Substance Exhibition at the Emmanuel Gallery and the Center For Visual Art

While this exhibition took place in late 2007, it was central in developing my vision for “design for development” research so instrumental to my work today.

Substance: Diverse Practices from the Periphery was an international exhibition that spans across the disciplinary boundaries of design demonstrating how designers integrate research, process, and practice beyond the traditional confines of the studio environment to develop meaningful and often life altering solutions. Implicit to the processes held by these designers is a responsibility to design, research and problem solve while showing a commitment to working directly with audiences, participants, and communities. While these “projects to learn from” are often located at the periphery of a discipline, they demonstrate the rich possibilities that result from embracing the community as a client, where working across socio-economic borders, cultural divides, and in the margins reveal the depth of the design discipline. In a consumer culture so oriented towards design today, the exhibition places specific emphasis on the projects that focus on the needs of under served people, places and problems.

Substance was presented at two venues in order to feature the breadth of design thinking in this genre. Works from the profession were featured at the Center for Visual Art (September 6 – November 9, 2007). Featured organizations and individuals at the Center for Visual Art exhibition included: Architecture for Humanity‘s Biloxi Model Home Program, AeroVironment’s Architectural Wind Turbine, contributions by both Continuum and Fuse Project for Nicolas Negroponte‘s One Laptop per Child project; Design Corps’ migrant worker housing solutions; the Kinkajou Projector by Design That Matters; Electroland Studios‘ Urban Nomad Shelter; Imvubu Projects’ Hippo Water Roller; Potters for Peace Ceramic Water Filter; and celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the her Empathic Elder Model Research was the work of Patricia Moore of MooreDesign Associates.

In a separate exhibition, the Emmanuel Gallery highlighted works from junior and senior level undergraduate students and postgraduate students. Participating Institutions in this exhibition at Emmanuel Gallery were: Archeworks; Bielenberg Institute at the Edge of the Earth; Central Connecticut State University; Metropolitan State College of Denver; Montana State University; Syracuse University; University of Florida; University of Michigan; and University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

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