a Sense of Place at @bostonu where she completed a Master of City Planning degree. Ayako has been part of the @ds4si based in Boston, MA since 2012. Ayako's work, focused on community engagement and social justice, includes DS4SI projects like the Social Emergency Response Centers (SERCs) that have occurred in over 20 cities nationally and internationally, as well as leading the production of the @goboston2030 Visioning Lab, an unprecedented public space for Boston residents to express their vision for the City’s 15-year transportation plan. Ayako has cooked for and organized micro-grant community dinners like FeastMass with her friends and also serves on the Board of Directors for GAIA Vaccine Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Providence doing work in Mali towards HIV/ AIDS education, prevention, access to care and vaccination.
Shey Rivera • AS220
Shey Rivera Ríos is the Artistic Director at AS220, an internationally renowned arts center in Providence, RI, and a multi-genre artist. Their work at AS220 focuses on the role of art and culture as a catalyst for social change through community engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and urban planning. Rivera has also served on multidisciplinary grant panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Doris Duke Foundation, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, and RISCA - Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
Kate Lacouture • Garden Time
Kate, the Co-founder and Executive Director of Garden Time, is a landscape architect and garden activist in Providence that specializes in school, community, and prison gardens.
Emma Bloomfield • High Line Network
Emma Bloomfield is the Director of the High Line Network, a learning community for leaders of open space projects across North America. Founded by Friends of the High Line and currently comprised of leaders from 19 sites, the Network fosters collaboration and knowledge-sharing among leaders so that each of these projects can reach their full potential. Prior to joining Friends of the High Line, Emma was the Director of Learning at a social change consultancy called Purpose, where she led the codification of Purpose’s knowledge around public engagement and launched participatory campaigns around a range of social issues. Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Cheryl Heller • CommonWise
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA and President of the design lab CommonWise. She was recently awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, and is a recipient of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She founded the first design department in a major advertising agency and as president, grew the division to $50m in billings when it was spun off as an independent entity. As a strategist, she has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. She has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world. Her clients have included Ford Motor Company, American Express, Reebok, Mariott International, Renaissance Hotels, Sheraton, MeadWestvaco, StoraEnso, the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, Medtronic, Pfizer, Mars Corporation, Discovery Networks International, Cemex, Herman Miller, Gap, Bayer Corporation, Seventh Generation, L’Oreal, Elle Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The World Wildlife Fund, Ford Foundation, and the Girl Scouts of America. Heller is the former Board Chair of PopTech, and a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab. She created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $13 million to designers working for the public good, and partnered with Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum to create the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.” Her book, The Intergalactic Design Guide, will be published by Island Press in 2018. She is currently working on her Ph.D at RMIT University in Melbourne.
Nicholas Chan • Mount Sinai Health System
Nick is a strategic and service designer from Oakland, California. Currently, he is an experience designer for Mount Sinai Health System. His design experience spans across healthcare (global and domestic), behavioral health, education, tech, and social service sectors. Before entering the world of design, Nick worked as a chef, and started 2 businesses, a visual arts collective, and a bamboo bike company. Most recently, he’s developed bottom-up communication trainings for cities, a roadmap for value-based healthcare, and strategy for design in global health. He's also built 'welcoming' campaigns, communication plans for education initiatives, UX Strategy for an HR impact investment tool, and curriculum for a social R&D collective.
Hrudaya Veena Yanamandala • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre
Hrudaya Veena Yanamandala is an Engineer turned Designer from India. With her background in Electronics and Communications Engineering, Hrudaya got interested in designing for new emergent technologies and information and communication access for people in India. This passion got her interested in designing for International Development. After her Bachelors in Engineering, she went onto to pursue Visual Communication Design and Strategic Branding at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India, where she was actively involved in designing for education access to migrant children of low income in Karnataka. Hrudaya also holds an MFA in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she learnt various design methodologies to solve for complex social problems using the lens of Human Centred design. Her Master’s Thesis concentrated on designing support services for cancer survivors after active treatment. Her work has been in the fields of Healthcare, Education and Social justice. Hrudaya has worked for a wide range of clients like the UN Foundation, Going to School, India, Visit.org, and West Chelsea Energy Alliance in New York. She is currently working in the Strategy and Innovation department at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City and is pursuing research with a multi disciplinary team to improve patient experiences for those diagnosed with Cancer. She is also a Public Access Design Fellow at the Center for Urban Pedagogy. Hrudaya seeks to pursue her passion in designing for Information and Communication technology and its access in Healthcare with the lens of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning. During her free time, she actively participates in hackathons, conducts design sprints and illustrates. Currently, she is exploring designing with Voice User Interfaces during her free time. She also loves travelling and spending time with her family.
Jessica Mason • The Social Impact Studio
Jessica Mason is Founder & CEO of The Social Impact Studio, a strategic design firm that partners with non-profit, foundation, and government clients to reimagine their strategies, programs, and services and spur social innovation. An entrepreneur, strategist, and designer with deep experience leading innovation ventures in the social and public sector, Jessica is known for bringing keen insight and clarity to complex projects and for championing the value of the creative process for social good. Prior to founding The Studio, Jessica worked at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University where she directed a portfolio of social innovation labs and served as the technical expert on innovation methods. She is a certified facilitator and coach of human-centered design, an instructor at the LUMA Institute, an Exec Ed Instructor at Harvard University, and a faculty member at Foster America. She holds an A.B. Magna Cum Laude from Brown University, an Ed.M in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and postgraduate certificates in Behavioral Science and International Business Management from the Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown University, respectively.
Maria Alejandra Sandoval • Dalberg Design
Maria Alejandra (Malé) is a social impact designer from Bogota, Colombia. She is currently a research and strategy designer at Dalberg Design in New York City. As a recent graduate from the MFA Design for Social Innovation (SVA), she started her social impact journey 7 years ago. Here, she worked with youth involved in gangs in Bogotá, assisting them in creating productive life plans through their artistic expressions. She was also part of the project ‘Rio Mio,’ as a design researcher for Los Andes University, where she worked with artisanal gold mining communities in rural Colombia. Here she designed the game 'Mineros' which translates miners' social context into a board game that helped shift decision-making processes and development of new sustainable social practices. Since then, she has helped develop financial inclusion and environmental conservation projects.

Interested in
speaking at BWxD 2018?