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Rapid Fire Talks



Laura Flusche | Executive Director | Museum of Design Atlanta

What does it mean to redesign a design museum? That’s the question being explored at MODA, the Museum of Design Atlanta. Seven years ago, MODA moved from an office building in the city’s downtown to Atlanta’s burgeoning Midtown arts district. The move prompted MODA’s board of directors and staff to rethink the museum’s practices and to re-evaluate its role in the community.

Now, informed by a commitment to design as an agent of change, MODA is strengthening metro Atlanta’s professional design community, increasing appreciation of design’s power to make the world a better place, providing children and adults with opportunities to learn to think like designers do and forging new ways for museums to serve their communities.

Laura Flusche will discuss the ongoing project of re-designing MODA in order to build a museum that’s forward-facing and meets 21st-century needs.


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Surya Vanka | Founder Authentic Design

Design thinking has now become a competitive advantage adopted by business to win. How can this process impact the numerous social challenges that surround us? Social impact projects have few resources and people driving change have no design training. Design Swarms is an approach that has been used by hundreds of ordinary people to produce extraordinary solutions to social justice challenges like homelessness, refugee shelters, aging with independence and healthcare for the bottom of the economic pyramid. This approach gamifies the design process into a simple, low-cost, portable toolkit with a series of prescriptive steps. The steps are depicted on physical posters that fit together to form a gameboard based on the resources, problem and people involved. Teams of people, with no design training, participate in a fast-paced facilitated process to direct their creativity and knowledge of the context to quickly produce real solutions that stick.




Navit Keren | Senior Designer | Designit

Death is inevitable. Yet, we almost never come to it prepared. We are very bad at dying. Most of us are uncomfortable to begin a conversation around death. We generally want to live as well as we can, for as long as we can, but we don’t think about dying well. However, increasing one’s knowledge and developing an action plan can ensure that we die the way we hope to and not leave tough decisions for our loved ones. 

In her talk, Keren will address a number of service problems in the current options for EOL planning. She will detail how she tried—and failed—to solve some of them and Keren will share her insights into how a fundamental, yet largely ignored, human experience can be transformed through the perspective of a service designer.




Adi Neuman | Head of Design | ECOncrete

With over 60 percent of the world’s population concentrated along its coastlines, coupled with accelerated coastal development, severe stress on natural ecosystems is inevitable. Combined with the growing threat of rising sea levels and increased storminess, urban coastlines worldwide are in dire need of innovative development, combining material adaptation, texture mimicking and macro design.

Adi Neuman will discuss the problems that traditional coastal and marine infrastructure impose on the natural environment and habitats along with possible solutions. Through coastal and marine infrastructural design case studies, the chasm between biological desires and manufacturing limitations will be examined. These innovative examples can provide the basic tools for future design leading to win-win solutions bridging aesthetics, economics, engineering and the environment.


Earlier Event: September 19
Coffee Break
Later Event: September 19
Gary Hustwit