Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Beautiful Aerial Video of Summer Series Venue

Sam Aquillano | July 24th, 2014 | No Comments »

This evening we’re heading to Somerville for the first of three events in our Summer Series! Each event will take place at the brand new Assembly Row outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Mystic River. To truly get a sense of the venue and preview these three events we partnered with Above Summit, a Boston-based film and production studio specializing in aerial coverage through the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) as well as ground coverage using professional cameras and equipment.

Enjoy! And join us for Summer Series at Assembly Row!

Design Museum Mornings Interview With Benedicte From Beyt

Sam Aquillano | June 13th, 2014 | No Comments »

Dustin DiTommaso

Boston, MA — June 27th, 2014


Curious about this month’s Design Museum Morning presenter & talk? Read this teaser interview with Benedicte.

Learn more about this event here.

DMB: The titles of your projects derive from something meaningful, can you elaborate on how the names ‘Beyt’ and ‘2b design’ came to be?

Moubarak: Beyt, our brand name derives from one of the dimensions of our mission: building bridges and promoting reconciliation between communities that are in a state of tension. Beyt means ‘House’ or ‘Home’ in Hebrew and in Arabic. Through our projects, we involve people of diverse religious backgrounds to work together in one ‘home’. 2 b design, our company name represents my first name, Benedicte, derived from a latin root meaning ‘blessed’ and my married name, Moubarak, from a Semitic root which also means ‘blessed’. We want those who get involved in our project to feel doubly blessed!

DMB: One of the most important steps in your process is finding discarded and lost items in rubble, can you describe the experience of these actions?

Moubarak: It is a challenging and complicated aspect of our work. It involves traveling to different towns and villages in the Middle East and searching in salvage yards for the right pieces. We bring each piece to our Beirut workshop; design every piece individually; transform the pieces according to the design; ship each piece to Cambridge, MA in the U.S. for further transformation; and finally we display our creations in our showroom in Cambridge. Any other process would not achieve our goal. We often dream of simply placing an order with a supplier, getting a box with the product and selling it! It would however defeat the purpose of what we are trying to achieve.

DMB: You instill a sense of community by employing the unemployed. What does it take to do so and how have you changed lives?

Moubarak: It takes the belief that we can change the life of a person who is facing insurmountable challenges. It takes readiness to make personal sacrifices, and willingness to devote time, effort and compassion to each new hire.

It took years of close work with the team of disabled ironworkers to get to the quality of craftsmanship we have today, it took years to train the ladies from marginalized backgrounds to turn them into world class artisans. For many months I thought that an individual from Roxbury whom we hired last year would not be able to handle the work, but today— a year later— I see how all the efforts are paying off. Our job is to infuse confidence in every person, and no matter their circumstances, we are here to help them as they are helping us.

Learn more about this event here!

Design Museum Mornings Interview with Dustin DiTommaso

brooke | May 19th, 2014 | No Comments »

Dustin DiTommaso

Boston, MA — May 19th, 2014


Curious about this month’s Design Museum Morning presenter & talk? Read this teaser interview with Dustin.

“How can we create software and technology that facilitates one’s motivation to interact with someone or something?”
-Dustin DiTommaso, VP Experience Designer at Mad*Pow • Design Museum Mornings May presenter

Learn more about this event here.

DMB: What is the difference between motivational technology and persuasive design?

DiTommaso: After the first boom of web design we came to a conclusion that behavior is what we are designing for — the two way conversation between people and technology. Persuasive design says that we influence behavior and get people to do things with computers, more specifically how do we get people to buy more things and click on more buttons? Even though the word persuasion doesn’t necessarily mean manipulation, it has spun into that framework. To reverse this idea we ask, how can we design to reverse that? How can we create software and technology that facilitates one’s motivation to interact with someone or something?

DMB: How much does sound design play into an immersive experience design?

DiTommaso: Sound design has a lot to do with immersive experience. Sound is still an underutilized component of digital design. I do it less now, but it was my gateway into design in many ways. If we are thinking about design that is going to support an aesthetic & sensory experience, sound has the ability to connect with people. The right sounds added into devices and products not only form the big picture of immersion and emotional context, but also help people complete the minute tasks that they are doing.

DMB: How do you consider form when designing experience?

DiTommaso: As a process, we think about what does the design need to do. What is the purpose for the people who will be interacting with it? How does form support that process and optimize it to make it the best it can be? So, if someone is going to use something once in their life or many times a day, that digital form needs to support all of the goals and reasons for simply being.

Learn more about this event here!

Design Museum Mornings Interview with Louis Joseph

brooke | April 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

Louis Joseph

Boston, MA — April 3rd, 2014


Excited to hear from Louis Joseph at the next Design Museum Mornings? We are too! We spent some time with Louis Joseph this week, and here’s what he said.

“Passion tends to abound at PUMA and there are very few instances when designers have to search for inspiration.”
Louis Joseph, Global Director of Strategy & Innovation at PUMA • Design Museum Mornings April presenter

Learn more about this event here.

DMB: How much is the professional athlete involved in the process of designing footwear at PUMA?

Joseph: The extent to which the athlete is involved has a lot to do with our familiarity with them as individuals. This means getting to know the characteristics and meticulous requirements of the individual and creating the footwear to best serve them. Most professional athletes have busy schedules but, they and we, find it important to make an effort to connect regarding all matters of product creation and performance expectations, no matter where we might be traveling in the world. More than anything, the understanding that we form with our footballers, sprinters, golfers, and F1 pilots is robust.

DMB: Is there a huge difference in emotional impact when designing performance footwear verses designing an everyday pair of shoes?

Joseph: PUMA designers are highly passionate about whatever type of footwear they are producing. Within our creative process the consumer is always the center of attention whether they are a performance athlete or have a desire for premium style and fashion. Technology and performance are certainly of high demand but the emotional connections and rich experiences that great products generate are what makes a company truly consumer centric. Passion tends to abound at PUMA and there are very few instances when designers have to search for inspiration.

DMB: What was PUMA’s response to the Marathon Bombing on both local and global levels?

Joseph: The response was shock and sadness. I think for all members of the Boston community such a tragic event has provided us with a time to pause and consider the bravery of real heroes such as all of our first responders who we often take for granted. Ultimately, we continue to gain a sense of perspective from last year’s marathon and our goal is to not lose sight of that as we become entrenched and involved in sports every day. However, if sport is a metaphorical journey of challenge and achievement, tragedy and triumph, then I know that we are all extremely excited for the 2014 marathon where Boston’s runners and supporters will illustrate a strength of character and resilience that will be truly powerful and uplifting.

Join us for April’s Design Museum Mornings event– register for a free ticket here!

Green Patriot Poster Review – Benita Hussain, Greenovate

Sam Aquillano | March 20th, 2014 | No Comments »

Green Patriot Posters Review

Benita Hussain on Breaking New Ground


The revolution will be designed! This post continues a series focused on our exhibition, Green Patriot Posters. These posters inspire us to take world-changing action against climate change, and for the next five months we’ll be giving posters to local design, community, and sustainability leaders and asking them what they think. This post comes from Benita Hussain, Co-Manager of Greenovate Boston.

Break New Ground
Joe Wirtheim

Inspired by the WWII Garden of Victory campaign, in his Green Patriots Poster, Joe Wirtheim presents what he calls his “own propaganda campaign for new American home-front values.” And within that campaign, he asks us to “break new ground.” But what ground are we being asked to break, and what power do we wield with our own shovels, on our own soil?

A lot of power, Wirtheim argues. In a world where energy policies can’t seem to keep pace with our changing climate, we need to break through our own literal and figurative constraints—feelings of impotence in the face of something so huge, the inertia of our daily lives, the constant frenzy to buy bigger and consume more. Our “new American values” must prepare us for a bigger battle—climate change and its impacts–and they must empower us to feel individual responsibility towards changing our future.

But that’s the big stuff. More tangibly, Wirtheim also shows that victory can actually rest in the garden. As more individuals take up arms – creating ground-level movements to conserve natural resources, support local economies and increase their access to healthy food – our backyards and the soil in our own cities are part of the solution. Even here in Boston, an urban agriculture movement has flourished, where city farmers can now, through progressive zoning laws, grow and provide fruits and vegetables for their own communities.

The open spaces and green roofs on which these farmers grow also help manage storm water in low-lying areas and moderate cities’ overall temperatures — lowering our heating and cooling needs, and saving energy to and reducing carbon emissions. And because local food production both helps stabilize food prices during extreme weather events and provides new sources of income to residents, city farming can be especially helpful for those most vulnerable to climate change’s impacts: the urban poor.

Art is often used to bolster our most important causes. And the most effective art begs us to question how we view what is around us, in front of us, and within us. Wirtheim is asking us to do the same: To break down our own perceptions of our own abilities in our fight against climate change, to grab our shovels and dig.

— Benita Hussain

Read more expert reactions to Green Patriot Posters.

Design Museum Mornings Interview with Paul Paturzo

brooke | March 12th, 2014 | No Comments »

Paul Paturzo

Boston, MA — March 12th, 2014

Here’s a preview to Paul Paturzo’s University project in Tanzania, and a sneak peek of his Design Museum Mornings talk. Learn more about this event here.

“Social responsibility comes from re-educating the population in environmental stewardship.”
Paul Paturzo, Architect, Design Museum Mornings presenter


DMB: Why is it important for the design community in Boston to learn about your project in Tanzania?
Paturzo: Boston is one of the leading cities in planning for climate change and extreme weather. The environmental work that is being done around the world is relevant to the Boston design community because this challenge has no borders. Scientists and designers have become allies in experimenting with solutions and generally engaging in creative problem solving when it comes to mitigating and adapting to climate change. Projects located near the equator such as this one, have been dealing with the effects of extreme weather for several years now.

DMB: How do you think EAUST (East Africa University of Science + Technology) will benefit East Africa/Tanzania?
Paturzo: Right now there are no universities in western Tanzania– we would be the first in the region. In many ways this project is already helping the city of Kigoma because the founder started a community college for people who, like himself, had lost time to famine or war. Our University will educate students in ecology and science, and will invite researchers to come and share knowledge. There will also be a curriculum set up for people who will be trained for jobs that are trade oriented such as hospitality.

DMB: You have designed many various projects, how is building a university different than building lofts and residences? Do you have a preference?
Paturzo: If I spend a whole day designing a detail or the day working on a complicated site plan I feel the same sense of accomplishment. The difference with this project is depth of collaboration and making design decisions based on maximizing the positive impact on the area. For example, we are designing trusses such that local tradesmen can fabricate them verses having the parts made abroad and shipped in for assembly. This kind of thinking is new to me and it will influence the form of the buildings.


Want more? Register for a free ticket for this month’s Design Museum Morning here!

Missed our first Gallery Talk?

brooke | March 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

We had our first Gallery Talk!

Inspiration, good laughs and thought-provoking conversation!

On February, 21 we held our very first Gallery Talk with Lindsay Farrell and Florian Mewes, two Green Patriot Poster designers featured in the exhibition!

After taking a special tour of the Green Patriot Posters exhibition with Sam Aquillano, we had the chance to learn about Lindsay’s and Florian’s design processes, and their participation in the Green Patriot Posters movement. Lindsay an architect, and Florian a graphic designer, revealed the diversity of this initiative and strengthened the GPP spirit. What we weren’t expecting was how they made us laugh about climate change and sustainability – such great jokes and funny comments! Not to mention the spontaneous after-party on the 20th floor rooftop lounge of 315 on A! A breathtaking view of the city and one-on-one pool matches with the designers!

Thanks to all who joined us last Thursday evening, and don’t miss our next Gallery Talk on Thursday, March, 27th with design curator and Graphic Design Chair of MassArt, Elizabeth Resnick!

Check here for more info on Green Patriot Posters events and tickets!

Design Museum Morning Interview with Michael Connors

Sam Aquillano | February 14th, 2014 | No Comments »


Boston, MA — February 14, 2014

This month, on Design Museum Mornings we get the inside scoop from Michael Connors of Fresh Tilled Soil on creative direction and design project management.

“This problem is like having a jigsaw puzzle with its pieces scattered everywhere. Which do I pick up first? The first thing you do can impact how the rest of the process goes.”
Michael Connors, Executive Creative Director at Fresh Tilled Soil, Design Museum Mornings presenter

DMB: What is something that both designers and non-designers of the Design Museum Boston community will take away from your presentation?
Connors: They will understand the challenges that present themselves within a team internally as well as teams working together, and will have a better sense of how to collaborate within a variety of team structures. They will also understand how to better manage and execute a design project such as a web application or website.

DMB: We noticed on the Fresh Tilled Soil Website that you are very open to sharing the process behind creating a successful project. What role does process have in your work at Fresh Tilled Soil?
Connors: There is a key and fundamental role that both methodology and process play in the work we do at Fresh Tilled Soil. One of the things we will be talking about is how they can be used to facilitate a project and ensure the project is successful, as opposed to letting them get in the way. It’s really important to understand how to use ‘process’ properly to get the job done, and not let it become the outcome.

DMB: A lot of times, it can be intimidating to start a project from scratch. What is the best way to get started on a design project from the ground up?
Connors: This is often where people have the hardest time. This problem is like having a jigsaw puzzle with its pieces scattered everywhere. Which do I pick up first? The first thing you do can impact how the rest of the process goes. I think the first critical step is to understand the client’s needs and expectations, and having a shared vision about what you’re building and why you are building it. You must immerse yourself in what the client wants before creating a vision. You also should define what success means. Once enough research is done to understand those things, then the designer has enough information to begin the preliminary steps. The goal is to communicate the initial vision and the way to do that is to take constant feedback from the client along the way. It’s about narrowing it down from infinity to the one channel that will be a direct route to the solution.

DMB: What are 3 magic ingredients to creating any successful web or mobile design?
Connors: communication, collaboration, iteration.

DMB: Can you talk a little bit about your background in Fine Arts and how you ended up in the design field. Do you feel having a fine arts background you have a more unique perspective about the projects you are working on in a team of all designers and developers?
Connors: I earned both my BFA and MFA in painting and I believe this helps me tremendously in my current work. Being taught by professors largely into abstract expressionism, I was influenced by movement and tactility, and encouraged to speak and act freely– even though at the time I was painting in a more traditional style. My education challenged my assertion of art and gave me an extensive design vocabulary, which I learned studying the history of art, and color theory.

When PCs first came out for everyday use in the 1980’s, my brother was given a beta version of Adobe Photoshop which I was instantly intrigued by. I was hooked by the ‘undo’ feature which I could activate with a quick keystroke. It was magic to me – I never looked back.

Want more? Register for a free ticket for this month’s Design Museum Morning here!

Student Poster Design Competition, Call for Entries is Open! • Video

Sam Aquillano | February 9th, 2014 | No Comments »

Green Patriot Poster Review – Galen Nelson, MassCEC

Sam Aquillano | February 9th, 2014 | No Comments »

Green Patriot Posters Review

Galen Nelson on Clean Energy for America


The revolution will be designed! This post continues a series focused on our exhibition, Green Patriot Posters. These posters inspire us to take world-changing action against climate change, and for the next five months we’ll be giving posters to local design, community, and sustainability leaders and asking them what they think. This post comes from Galen Nelson, Director of Market Development for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Clean Energy for America
Shepard Fairey

Like many of Shepard Fairey’s other works, Clean Energy for America references the political propaganda, industrial production, and co-operative advertising roots of the artistic and stylistic tradition of Russian Constructivism, while also sampling Art Deco and Madison Avenue.

The red, white, and blue color palette reference to Fairey’s iconic Barack Obama Hope poster is unmistakable while the sharp lines of the stylized clouds and 21 star peaked sunburst recall the type of engraving found on printed currency or a postage stamp, imparting timelessness, credibility, and gravitas.

The sunburst motif found in early 20th century Constructivist advertisements for everyday products – some current day print ads for Stolichnaya Russian Vodka feature sunbursts – rises behind the turbines magnifying the confidence, glamour, technological leaps, and mass production marked by the machine age and popularized by the Art Deco visual arts style of the 1920s and 30s.

The upper, wispy clouds appear to be stylized representations of the globe’s major land masses, ranging from Africa at left, across Europe and Asia at center to Australia at right. Is the stylized globe merely Eurocentric, or has Fairey omitted the Americas to subtly suggest that the US must do more to earn a place in the clean energy global community?

Graphically, the vanishing point, formed by two lines linking the tower bases and turbine nacelles, converge on the horizon where mountain meets sky. From there, your eye is drawn to the rising cloud, counterclockwise around the sunburst, to the foreground and poster title at bottom, and begins the circular cycle again, echoing the nine blades’ sweeping journey through the sky and underscoring the symbolic and electrical generating power of these 21st century machines.

Fairey has been criticized for creating works for large corporate clients that detractors claim don’t square with his Obey roots as a street artist and progressive political activist. For some Americans, clean energy imparts a rebellious, revolutionary “living off the grid” image. Still other citizens, with ties to the right wing American Legislative Exchange Council, have tried to link renewable energy to communist policy. At the same time, Wall Street and corporate America are increasingly embracing and investing in clean energy recognizing the industry’s profit potential and responding to other powerful political and market forces. Fairey’s Clean Energy for America rises above partisan politics with a unifying image that projects freedom, (energy) independence, and the commoditization of clean energy, all underscored by a title typeface with a western style serif that recalls the all-American, testosterone laden mystique of Marlboro Man print ads from the last century.

Steering clear of the maudlin, sentimental, or self-righteous appeals offered by some clean energy proponents, Fairey’s turbines march confidently over the landscape, appealing to hope and progress, with a convincing sense of unstoppable momentum. While I’m happy with the result, there’s a part of me that wishes Fairey had demanded our attention with something more provocative, or urgent. But his matter-of-fact approach reflects clean energy’s emerging mainstream status and this brand of confident, patriotic marketing may be just what the industry needs right now.

— Galen Nelson

Read more expert reactions to Green Patriot Posters.