that's a wrap!

We just want to say thank you to our speakers, workshop participants, and everyone who was able to attend. It was a year of thoughtful and powerful conversations and presentations.

If you missed any of the action, we'll be sure to pass along the recordings in the next couple of weeks.

Close

Re: Think



Verb
Think again about (something such as a policy or course of action), especially in order to make changes to it.

Noun
A reassessment, especially one that results in changes being made.

Re: Frame



verb
To frame (something) again and often in a different way

Re: Design

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Re: Imagine

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Featured speaKeRs

Danicia Monét

Urban Planner, Researcher - Purdue Black Cultural Center

Danicia Monét is an arts & culture ambassador, contemplative practitioner, interaction designer, and urban planner pursuing her Ph.D. on the User-Experience of Race. Her applied research is based on the context of Race & Space – Growing Critical Cultural Capacity in the Built Environment. As a fellow with Count Us IN, Americans for the Arts and Transportation for America she challenges the ideas of public space and place-making to encourage a people-centric status quo. Danicia holds a Bachelor in Urban Planning and Spanish & a Masters in Nonprofit Management with a focus on global relations and sustainability.

Centering Cultural Aesthetic

The importance of centering a cultural vernacular in designing spaces

Pamela NapieR

Associate Professor at Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI

Pamela Napier is both a design educator and practitioner of design thinking, design research, and design facilitation with over a decade of experience in the field. As cofounding partner of Collabo Creative—a people-centered service design company based in Indianapolis, Indiana—she manages design research and strategy projects for a diverse range of organizations including non-profits, start-ups and fortune 500 companies. As an associate professor in the visual communication design department at IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design—with over 11 years of experience teaching across graduate and undergraduate curricula—Pamela Napier has been invited to give presentations, facilitate workshops, and co-design events both nationally and internationally. Her research focuses on developing methods, frameworks and curriculum for people-centered design, skills and processes for design facilitation, and the integration of sustainable values into the design process.

ThoRsten Jonas

Strategic UX Consultant

For 15 years Thorsten is in the field of UX, building up UX Teams and supporting clients to create meaningful products, platforms and experiences. During his career he worked with clients like Red Bull, Intel, the NZZ, European Telecommunications companies like Sunrise (Switzerland), A1 (Austria) or PŸUR (Germany) and various German Broadcasters like ZDF, ARD, ProSiebenSat1 or the Tagesschau.
Right now Thorsten is working as a Strategic UX Consultant and Coach, helping companies to build up UX Teams and Creative Leadership and providing coaching and mentorship for creatives as well as companies. Besides he is facilitating Mental Health for Creatives and Sustainable UX as two matters of heart and is speaking at various conferences.

Thorsten believes, that we have the responsibility to make tech accessible to everyone and create a world where tech helps humans to live a delightful & meaningful life. We have to move from human centered design to a humanity and environmental centered design approach."
At the moment Thorsten is working with a growing group of designers on the Sustainable UX Manifesto, a practical toolset to help facilitating Sustainable UX based on the UX Sustainable Development Goals.

sustainable UX: why it’s not enough to focus on the useR

As Designers we mostly put the user in the center of our work. This is how we define our job: creating outstanding experiences for the users. But, in these times we have to take responsibility for more than just the users.We have to take responsibility for the effect of our work on all actors in the system. Be it other people, the society or the environment.

We Designers are more powerful than ever. And it is on us to make use of this power. To start questioning our own work, challenging our colleagues or facing our clients. To be a change. Because as the famous polar explorer Robert Swan once said: "The biggest thread to our planet is the believe that someone else will save it."

BRian BuRtch

Owner at NEON Architecture

Brian is the owner and founder of NEON Architecture. With a B.S. and Master of Architecture from The Ohio State University, Brian discovered his passion for challenging existing notions within residential architecture. Brian is constantly pushing for new ideas and concepts in the housing world, and this is reflected in the work at NEON.

miKe Keen

Principal, Thrive Michiana LLC

Mike Keen, PhD, LEED-AP, is Principal of Thrive Michiana and Managing Partner with Hometowne Development LLC.  He spent 30 years as a professor at Indiana University South Bend.  In 2008, Mike founded the IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future and led the development of the first B.A. in Sustainability Studies in Indiana.  In 2014, he was named IUSB’s first Chancellor’s Professor.  In 2016, he was awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian recognition that can be bestowed upon a citizen of the State of Indiana.  In 2016, Mike established Thrive Michiana LLC, a sustainable development and consulting practice.  As Managing Partner of Hometowne Development, Mike has taken the lead role in the development of Portage Midtown, a neighborhood infill project which demonstrates how the intersection of sustainability and incremental development can help create vibrant communities.

cReating VibRant sustainable communities: Lessons LeaRned fRom an Accidental DevelopeR

Mike Keen, PhD, LEED AP is a sustainability professional and small scale developer.  Until 2016 he was Chancellor's Professor of Sociology and Sustainability Studies at IU South Bend.  During that time he created the Center for a Sustainable Future and the first stand alone B.A. in Sustainability Studies in the State of Indiana.  Currently he is Master Developer for Portage Midtown, a sustainable neighborhood development demonstration project in South Bend, Indiana.  In this talk he will discuss the intersection of sustainability and incremental development in his own journey as an 'accidental developer.

Jay Wall

RGD, Principal & Creative Director, RallyRally

Jay is a designer and strategist dedicated to social change. Since founding RallyRally in 2011, Jay has led the creation of brand identities, publications, websites and campaigns with purpose-driven organizations such as UNICEF, Evergreen, McConnell Foundation, and the City of Toronto.

Jay’s work has been recognized by Adbusters, Spacing, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Adobe, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and earned three So(cial) Good Design Awards. In 2015 he was selected by Next City as a Vanguard fellow for urban leadership. He mentors emerging design activists and leads workshops on the role of inclusive communications to promote participation in building more equitable cities. Jay is a certified member of RGD (Association of Registered Graphic Designers) and was named the national winner of the inaugural RGD UltraBold Awards, celebrating designers under the age of 35 who are making a positive impact in the Canadian design community.

Jay grew up in the woods of northern Ontario before moving to Toronto for design school at York University and Sheridan College. He eventually fell in love with the big city, where he loves biking through laneways with his kid and imagining the possibilities.

Kaila Jacques

Creative Director, RallyRally

Kaila is a multi-disciplinary designer who cares deeply about creating a more inclusive society. She values research-driven design to conceptualize, synthesize, and inspire the work. As creative director at RallyRally, Kaila has played a key role in leading projects with organizations such as UNICEF, McConnell Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, United Way, and Ryerson City Building Institute.

Prior to joining RallyRally, Kaila worked at Bruce Mau Design on a wide range of projects, developing deep expertise in the cultural and education sectors with clients such as Harvard University, Ryerson University, Sinai Health System, and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Before that, Kaila was a designer at the non-profit Evergreen, producing exhibitions and communications materials to promote urban sustainability.

Kaila holds a Master of Design from York University. Her thesis explored the relationship between accessibility and design, stemming from a close relationship with her brother who is on the autism spectrum. Kaila’s work has been recognized internationally with awards from several leading graphic design organizations. She is also a plant enthusiast and finds peace in her green oasis with her pomeranian.

Featured speaKERs

All speaKERs

Brianna Hairlson
Jordan Ryan
Mo McReynolds
Scott Pitkin
Travis J. Brown
Kelly Blynn
Lauren Ballard
Shannon Norman
Dr. Kelli Morgan
Doug Scamahorn
Morgan Mickelson
Chris Hartley
Shauta Marsh
Matt Panfil
Dorsh Deans
Karen Cecil
Jingo M. de la Rosa
Kelsey Simpson
Lourenzo Giple
Aaron Kurth
Scott Soltys-Curry
Liz Mikolaj
Annie Hollibaugh
Lydia Lodovisi
Joe Yount
Pamela Napier
Arin Anderson
Emily Robinson
Richard McCoy
Li Buszka
Arianna Cruz
Neil Mylet
Madison Stevens
Gwen Lettis
Sanchit Soni
Megan McNames
Kelly DeRolf
Andrew Mitchell
Blair Milo
Julia Day
Randy Royer
Poppe Guthrie
Grant Carlile
Eddie Honea
Joey Ponce
Ashish Kalgaonkar
Kaila Austin
Meg Purnsley
Adrian Russell
Andrea Haydon
Chris Smith
Domini Martin Urban

ApRil

Tickets are all-inclusive and have a suggested price of $50
Opening Day
Opening Ceremony

Kickoff the week with a bang! We'll give a preview of all the great things in store as well as introduce the team behind the magic.

Illustration Throwdown

Back by popular demand! A head-to-head competition between pro artists from the local Indianapolis area. This year, you get to decide who goes forward to the next round and you might even win some sweet swag with the art created! Don't worry if you don't win, we'll have all the illustrative swag for sale after the event. Submission info can be found here!

Workshop Day
10:35AM - 12:10PM
Designing for Resilience: Speculative Indy

Mo McReynolds is a native Indianapolis resident and is proud to be serving the City she loves. Her role as the Community Engagement Manager for the Office of Sustainability includes stakeholder relationship building and project management as part of Thrive Indianapolis, the City’s first sustainability and resilience plan.

10:35AM - 12:10PM
Gluestick Mini Zine Workshop

After a year of digital interaction it's time for something fun, accessible & hands on. Join Gluestick in learning how to make a mini zine out of one piece of paper.

10:35AM - 12:10PM
How to Sustainability Shift Your Style

Lauren Ballard shares the experience and personal choices that ultimately led her to a sustainability focus in fashion. In this workshop, Lauren will help us understand how sustainability can apply to the fashion industry. When the world seems to be ran by fast fashion, learn ways you can be sustainable in vogue.

12:10 - 1:45PM
Slice, Slice Baby: Collaborative Figma Workshops

As we navigate the pandemic, more and more online collaboration tools have become the norm. One I think that we may under-utilize beyond its primary function is Figma. Yes, we can design all the screens, but we can also use it as tool for interactive and real-time team activities. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use Figma’s variants and other features to create a fun-filled team time featuring pizza.

Lessons for Attendees:

  • Explore and learn about a design tool in fun, non-traditional ways.
  • Experience a new team activity.
  • Learn how to facilitate a workshop in Figma.
12:10 - 1:45PM
Design Thinking w/ Found Objects

In this workshop, we will remember what it's like to be a kid! Where boxes could be airplanes that took us to other worlds, broken pencils could be magic wands, or every liquid in the fridge could be mixed together to create a potion of sorts. As adults, we tend to get into our professional groove and rely on processes, trends, and industry over imagination, intuition and material. As creatives and designers in a digital world, we also tend to miss the tactile elements of creativity that brought us to the profession in the first place. During this 90 minutes, you will sprint to find an object of little or no value around you (think junk drawer or craft box...or dare I say, garage sale pile?). You will be challenged to forget your preconceived ideas of what that object is, and give it new meaning, new value, and new use.

12:10 - 1:45PM
Communicating the Value & Strategic Relevance of Design

Learn how to effectively convey the value and strategic relevance of Design within your organization. Dr. Brown, the Academic Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program and Executive Director of the Shoemaker Innovation Center at Indiana University consults with global organizations, helping design leaders attain a seat at the strategic decision-making table.

1:45 - 3:20PM
Building Unbreakable Bonds with Relationship Design: Strategies to build, grow and sustain your most important relationships.

In this workshop, we will create space to think deeply about our personal and professional networks - our connections with teams, communities and individuals - and discuss ways to sustain and grow the relationships that matter most. We will introduce principles of Relationship Design and models for evaluating and building strong relationships.  As designers, we will discuss the importance and challenges of our networks. Through activities, we will inventory, assess, and create a plan for making investments in key relationships - looking to build unbreakable bonds, even during the disruption of Covid and the advent of a work from anywhere world. Goals of this workshop are:

  • Inventory the teams, communities and people in your personal and professional network
  • Introduce Relationship Design principles and models for assessing and building strong relationships
  • As designers, consider the importance, as well as the challenges of maintaining relationships
  • Inventory the teams, Create an action plan for investing in your most important relationships and people in your personal and professional network
  • Consider strategies for sustaining relationships, even when remote and during a pandemic
1:45 - 3:20PM
Comix 101

Guiding people through the process of creating a mini comic from start to finish.

3:20 - 4:55PM
Design for a Circular Economy

The products and services that designers contribute to our economy tend to abstract away the linear systems that underpin its growth. Growth that is increasingly straining the socioeconomic and finite ecological systems we all rely on. Together, we’ll explore techniques for thinking critically about the impact of our designs and ideate ways in which our work might contribute to a circular economic system, one that sustains the planet for our future selves.

Takeaways:

  • An introduction to circular economy concepts
  • Workshopping methods for innovating on circular design solutions in the context of apparel, interactive and other product categories
  • Resources for those interested in further learning
  • BONUS :-) Actions that contribute to a sustainable lifestyle
4:55 - 6:30PM
Defining Your Community - A Canvas Building Activity

Community can be defined in so many different ways and oftentimes we as Community Builders look for a Smoking Gun, one way to clearly and succinctly Define community. Our thesis at the mountains is that rather than one definition it is our responsibility to represent all definitions of community. We must represent stakeholders, organizations, programs, initiatives, successes, shortcomings, dot-dot-dot and we must engage in these realities continuously. Over time we as people change and so our communities change. Facilitating enough conversations to represent community, Building capacity together, and sharing best practices are ongoing components to sustain innovation in community building.

Systemic community changes, like that which we seek in our own lives, comes from momentary, daily, weekly, monthly, and annual habits of engaging in the activities that represent our priorities. So when we talk about communities as a whole, we cannot take a single snapshot in time and rely on those people, that information, and those resources to sustain us for an extended period of time. Our engagement in capacity building must be mirrored with our engagement in the people, resources, and information that arm us to represent their priorities.

During this work session we will walk participants through the process of mapping, goal-setting, and implementation. Each stage in the process of community building begins with respect and questions. Participants will walk away with details about the community building process, each stage in the process, and the methods that help make it all possible. Beyond this information participants will walk away with their own Community Building Canvas.

4:55 - 6:30PM
Design & Dragons

Another round of adventure! User research can sometimes feel like a struggle, particularly when you have to get buy-in from multiple partners. This lightning round of Design and Dragons will help you find the mindset to help fight your own research dragons--if you dare. Appropriate for researchers, researcher hopefuls,  partners who want to work better with researchers, and anyone who wants to have an adventure.

Main Conference Day 1
9:00 - 10:30AM
Social Networking Event

Stop by with a cup of coffee in-hand for the virtual networking event! We'll be using a virtual space through 2gthr.online. Companies include: SEP, Salesforce, High Alpha

10:30 - 10:40AM
Morning Show

Start your day with the Normies, are a group of entertainers that create reaction and review videos of various trailers, TV shows, anime, movies as well as original content such as comedic skits and sketches, vlogs, and podcasts.

10:40 - 11:35AM
Keynote: Sustainable UX

As Designers we mostly put the user in the center of our work. This is how we define our job: creating outstanding experiences for the users. But, in these times we have to take responsibility for more than just the users.We have to take responsibility for the effect of our work on all actors in the system. Be it other people, the society or the environment.
 
We Designers are more powerful than ever. And it is on us to make use of this power. To start questioning our own work, challenging our colleagues or facing our clients. To be a change. Because as the famous polar explorer Robert Swan once said: "The biggest thread to our planet is the believe that someone else will save it."

10 Minute Q&A

5 Minute Break
11:40 - 12:15AM
Sustainability and resilience oriented public policy through American Cities Climate Challenge

The entire presentation will be centered around the sustainability related policy that is called for in our Sustainability and Resilience Plan-Thrive Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis is pursuing with support through the American Cities Climate Challenge. For this presentation, we will cover three areas of policy: benchmarking and transparency, EV readiness and transit oriented development.

10 Minute Q&A

12:15 - 12:25AM
Driving Sustainability with Relationship Design

Through the multitude of issues 2020 thrust to the forefront, it’s clear companies need to show up for their people on a deeper level. Salesforce has developed a discipline to connect the increasingly important relationship between a company and its communities. It’s called Relationship Design. Relationship Design considers the connections a person has with other people in their life, the ongoing relationship they can have with a company, and the relationships people have with their wider community and planet. Learn about this creative approach to driving business and social value, focused on building relationships with customers, employees, and community.

Lunch Break
12:25 - 1:30PM
Lunch Activities

Stop by with a cup of coffee in-hand for the virtual networking event! We'll be using a virtual space through 2gthr.online.

1:30 - 2:30PM
AIGA Sustainability of Indianapolis Design Community: A Panel Discussion w/ Joey Ponce

Moderated by Joey Ponce

Now, more than ever, we are beginning to understand where our communities are strongest, and where the largest areas of opportunities lie for us. Join us as community leaders in the arts, design, and education participate in a panel discussion on the sustainability of the Indianapolis design community.

5 Minute Break
2:35 - 3:00PM
The Indiana State of Design Excellence: Towards a Definition

For Indy Design Week 2021, Columbus Design Institute is launching a new annual event to report on the Indiana State of Design Excellence. The Institute seeks to explore the concept of “design excellence” in the built environment across the state of Indiana, and then contextualize it within a regional and national framework. Further, the Institute believes that design excellence is a key driver to improving quality of place, which itself is a critical component of developing, retaining, and attracting creative talent in and to Indiana.


It is recognized that defining “excellence” is a subjective exercise, and applying it to “design” must relate to both form and function. An agreed-upon definition of design excellence has begun to emerge in the United States but has not been systematically applied except in a few historic and recent examples. Columbus, Indiana is one of those historic examples that deserves lifting up to greater visibility. This new event is presented in a positive way to celebrate and define what works in Indiana and those that are making change in their communities.


This two-part event will at first present a conceptual framework for design excellence and secondly provide a discussion to forward this framework and ground it in a statewide perspective

5 Minute Break
3:05 - 3:20PM
The Art of the Pivot: How to Remain Resilient in Business

How to push through when you've given your all. Building your team to help when you want to quit. As a Dance Studio Owner and fellow entrepreneur, I had to completely pivot during COVID. Now looking forward, my message of hope and tenacity will encourage the audience to be creative in their designing and businesses. Target audience is key decision makers, team builders, and creatives.

Key Takeaways: Creating a plan before a pandemic, How to build employee morale, Using Creativity to Grow Your Business.

15 minute Q&A

3:20 - 3:35PM
AIXA: Voice-based AI that is changing the narrative for minorities in tech

According to the Pew Research Center, there are over 80 million people or %25 of the U.S. population that identify as 1st or 2nd generation English speakers.

Beyond that, there are 24 major dialects of English in the US. To name a few think of, African American Vernacular English, Southern English or Northeastern.

With so many different regional dialects and accents in the English language, Computer Scientists have relied on what is called General American English (GAE) to write and train modern Natural Language Processing (NLP) models. Unfortunately, GAE excludes minority voices which in turn leaves out 100’s of millions of users because of their accents.

I’ll be talking about how our company AIXA, solves Automated speech recognition (ASR) technology for people with regional, non-native or accented English.

15 minute Q&A

3:35 - 3:50PM
How Restoring An Opera House Can Help To Bridge The Rural & Urban Divide

Neil Mylet grew up in rural Indiana on his family's farm. He has always been passionate about helping others and learning about different cultures. When Camden's 110 year old opera house came up for sale, Neil took on the bold vision to convert it into a space where rural people can formulate new hand in hand with people from larger cities.

Over the last year, Neil and his team of engineers, contractors, & volunteers have begun the arduous process of restoring the opera house into one of the most robust tech, arts, & cultural hubs in rural America.

With the support of the community as well as countless global partners - hear first hand from Neil on how this project will not only affect his small village of Camden - but also inspire change by bringing people from rural & urban communities together to invent a better future.

15 minute Q&A

5 Minute Break
3:55 - 4:30PM
Human-Centered Sustainability

What does sustainability mean to you? What does it mean for your customers? For your friends? For others across the world? As we explore sustainability and beyond its important to recognize the differences in how we define and approach sustainability goals. Taking a human-centered approach to sustainability and understanding individuals unique experiences will help shape our conversations to create more meaningful, sustainable solutions together. Madison Stevens will speak about how Human-Centered Design has impacted the conversation around sustainability at Cummins.

10 Minute Q&A

4:35 - 5:30PM
Keynote: Brian Burtch: Challenging The Re-Urbanization Of Indianapolis

Many of our neighborhoods are seeing new interest, new construction and new homeowners, but many are doing it with little to no acknowledgement for unique or non-traditional development that predated the zoning codes. Looking at historic examples of development, many of our more dense, historic neighborhoods, would never be allowed to be built today. Attendees will learn about concepts in neighborhood density, see the changes of our neighborhoods from small, modest homes to unsustainably large single-family homes, and leave with a better understanding of how architectural design can help reconstruct the diverse fabric of our neighborhoods.

End of Day Wrap Up
Indianapolis Trivia

Join us for a one of a kind evening with lovingly crafted Indianapolis trivia and prizes for the winning team! 6 people maximum in a team. Form your teams in this Miro board.

Main Conference Day 2

Earth Day!
9:00 - 10:30AM
Social Networking Event

Stop by with a cup of coffee in-hand for the virtual networking event! We'll be using a virtual space through 2gthr.online.

10:30 - 10:40AM
Morning Show

Start your day with the Normies, are a group of entertainers that create reaction and review videos of various trailers, TV shows, anime, movies as well as original content such as comedic skits and sketches, vlogs, and podcasts.

10:40 - 11:35AM
Keynote: Creating Vibrant sustainable communities: Lessons Learned from an Accidental Developer

Mike Keen, PhD, LEED AP is a sustainability professional and small scale developer.  Until 2016 he was Chancellor's Professor of Sociology and Sustainability Studies at IU South Bend.  During that time he created the Center for a Sustainable Future and the first stand alone B.A. in Sustainability Studies in the State of Indiana.  Currently he is Master Developer for Portage Midtown, a sustainable neighborhood development demonstration project in South Bend, Indiana.  In this talk he will discuss the intersection of sustainability and incremental development in his own journey as an 'accidental developer.

5 Minute Break
11:40 - Noon
A New ‘HIP’ Public: Community-engaged design research for better health and wellness

This presentation will describe a case study of a community-engaged design research project which focused on strengthening public interest in low-income Hoosiers' health, and the shared responsibility of supporting continuous health coverage for better wellness and care. The project was a collaboration between Herron School of Art and Design VCD graduate students, IUPUI’s Department of Religious Studies, and a variety of community partners and stakeholders within the Indianapolis community.

Noon - 12:15PM
Carbon-Conscious Design: The impact of UX practices on energy efficiency and carbon footprint

Through this talk, we will explore principles of sustainable interaction design and discuss relationships between UX, energy consumption, carbon footprint, and some potential solutions that can enable carbon-conscious design practice.

12:15 - 12:25PM
Redefining Sustainable Pace
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Noelle Webster-Milam

In March 2020 SEP went to WFH - like most other companies in tech. Our teams adapted and did their best spin up quickly to function remotely - aligning to the mental models and patterns that had existed back in the office. As a Director of UX, I wanted to ensure our teams (and the designers that worked within them) were supported, we continued to grow our practices, and delivered outstanding client outcomes.In this talk I’ll cover what core elements emerged for me as a leader and ultimately what I learned really matters - what should sustain.

Lunch Break
12:30 - 1:30PM
Lunch Activities

Feel free to head back into the social gathering room hosted by 2gthr.online!

1:30 - 2:05PM
A Conversation on Sustainable Community Development
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Moderated by Arianna Cruz

This panel will discuss the way sustainability can look for communities developing growth. Community Manager, Niki Burt of Yelp; Chris Smith a small business owner and member of the Near Eastside Quality of Life Arts Team; and Domini Urban Martin, previous Develop Indy Team Member will all share their perspectives on how the city is growing to them, what sustainability means to them, and how we can push for city designers/planners/developers to grow our communities with sustainability at the forefront of their minds.

2:05 - 2:30PM
Historic LGBTQ Spaces in Indianapolis

Learn about the work that has been done to research and map historic LGBTQ sites in Indianapolis, the challenges of locating and working with archival collections of marginalized populations, and a new City of Indianapolis initiative to utilize this content for more inclusive historic preservation programming.

15 minute Q&A

5 Minute Break
2:35 - 3:10PM
The Design of PLANET 2050

Karen Cecil, Director of Global Environmental Sustainability, will talk about the design to create the Cummins PLANET 2050 strategy. Business strategy with an environmental lens.


Learn more at https://www.cummins.com/company/sustainability/planet-2050

5 Minute Break
3:15 - 3:40PM
Inside AES Indiana Project Greenspace

Who's ever heard of wanting to take a break in the pounding sun, in the middle of paved parking lot, surrounded by asphalt streets?


Our AES Indiana Project GreenSpace program was created to transform vacant lots and underused spaces into natural, beautiful, and functional pocket parks and greenspaces.


We work with neighborhood groups and organizations all over Marion County to add greenness that welcomes all to enjoy the beauty of native landscapes and strengthen community bonds and sense of identity. Community-created and maintained parks build connections for a healthy neighborhood and the native landscapes that benefit people and wildlife.

Taking applications until May 31st! Learn more 👉

3:40 - 3:55PM
Radical Decentralization for a Creative World: Lessons from an NFT Drop

My friends and I made 10,000 NFTs and deployed a Smart Contract for them on the Ethereum Blockchain. And now we have thoughts about that! In this talk, I’ll share what we learned about the future of creative work, copyright, ownership and building things on the blockchain.

15 minute Q&A

3:55 - 4:10PM
One Single Match in the Darkness of Eternity

Let’s think really big about sustainability and the future. While recycling and energy conservation are important, let’s look beyond typical energy systems. This talk, aimed at anyone who is interested in transforming our energy system, is based on an idea that originated in 1994 to transform solar power on a massive scale. Check out this talk if you are interested in a design future where electric power is plentiful and economies grow beyond expectations.

15 minute Q&A

4:10 - 4:35PM
Designing from the Core: Personal value thinking and sustainability in design education

This talk will explore “Designing from the Core", a design lab at Herron School of Art and Design that builds on the research of Lettis and Napier, and explores personal value thinking and its relationship with sustainability in visual communication design education.

Earth Day Events

Instead of ending the day with a keynote, we've got some great earth day opportunities to get away from the screen you've been staring at for the last 12 months.

Main Conference Day 3
9:00 - 10:30AM
Social Networking Event

Stop by with a cup of coffee in-hand for the virtual networking event! We'll be using a virtual space through 2gthr.online.

10:30 - 10:40AM
Morning Show

Start your day with the Normies, are a group of entertainers that create reaction and review videos of various trailers, TV shows, anime, movies as well as original content such as comedic skits and sketches, vlogs, and podcasts.

10:40 - 11:35AM
Keynote: Centering Cultural Aesthetic

This talk will take a deep dive into the importance of centering a cultural vernacular in designing spaces.

Danicia Monét is an arts & culture ambassador, contemplative practitioner, interaction designer, and urban planner pursuing her Ph.D. on the User-Experience of Race. Her applied research is based on the context of Race & Space – Growing Critical Cultural Capacity in the Built Environment. As a fellow with Count Us IN, Americans for the Arts and Transportation for America she challenges the ideas of public space and place-making to encourage a people-centric status quo. Danicia holds a Bachelor in Urban Planning and Spanish & a Masters in Nonprofit Management with a focus on global relations and sustainability.

5 Minute Break
11:40 - 12:25
Connecting Midwestern Values to Sustainability

20% of the US population lives in the Midwest, which is responsible for 22% of the US’ total energy-related carbon emissions, and 19% of the US’ GDP.  While the coasts are often seen as leaders in sustainability, their climate and culture is very different from ours in the Midwest; and as a worldwide challenge, global warming cannot be solved on the coasts alone.  But Midwesterners and Hoosiers in particular are an industrious and pragmatic bunch, with much to be proud of; and this challenge can be met by connecting midwestern values to a story of sustainability.  Messaging and storytelling is a key element of design, and this discussion will focus upon a sustainable and equitable message that connects across a wide range of Hoosiers, both urban and rural.

15 minute Q&A

Lunch Break
12:35 - 1:30PM
Lunch Activities

Feel free to head back into the social gathering room hosted by 2gthr.online!

1:30 - 1:45PM
Communicating the Value & Strategic Relevance of Design

The designer is a strategic role in business and decision-making. Listeners will learn from Dr. Brown's insight into effectively communicating and advocating for the value and role of design.

15 minute Q&A

1:45 - 2:45PM
The Indiana State of Design Excellence: A Discussion
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Moderated by Richard McCoy

For Indy Design Week 2021, Columbus Design Institute is launching a new annual event to report on the Indiana State of Design Excellence. The Institute seeks to explore the concept of “design excellence” in the built environment across the state of Indiana, and then contextualize it within a regional and national framework. Further, the Institute believes that design excellence is a key driver to improving quality of place, which itself is a critical component of developing, retaining, and attracting creative talent in and to Indiana.

It is recognized that defining “excellence” is a subjective exercise, and applying it to “design” must relate to both form and function. An agreed-upon definition of design excellence has begun to emerge in the United States but has not been systematically applied except in a few historic and recent examples. Columbus, Indiana is one of those historic examples that deserves lifting up to greater visibility. This new event is presented in a positive way to celebrate and define what works in Indiana and those that are making change in their communities.

This two-part event will at first present a conceptual framework for design excellence and secondly provide a discussion to forward this framework and ground it in a statewide perspective.

5 Minute Break
2:50 - 3:05PM
Sustaining a Freelance Illustration Career in Indianapolis

Sustaining a freelance career can be exhausting. Jingo will talk about his experience on how to sustainably manifest your freelance illustration career.

15 minute Q&A

3:05 - 3:20PM
The Burnout Cycle: Stuck on Repeat

Burnout is extremely prevalent in our industry and this last year has amplified those triggers for so many.
I have found myself stuck on repeat in the burnout cycle, not realizing until after that there were warning signs and ways to find balance.

In this talk I’ll share ways you can recognize signs of burnout in your own life and some ideas to make space for yourself to reset and prioritize your mental and physical health.

15 minute Q&A

3:20 - 3:35PM
Healer & the Rise of Immersive Art

This talk covers the origin and mission of Healer DIY, an all-ages immersive art & music venue I co-founded in 2017. Matt Panfil is currently the Art Director of Healer DIY, a space focused on installations derived from up-cycled materials, dedicated to radical inclusion and spatial & experiential transformation.

15 minute Q&A

3:35 - 3:50PM
Why Your Latte is $7: Sustainable Coffee Ecosystems

For the last 5 years, the specialty coffee scene has blossomed in Indianapolis and around the world. While specialty coffee is becoming more accessible to us, many parts of the coffee supply chain are becoming harshly imbalanced. Is it sustainable?

15 minute Q&A

5 Minute Break
3:55 - 4:30PM
Amplifying Black Voices: Art, Technology, and the Fight for Black Lives

May 2020 marked a turning point for the United States. Two months into the pandemic, the world was shaken by the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor within days of each other. These murders provided a catalyst for a “New Civil Rights Movement”; riots and protests rocked the nation for months and along with it came an art movement, emphasized by the expression and identities of African Americans around the US. Starting with the mural in Washington DC in June, Black Lives Matter was painted on the streets in cities across the US, including here in Indianapolis. Each work was customized to its artist and allowed for the question to be answered: “What does it mean to be Black in the United States?”


The exhibition presented in this talk is based on the street murals from last year; New Day Culture and Labrotorio Rossio have worked together with artists, organizers, museums and organizations across the US to create a digital format of this project. It asks us to question: How can we as designers and creatives make sure that the messages from last year aren’t lost? How can we use technology to help us remember this crucial moment of American History? How can we use arts and tech to amplify voices, to help to heal wounds and provide spaces where we can all feel seen and heard? This talk will begin to dig in deeper to these questions and explain how we are working to continue this conversation that we all desperately need.

4:30 - 4:40PM
Sustainability in the Design Process

Discover frameworks and techniques to more meaningfully engage clients and your design team while implementing sustainability practices throughout the design process.

5 Minute Break
4:45 - 5:40PM
Keynote: Rallying Together

Design can’t save the world, but it can still play a critical role in social change. How can a small design studio help advance solutions to big challenges like climate action, human rights, and housing affordability? In this talk, the co-creative directors of RallyRally, a Toronto-based design studio, share highlights from projects that have shaped their perspective on design for social change.

End of Conference Words

We're so happy you made it to the end with us! We'll close out the amazing week with some final remarks.

Conference Tickets

With your purchase, you'll gain access to the full week of workshops, talks, social events, and the job fair.

The RSVP for the job fair is part of the ticket checkout. We will be sending out workshop RSVPs the week before the conference.

Purchase your ticket below or directly from Eventbrite.

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