Design Entrepreneurs: Connecting Cultures

Monday, May 16, 2005
10 a.m.–5 p.m.

A day-long conference presented by Metropolis Magazine and moderated by Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis’s editor in chief.

Which design approaches and ideas translate from one culture to another? What kinds of cultural clashes emerge when designing for a global market? How do local identities enrich global markets? Metropolis presents an international group of emerging designers, marketers, manufacturers, and scholars exploring how patterns of cross-culturalization are reinventing the way designers work.

To register for the conference, please send your name, address, and number of guests to

10–11:30 a.m.
Crossing Cultures

Three emerging designers reveal how their personal, local experiences inspire and inform their work. Panelists included Patricia Urquiola, Italy’s Basque superstar (and Metropolis’s June cover girl); Stephanie Forsythe of Vancouver-based Molo Design (a runner-up in the 2004 Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition and the recipient of last year’s ICFF Editors’ Choice Award); and Jason Shatilla, a Montreal native who studied with architect and designer Aldo Cibic.

11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Connecting Global with Local

Aid to Artisans (ATA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the production of traditional crafts. Marilyn Hnatow, director of product development at ATA, talks about how the group is supplying local artisans around the globe with the tools they need to make globally marketable products. ATA design consultant John Robshaw presents his work with weavers in Bolivia.

12:15—1 p.m.
Cross-Cultural Fertilization

Each year Fabrica, an experimental laboratory located in Treviso, Italy, invites 50 international designers and artists to develop their ideas: this year’s students explored ways to improve global living standards. A representative from Fabrica will present the work, which will be exhibited this fall at Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria.

1–2 p.m.
Lunch Break

2–3:30 p.m.
Connecting with History

Two global furniture manufacturers steeped in the Modernist tradition reveal how their commitment to innovation has left a lasting impression.

* 2–2:30 p.m.
Herman Miller Case Studies

A former vice president of corporate communications at Herman Miller, John R. Berry presents case studies from his latest book, Herman Miller: The Purpose of Design.

* 2:30–3 p.m
The Secret History of the Series 7 Chair

Fritz Hansen design director Bjørn Stegger reveals the history behind one of the twentieth century’s most commercially successful designs, Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 chair, introduced 50 years ago.

* 3–3:15 p.m.
Panel discussion with John R. Berry and Bjørn Stegger.

3:15–4 p.m.
Connecting with Design Talent

Two influential global design scouts—Lars Engman, design manager of Ikea’s PS Collection, and Bonnie Mackay-Eisenhardt, director of creative and marketing for MoMA Retail—tell us what they look for in a young designer, how they find what they find, and where the hotbeds of design activity are located.

4–4:30 p.m.
Connecting with Culture

Cultural ambassadors Ewa Kumlin, managing director of Svensk Form, and Robert Kloos, the director of visual arts, architecture, and design at the Consulate General of the Netherlands, talk about how they publicize the design culture of their respective homelands.

4:30–5 p.m.
Panel discussion with Lars Engman, Carolyn Mackay-Eisenhardt, Ewa Kumlin, and Robert Kloos.

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