Designing Change: Unlearning and Relearning

Over the past 18 months, we all have experienced an unprecedented and accelerated change in our world and in our practices. And on August 4 and 5, during the 2021 Exhibition + Experience event, we can look back on our progress and begin to make concrete some of the lessons learned and focus on a compelling vision for the future: reimagining design thinking and exhibition methodology to create authentic experiences in both the physical and virtual realms.

Our speakers and panelists will share their own authentic learnings around experiential design and engage us with conversations about race, equity, sustainability and future thinking. The E+E virtual event will bring together an interdisciplinary design community that is creating new ways to be more inclusive and community-focused as they invite other voices to the creative process. 

Kicking off this year’s Exhibition + Experience event will be SEGD Manifesto Spoken Word Artist Harold Green III who will present an interactive primer and invite participants to reflect on the past year and inspire our work for the future. 

Session 1 Unlearning will be a provocative discussion around how we design narrative experiences that are inclusive and incorporate a multiplicity of voices and viewpoints. 

Thought leaders include:

  • Karen L. Ishizuka, M.S.W., Ph.D. Chief Curator of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Her latest book Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties (2018) was on PEN America’s list of recommended books of protest in 2020. 

  • Clement Hamani, is a Japanese-American visual artist and Vice President of Exhibitions and Art Director at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Clement’s recent projects include curating exhibitions at JANM and his studio art specializing in New Genres.

  • Dayton Schroeter, AIA, Design Principal, SmithGroup. Dayton heads the firm’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and leads  projects including the National Slavery Museum and Society’s Cage,an installation that sheds awareness on the effects of racism.

Session 2  Relearning will be a conversation about how experience designers can create “tools” to bring contested topics to the forefront of their exhibits. 

An international group of panelists include:

  • Elaine Heumann Gurian, teacher, writer, and mentor to community-based activist students and practitioners within the heritage field. Her work continues as an elder with her new book, Centering the Museum, to be published by Taylor and Francis on September 15, 2021.

  • Tanja Zoellner, Associate Partner, Atelier Brueckner, and Fulbright Scholar. A global leader in museum and brand exhibition design, Tanja specializes in design that prioritizes content as the driver of design, creating meaningful interactions and and inspiring experiences.

  • Lemke Meijer, Interaction Designer, Gagarin, based in Iceland. Lemke is researching and developing a VR educational solution, Astrid Climate Change. This R&D project is in partnership with the Icelandic Meteorological office and The Environment Agency of Iceland.  

Session 3 Changing Methodologies will continue the dialogue with tangible examples of processes and techniques that invite a complexity of outcomes to the experience design process. 

Award winning speakers include:

  • Aki Carpenter, Principal and the Director of Social Projects at Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA). Aki’s current work at RAA includes leading the design for the Obama Presidential Center; the Museum of Chinese in America; and the Japanese American National Museum.

  • Traci Sym, Founding principal at +&>. As an experience designer, Traci’s approach explores the emotion and intent of design, examining the perspectives, arcs, and interactions of audiences to enable environments and systems that feel both familiar, yet provocative.

  • Waqas Jawaid, Partner, Isometric Studio. Isometric unites graphic design and architecture to create empowering visual identities and spatial experiences, advancing an ethos of inclusion, equity, and justice, centering the lived experiences of marginalized people. 

We will close with Session 4 Keynote: Greenwood Rising Case Study by walking through the concept, development, community engagement and recent opening of the Greenwood Rising Visitor Center.  This project honors the icons of Black Wall Street, memorializes the victims of the massacre and examines the lessons of the past to inspire meaningful, sustainable action in the present. 

Keynote speakers include:

  • Philip Keith Armstrong, Interim Director at Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center. In 2019 Philip was hired as Project Director for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission to lead fundraising, curriculum, and economic development initiatives.

  • L’Rai Arthur-Mensah, Senior Project Manager, Local Projects. The Legacy Museum, Greenwood Rising and The Fashion For Good all exemplify L’Rai’s goal to facilitate conversations and experiences that place Truth-telling and Reconciliation at the forefront of designed experiences.

Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this historical conversation on the future of experience design, sign up here!

For those in the DMV or excited to join us in the DC area: SEGD will be hosting In-person VIP virtual tours in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, August 4, and provide insider tours of some of the most highly anticipated exhibitions and interactive installations of 2020 and 2021, including the acclaimed Planet Word, the International Spy Museum, newly opened National Museum of the US Army and the National Museum of American History’s Girlhood: It’s Complicated

Limited seats for the tours, so sign up now!

Get Social with us!

There will be a post-tour, in-person DC Chapter Mixer on Wednesday, August 4, 5:00-7:00 pm ET at the Knoll Showroom, 1222 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037. Space is limited and separate registration is required. Confirm your DC Chapter Mixer reservation here.


E+E Sponsors

The Presenting sponsor for this series is Color-Ad Signs and Exhibits, fabricators of signage  and innovative exhibitions, and our Event Sponsors DCL, DE Powder Coated Graphics, kubik maltbie, Urban Sign Company and Knoll.