Jake Barton is Principal and Founder of Local Projects, an experience design and strategy firm for museums, brands, and public spaces. Local Projects is the media designer for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Frank Gehry-designed Eisenhower Presidential Memorial, and The Timken Company Brand Experience. Based on the strength of its work at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Local Projects was the 2013 National Design Award winner for Interaction Design. Fast Company magazine also named Local Projects second on their list of top ten most innovative design firms for its redefinition of emotional storytelling. Full bio
Clients include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Cleveland Museum of Art, Microsoft, New York Hall of Science / Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, One World at the top of the World Trade Center, The Nature Conservancy, and StoryCorps.
Caroline Baumann joined Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2001, and has held many leadership positions at the museum. As the fifth director of Cooper Hewitt since its opening in 1976, she spearheaded the grand opening of the renovated and expanded museum in December 2014—a transformation that has created immersive museum spaces and participatory visitor experiences never before seen in the museum realm. Baumann played an active role in overseeing the master plan in 2004–2006, as well as the selection of architects for the renovation project in 2006–2007, and has been instrumental in making the entire campus accessible and inviting. Full bio
Baumann also led the campaign to realize the most ambitious capital project in the museum’s history, which has raised more than $89 million to date toward the $91 million goal. She and her team have developed national and international exhibitions and forged multiple global partnerships in recent years, as they advance the museum’s mission to inspire, educate and empower people through design. To increase accessibility during the renovation period, Baumann managed the realization of the Cooper Hewitt Design Center in Harlem, a 1,500-square-foot education space that has served 35,000 people since opening in May 2012.
Before starting at Cooper Hewitt, Baumann worked at the Museum of Modern Art, where she held senior development roles, raised funds for the Yoshio Taniguchi expansion, and was involved in offsite projects during the renovation, such as MoMA QNS. Prior to her time at MoMA, she served as Director of Development at the Calhoun School in Manhattan, and as an art book editor at George Braziller Publishers.
Baumann is a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the U.S. Postal Service and the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Committee, and a director of the Royal College of Art U.S. Alumni Group Advisory Board. She is a founding member of the Collective, which stages the Collective Design Fair every May in New York. Baumann is also a member of the steering committee for NYCxDesign, New York’s citywide event showcasing design.
She received a master’s degree in medieval art from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, and a bachelor’s degree in the history of art and French literature from Bates College.
Michelle T. Boone is the Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which presents and promotes high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances, and holiday celebrations each year in parks, the historic Chicago Cultural Center, and other venues throughout the city. Prior to her post as Commissioner, Michelle was the Senior Program Officer for Culture at the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, and, prior to that, served as director of Gallery 37, an award-winning job-training in the arts program for Chicago youth. Full bio
Her professional career began in entertainment working in television, film, and the recording industry; later, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad, Africa. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and a master’s degree in Public Affairs (nonprofit management major) from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Michelle is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the inaugural August Wilson Award from Goodman Theater, 2011; The Spirit Award from The Central Region of Actor’s Equity, 2011; President’s Award, National Public Housing Museum, 2013; Distinguished Service to the Arts from Lawyers for the Creative Arts, 2013; the 2014 Tribute Award from the League of Chicago Theatres; and the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Council Award from Indiana University.
Since 2006, Sarah Herda has been Director of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States committed to awarding project-based grants to individuals and institutions working at the forefront of architecture, and its role in the arts, culture, and society. Herda is credited with transforming the Foundation’s headquarters, the historic Madlener House, into a world-class public venue for architecture exhibitions and building one of Chicago’s most celebrated venues for public programs. Full bio
In addition to hosting internationally renowned architects, artists, historians, and critics to present their work, Herda has produced an exhibition program featuring the work of Cecil Balmond, Thomas Demand, Bjarke Ingels, Nancy Holt, Judy Ledgerwood, Stanley Tigerman, Anne Tyng, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, among others.
From 1998 until 2006, Herda was Director and Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture, an experimental exhibition space founded in New York City in 1982 that is recognized internationally as a vital platform for emerging ideas. While at Storefront, Herda collaborated with hundreds of architects and artists on a variety of projects, including more than 40 exhibitions.
Before being named Director of Storefront, Herda was Director of the Center for Critical Architecture / Art and Architecture Exhibition Space in San Francisco, and she also worked in architectural publishing at The Monacelli Press.
Herda teaches at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and has frequently been an invited critic and speaker at institutions such as the Architectural Association, London; Arkitekturmuseet, Stockholm; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, New York; Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, Cambridge; IIT, School of Architecture, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Princeton University, Graduate School of Architecture; and University of Michigan, School of Architecture, Ann Arbor, among others.
Currently, she serves on the board of directors of the Association of Architecture Organizations, and she serves on advisory boards for The Architect’s Newspaper, LAXART, the Mills College Art Museum, and Storefront for Art and Architecture. Herda is an Emerging Leader, class of 2015, at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In 2009, Herda was named one of Icon Magazine’s 20/20—a list of 20 architects and 20 designers who are changing the way we work and think.
Kieran Long is Keeper of the Design, Architecture and Digital Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where he leads the museum’s collecting and exhibition program on contemporary design. Previously, Kieran was architecture critic of the Evening Standard newspaper, deputy editor of Icon magazine and editor-in-chief of the Architects' Journal and the Architectural Review. In 2012, he led the curatorial team for David Chipperfield on the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, the largest exhibition of architecture in the world. Full bio
Kieran presents two BBC television series, Restoration Home and The £100,000 House and is the author of several books, including Common Ground: A Critical Reader. He has taught architecture and design at the Royal College of Art, London Metropolitan University, Greenwich University, and Kingston University, and been an invited lecturer at Yale University, KTH Stockholm, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, EPFL Lausanne, as well as many other universities and institutions throughout the UK.
Zoë Ryan is a British curator and writer. She is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she has been building the museum’s first collection of contemporary design and expanding its holdings of twentieth and twenty-first century architecture. She is currently working on a major installation of the permanent collection of architecture and design to open at the museum in spring 2017. Full Bio
Taking an interdisciplinary approach to her work, Zoë’s recent exhibitions include “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye,” (2015), and “Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects” (2012); “Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca, and Sandra Backlund” (2012); “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention” (2011); and “Hyperlinks: Architecture and Design” (2010). She also recently curated the second Istanbul Design Biennial, “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be” (2014).
Prior to working at the Art Institute, Zoë was Senior Curator at the Van Alen Institute in New York where she organized exhibitions such as “The Good Life: New Public Spaces for Recreation” (2006).
She has authored and edited numerous publications, including: Building with Water: Designs, Concepts, Visions (2010); she served as Chair of the Jury for the National Design Awards, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, in 2013; and sat on the curatorial advisory committee for the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. Also in 2012, Fast Company magazine named Zoë one of the 50 people shaping the future of design.
Zoë is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a lecturer in the Art History Department at the School of the Art Institute, where she teaches a Masters-level seminar focused on critical issues in design.
Conference Speakers and Panelists
Shawn Allee is the editor for Curious City, a production team at WBEZ that answers the public's questions about Chicago, the region and its people. He edits whatever the minds of Curious City producers, reporters other contributors might dream up - be they radio stories, articles, videos, live events, comics or songs.
Alexa is a registered architect and landscape architectural designer with nearly 10 years of experience. As a Program Associate at the Community Design Collaborative, she is manager of a design initiative on play space in the city. Previously, Alexa was an architectural designer with SMP Architects and a Collaborative volunteer, bringing her holistic design approach to conceptual designs for Frankford Pause, Merion Avenue Urban Farm, Philadelphia Rooftop Farm, Lovett Library Park, and American Street [Fabric]ation. Alexa earned a BA in Math and Philosophy from Belmont University and a Master’s in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dinu Bumbaru graduated in architecture and conversation from Université de Montréal (Canada) and University of York (UK). Since 1982, he has worked at Héritage Montréal, an independent organization for the protection and revitalization of the architectural, urban and landscape heritage of Montreal metropolitan area and its communities. Dinu’s engagement extends internationally through ICOMOS – the International Council on Monuments and Sites – of which he was Secretary General and Chair of the Canadian Committee and participates in initiatives linking heritage conservation, public participation, risk reduction or the life of the Modern Metropolis. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008.
As the Coordinator of Public Engagement at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Lyla Catellier assists in creating and managing CAF's public programs, including lectures, panel discussions, site-based programs, and hands-on workshops. Prior to joining CAF, she led the design and development of a Boeing Company-commissioned community web platform (ChicagoMusic.org), whose mission is to bring light to Chicago-based musicians and break down barriers between musical genres. She was the Assistant Director of Elastic Arts, an artist-run gallery and improvised music venue in Chicago, and worked for the San Francisco Arts Commission Street Artists Program. She graduated with a Masters of Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History from the University of West Florida.
Megan Canning is an artist and nonprofit director passionate about the power of art and design to create positive change in our cities, our communities, and our lives. Since 2005 she has worked for the Design Trust for Public Space, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City; she has served as Deputy Director since 2008.
Megan has lectured on design and public space at Columbia University, Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Nashville Civic Design Center. In 2013 she was invited by the German Marshall Fund of the United States to be a panelist for the White House initiative, Strong Cities, Strong Communities. In 2012, Megan was named one of the nation's top 100 design leaders by Public Interest Design. From 2011 to 2013, she served as a design advisor to Nissan on every aspect of the new “Taxi of Tomorrow” vehicle, the first user-focused taxicab to exclusively serve New York City. In 2010, she was chosen to be a Vanguard by Next American City, an honor given to 30 young urban leaders across the country working to improve our cities.
Prior to joining the Design Trust, Megan managed a boutique art advising firm in New York City, where she worked with public, private, and nonprofit clients such as Middlebury College, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, and Memorial Sloan Kettering to build their art collections, commission works of art, and implement public art programs.
Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in art education from Ohio University and a master’s degree in painting from Hunter College. She is a practicing artist with a studio in Brooklyn, NY.
Polly Carpenter, AIA is Senior Program Manager and directs Learning By Design:MA programs at the BSA Foundation in Boston. She holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a MArch from Rice University. In 1997, she opened her own firm while developing her interest in K-12 design education. As a design educator with Learning By Design:NY, Polly took part in the City of Neighborhoods youth design program and conducted teacher workshops at the Lincoln Center Institute. Polly joined Learning By Design:MA in 1999 and has since taught hundreds of workshops for K-12 students, teachers, and architects. She has presented at numerous symposia, conferences, and conventions, including the AIA National Convention and the Greenbuild Convention.
Jill Farley is the Director of Digital Initiatives at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. She has been an online project coordinator, web strategist, and consultant for twelve years. She provides expertise in digital strategy, technology best practices, digital project management, information architecture, website content management, metrics analysis, and usability. She serves as a liaison between internal teams at CAF (and outside vendors when necessary) on all phases of interactive projects from concept through final delivery, managing strategic direction, project plans, and team communication. Jill is a highly skilled communicator and works with project stakeholders to understand needs, make recommendations, advise on best practices, and ensure online solutions effectively meet objectives. Jill serves as a digital ambassador for CAF to the greater cultural community, both locally in Chicago and beyond. Prior to joining CAF in 2009, Jill was an Interactive Strategist at Meta4 Design, Inc., a Chicago-based design firm, where she worked with clients such as the McCormick Foundation, Western Union, and The Private Bank. Previously, she served as Director of Online Publishing at Imagination Publishing. Jill holds a Bachelor degree in Journalism from Indiana University.
Mark is a principal at Walker Macy. He has headed a staff of planners, architects and urban designers, developing plans for a wide range of policies, programs and projects in cities and towns throughout the greater Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country. This work included downtown plans, corridor plans, master plans for town centers, gateways and civic centers, urban parks, and transit-oriented development sites. It also included developing land use regulations as well as design standards and guidelines that would govern streets and private development. He was the lead designer for several high-profile projects involving public works, such as the Mercer East project in Seattle, the Waterfront Esplanade in Port Angeles, the Pacific Street outdoor room in Tacoma, and the 4th Street Gateway in Bremerton. For many of these projects, he managed teams of consultants including transportation planners, economists, landscape architects, and public involvement specialists.
Caroline James is an Associate at Maryann Thompson Architects in Watertown, Massachusetts, collaborating on residential projects as well as the new Visitor Center at Walden Pond, a project that follows the ethos of Henry David Thoreau in a contemporary context. Caroline received her Master in Architecture in 2014 from the Harvard GSD, where she co-chaired Women in Design (2013-2014) and Africa GSD (2012-2013). In March 2013, Caroline spearheaded with Arielle Assouline-Lichten the Petition to Recognize Denise Scott Brown for her work deserving of the 1991 Pritzker Prize, garnering nearly 20,000 signatures worldwide. Caroline continues to create dialogues on issues of inclusion, recognition and joint creativity in design. She has spoken at institutions including Harvard GSD and the Guggenheim Museum, as well as hosts dialogues including AN INCLUSIVE EDGE: A Panel Discussion with Architects and Advocates at the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. She is a frequent contributor to the Harvard GSD LOEBlog, where her writing delves into how architecture, design and planning principles interact with wider social, economic and political contexts.
Rebecca Johnson is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. She's an experienced non-profit executive and former land use attorney with 10 years experience working on real estate development projects on behalf of the community, private developers, and local governments. In addition to her expertise on the process of developing the built environment, Rebecca draws upon her passion for improving the lives of individuals and communities through thoughtful community engagement in sustainable development from design to occupancy. Rebecca brings her experience and leadership to AIA Philadelphia and the Center for Architecture to engage, educate, and excite both AIA members and the public around issues of architecture and design.
Garrett Karp has been a member of CAF’s Open House Chicago (OHC) team since 2013, becoming Program Manager in 2014. Garrett oversees the development and implementation of the internal and external aspects of OHC, working with CAF staff, community-based program partners and sites to build the event year-round. Prior to joining CAF, Garrett spent seven years in ticketing operations at Ravinia Festival. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning and Geography from Michigan State University, where he played trumpet and E-flat cornet in the Spartan Marching Band. Garrett is a fourth generation Chicagoan, a CAF docent and an expert on Chicago’s coolest places and historic photos of Chicago.
As an architect, Le has been designing remarkable schools around the US / world for more than 25 years, creating spaces that encourage student inquiry and imagination and offer students a sense of what it means to be a part of a global community. Previous to founding WONDER, he served as the Head of Global K-12 Design for CannonDesign and collaborated with Bruce Mau and VS Furniture on the research project that eventually became the internationally regarded The Third Teacher publication, a cabinet of wonders on how design can transform the ecology of learning. During his 20 years at CannonDesign, Le’s work has yielded awards from the Chicago, Illinois and national chapters of the American Institute of Architects, and been published in such periodicals as Architectural Record, Contract Design, Fast Company, and Edutopia. Le is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences such as Big Ideas Fest, TEDx Reset Istanbul, CEFPI and the AIA National Convention.
On a personal level, Le once lived and studied architecture in the old stable at the Palace of Versailles. And Le loves Star Wars, Legos, uncovering madly fascinating concepts in science and biology, and riding his Vespa to a local coffee shop to sketch and design not far from where he lives (with his wife and 4 children) northwest of Chicago, Illinois.
Gabe Lyon joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation in fall 2014 as Vice President of Education and Experience. In this role, she is responsible for leading the organization's thinking on how to engage youth, educator, mentor, and family communities to explore the built environment and design thinking through in-person and online experiences. Gabe is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader, educator, and public speaker on education reform.
Her background includes founding and leading organizations and initiatives focused on leveling the playing field of educational opportunity for underserved youth, particularly in science and technology. Gabe co-founded Project Exploration in 1999 and served as its executive director for 11 years. Gabe has been recognized as a Chicago Community Trust Leadership Fellow (2010) and a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine (2011).
She earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where she is an Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Tocarra Mallard has been with the Chicago Architecture Foundation since December 2012 and a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) since fall 2014. As Manager of Studio Programs, Tocarra has developed several new programs and workshops including Read and Build, an early education program that combines design, play and literacy. Interested in storytelling as a means of civic activism, Tocarra is presently working on an oral history project based in the historic Chicago neighborhood of Homan Square. She holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration and Policy from the SAIC and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Kent heads the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), the national center for architecture and urban planning in Denmark, which is organized as a public-private partnership between the philanthropic fund Realdania and the Danish government. The DAC is a nonprofit organization that delivers public service, B2B development, and international promotion within the fields of architecture and urban planning.
Kent serves as a member of a number of national and international committees, juries and boards, including the international jury panel of the Architecture Biennale in Venice, the steering committee of the Mies Van der Rohe Award and competition juries, and the board of directors of the Association of Architecture Organizations.
Kent is an adviser to governments, municipalities, and corporations on policy making, strategic development, and city governance. Kent was educated at international architecture schools and universities, including the Beaux Arts School in Paris and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art in Copenhagen, from which he holds an MA in Architecture. He is also connected to The Wharton Executive Business Program.
Jen Masengarb joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 2000. In her current role as Director of Interpretation and Research, she directs CAF’s interpretive focus, serves as a subject matter expert in architecture and design, and develops new strategies for engaging adult and youth audiences. For 12 years she led CAF’s curriculum development projects, in addition to developing workshops for students and teachers in grades K-12, training CAF’s volunteer docent corps, and teaching adult education courses. She is the author of CAF’s three award-winning curricular resources – "Schoolyards to Skylines: Teaching with Chicago’s Amazing Architecture," "The Architecture Handbook: A Student Guide to Understanding Buildings," and DiscoverDesign.org.
Prior to joining CAF, Jen worked at architectural firms, researched historic structures, and taught high school in Slovakia. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Detroit-Mercy, and a Master of Architectural History degree and Historic Preservation certificate from the University of Virginia.
Anijo Punnen Mathew is the Founder and CEO of Proboscis, the company behind Vamonde. He has over 15 years of experience as an architect, designer, and educator. By day, Anijo is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Design at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where he teaches and researches new semantic appropriations of place enabled by technology and media convergence. By night, with his co-conspirators at Vamonde, he cooks up new ways for people to tell stories in place.
Patrick Miner is the Senior Manager of Marketing Operations at the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), where he oversees branding, communications, advertising, social media, and audience research. Over the past four years at CAF, he has developed an organization-wide audience research structure and overhauled CAF’s paid media strategy. Prior to joining CAF, Patrick worked in journalism and as New Media Manager for a 2008 presidential campaign. Recent speaking engagements include a presentation on marketing and analysis at the American Marketing Association Conference in Washington DC and a presentation on cartography at the Esri International Conference in San Diego. Patrick is originally from Michigan and studied History and Linguistics at Lawrence University.
Srinivas Murthy G. is Founder, Chief Executive, and Architect of SMG Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary architectural design firm with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Visakhapatnam. SMG Design approaches sustainable urban development and building architecture from a distinctly Indian perspective, and has undertaken many prestigious projects in the field of museum design, medical infrastructure, tourism, corporate and IT infrastructure, and master planning of large townships.
Mr. Murthy’s deep interest in generating awareness about design and architecture throughout society resulted in his founding the Architecture and Design Foundation (India), a volunteer group that has conducted many exhibitions, workshops, and public design activities since its founding 2008. This outreach work only adds to his reputation across India as a top designer and ambassador for the profession.
Mr. Murthy is a registered architect with the Council of Architecture (India), holding a degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. He performs visiting faculty duties at Andhra University-Visakhapatnam and at CSIIT College of Architecture, Hyderabad.
Lynn Osmond assumed the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation in 1996. Osmond is responsible for overseeing CAF’s architecture tours, exhibitions, public programs, and youth and adult education programs. During Lynn’s tenure, CAF has realized 300 percent in organizational growth, has consistently ranked among the top 10 Chicago cultural institutions, and has grown its audience to more than half a million visitors. Additionally, CAF’s docent program has become internationally recognized as the leading program of its kind. Lynn also spearheaded the launch of the Association of Architecture Organizations and the Architecture + Design Education Network.
In 2014, the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) presented CAF with its Keystone Award. The Keystone Award is an annual national award that honors an individual or organization from outside the field of architecture for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. In 2005, Lynn was recognized as an Honorary Member of The American Institute of Architects. In 2002, she was awarded the Paul Berger Arts Entrepreneurship Award presented by Columbia College, and, in 2009, received the Chicago Woman Achievement Award from the Chicago Alliance for Women.
In addition to serving CAF as a docent, Lynn currently serves as Founding Chair of the Association of Architecture Organizations and is a Mayoral appointment as Chair of the Toronto Sister Cities. She serves on the boards of Choose Chicago, the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the Central Area Committee, the Chicago Loop Alliance, and the Richardson Architecture Center in Buffalo, New York. She is an active member of The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, International Women’s Forum Chicago, and Urban Land Institute. Lynn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Queens University, Ontario, Canada. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Carol is the American Planning Association President and a founding partner of the Orion Planning Group, and previously created and staffed Rhea Consulting. In addition to her work as a consultant, Rhea has worked as a city, county, regional, and state planner. Her passion is helping local governments build planning capacity, and working with small to medium-sized communities to address planning challenges. She has a history of volunteer work that includes serving as a planning commissioner, on a historic foundation board, and in many leadership roles within APA.
Geoffrey Alan Rhodes is a writer, artist, and film maker. His work across disciplines challenges borders between the real and virtual, the cinematic and actual, fine art and popular experience. His films and video installations have shown at the Tribeca, Sarajevo, and Moscow International Film Festivals, the Images festival in Toronto, the European Media Arts Festival, and many others. His Augmented Reality performances and publications have created virtual public sculptures in Sacramento, a screenplay that talks to you in Public Art Dialogue, artist models dressed in flashing neon signs at NYC’s EyeBeam, and collectable porcelain plates that embed animated 3D nudes. He has been sponsored by the Princess Grace Foundation, Rhizome.org, the New York Council for the Humanities and the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Visual Communication Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. Visit www.GARhodes.com for more details.
Jason Robbins is a founding board member and current Chair of Storefront Manitoba: Architecture/Design/Urbanism, a non-profit organization developed to advance the awareness and appreciation of architecture, design and the built environment in Manitoba. StorefrontMB is responsible for Cool Gardens: a public exhibition of contemporary garden and art, FRONTlines: a discussion series to create a dialogue between the city’s design professionals, developers, and the public, as well as The Winnipeg Design Festival: an annual event that promotes and celebrates design culture in Manitoba with engaging events.
With a background in theatre and film, Jason studied marketing and communications before going to architecture school. Jason Robbins is currently an architect with the Department of National Defence.
Hallie Rosen is Director of Volunteer Engagement at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. In this role, she is responsible for the recruitment and training of nearly 500 of the Foundation’s volunteers, including docents and visitor experience volunteers. Prior to joining CAF, Hallie created and developed the inaugural volunteer program for the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, which opened in 2009. Throughout her 30 year career in the nonprofit sector, she has had opportunity to work with volunteers at all levels – on boards, on committees, and in the soup kitchen! She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mary W. Rowe is Vice President, Managing Director for The Municipal Art Society of New York, where she supports the work of her colleagues to research, train, and advocate for city building practices and policies that build economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability, and social diversity. Her particular charge at MAS includes creating learning networks of practitioners working to foster urban livability and resilience.
Her engagement with MAS follows five years of work in the recovering city of New Orleans, most recently as coordinator of the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation, a loose alliance of initiatives that emerged in response to the systemic collapses of 2005.
Her initial engagement in NOLA came as part of a fellowship awarded to her by the Blue Moon Fund of Charlottesville, Virginia, in order to focus on self-organization in cities as the underpinning of urban and regional social, economic, and environmental resilience. While at Blue Moon, Mary developed an urban granting program to invest in specific initiatives in New Orleans, Washington, DC, and New York City. Her work in New Orleans supported a broad array of local, connected initiatives that included efforts for building the local economy, creating more open governance and data collection and sharing, fostering entrepreneurship, creating a culture of planning that helped support transparent decision making and land-use, supports for the emerging role of social media, and the creation of peer-to-peer learning in the emerging civil society-led innovation in the Region.
Mary is an experienced facilitator, convener, and communicator on urban issues, and worked for ten years in Toronto as President of Ideas that Matter. Books to which she has contributed include What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs (Center for the Living City/New Village Press), Oil and Water…and Other Things that Don’t Mix (LL-Publications), Toronto: Considering Self-Government (The Ginger Press), Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (Ecotone Publishing), and Ideas that Matter: The Worlds of Jane Jacobs (Island Press/Ginger Press).
John Russick is the Vice President for Interpretation and Education at the Chicago History Museum. Since 1998, he has led the development of a host of exhibition, program, and digital experiences for the museum. Prior to that he held positions at Chicago’s Field Museum and the National Museum of American History. His recent publications include Connecting Kids to History with Museum Exhibitions (Left Coast Press, 2010) and Remembering Chicago: Crime in the Capone Era (Turner Publications, 2010). He served as a consultant to the 2011 Florentine Films documentary, Prohibition, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. He organizes the annual Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition for the American Alliance of Museums. He served as Vice Chair of CHM’s Visioning Committee, an initiative that culminated with the publication of Claiming Chicago: Shaping Our Future (2007), which is available on the museum’s website.
Courtney Spearman joined the National Endowment for the Arts as a Design Specialist in May 2014, managing the Art Works grant program to support the field of design and design projects nationwide. Trained as a landscape architect and architectural historian, Courtney came to the NEA after working for The Cultural Landscape Foundation, a DC-based non-profit (and NEA grantee) focused on raising awareness about design landscapes. She has also worked in practice at EDAW/AECOM in Alexandria, Virginia. Before returning to graduate school, Courtney worked for a small tech start-up in Houston and London doing project management and technical support, and for several Houston museums and art galleries. She has masters degrees in landscape architecture and architectural history from the University of Virginia, and bachelors degrees in history and art and art history from Rice University.
Linda Sylvan joined the Rice Design Alliance as Executive Director in 1988 and has steered its development as a model for architecture organizations. RDA is a community outreach program of the Rice School of Architecture, dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational events, publications, and active programs to initiate physical improvements. Under Ms. Sylvan’s leadership, RDA has enjoyed considerable organizational growth and currently maintains an active patron base exceeding 2,100 members.
Ms. Sylvan has held several key roles in promoting design within the greater Houston area, as one of the original editors for Houston City Magazine, Houston Home and Garden, and Managing Editor of RDA’s own publication, Cite. Prior to returning to the Houston, Ms. Sylvan was an Editorial Research Associate for Reader’s Digest.
Robert H. Tai, Ed.D., is an Associate Professor of Science Education at the Curry School of Education in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. He currently teaches courses on the Teaching of Elementary Science, Conceptual Change, and Review of Mathematics and Science Education Policy. However, he has previously taught a wide range of courses including those focused on readings and research in science education, educational technology, fundamentals of educational research, and issues in multicultural and urban education.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Virginia, Dr. Tai taught high school physics in Illinois and then Texas. He has served as both a research associate and teaching fellow in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Professor Tai was on the faculty of the College of Staten Island, City University of New York immediately after earning a Doctorate in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Now at the University of Virginia, Dr. Tai is fully involved in several grant funded research projects, the supervision and mentoring of doctoral students, and the production and dissemination of science education research. Most recently, Dr. Tai received the Award for Education Research Leadership by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents in 2008.