Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Volunteer Highlight: Tobias Froehlich

| October 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

Boston, MA — October 21st, 2014


Design Museum Boston is grateful for the fleet of volunteers who have helped at events, in exhibition spaces, and at workshops throughout the years! Our volunteers come from all walks of life and bring an extra bit of enthusiasm and expertise that is irreplaceable! We want to share with you their wisdom and their experiences volunteering with us!

This month we are highlighting Tobias Froehlich, a Design Museum Boston member and super-volunteer! Tobias has volunteered at various events and served as an exhibition docent at Better Business by Design in the Boston Design Center. See what he has to say about his experience volunteering with us!

DMB: How did you start getting involved with Design Museum Boston? Can you explain your experience volunteering?

Tobias: I became a member of the Design Museum last June when I moved to Boston and I have been to quite a few events. Recently due to a career change I was able to volunteer because I have more time on my hands. When I was a volunteer docent at the Better Business by Design exhibit at the Boston Design Center, I had a really fun time being a spokesperson for the museum! Sometimes I would be the only Design Museum Boston person in the space when guests were visiting. In this position my performance had a lot to do with the way people view the museum– it’s a high responsibility load, but I thrive on that!

DMB: Can you share an interesting/memorable anecdote during one of your volunteering experiences?

Tobias: Probably the best experience was at Design Museum Mornings with Jeff Lahens at the co-working space, Oficio on Newbury Street. Myself, one other volunteer, and DMB staff-person Cory DePasquale dressed up in donated menswear clothing provided by Ball and Buck. We got to model their signature clothing while Jeff was presenting his rules for men’s fashion!

DMB: What’s the best thing about volunteering with DMB? What have you gained?

Tobias: The best thing is getting to meet new people. Being a volunteer is different from attending an event. As a volunteer, I’m more likely to meet people who are perhaps more influential in the scene and are either speaking at the event, organizing the event, or sponsoring. It also gives me a pretense to talk to those types of people.

DMB: What’s something you would say to someone who’s considering volunteering with DMB?
Tobias: Personally, I am a do-er, I like to do things, so it’s fun to be at an event, checking people in or making sure that stuff runs smoothly. Volunteers have a significant contribution to Design Museum Boston exhibitions & events — this is something that drew me in.

If you are into design, it’s a great way to give back to the community. The little that you give, will pay dividends in the end. You are either going to meet people, or form better relationships with the staff at the museum. If you are at all interested in design, you definitely should do it! I would say, “Just do it!”

Summer Series at Assembly Row Recap!

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »

Recap on first ever Design Museum Boston Summer Event Series!


As we pull on our scarves and boots, and soak up the Autumn colors- lets reflect on how awesome the first ever Design Museum Boston Summer Series was! Thanks to Federal Realty Investment Trust for sponsoring this three-event series, and for bringing the design conversation over to the new development Assembly Row in Somerville, MA! Watch this aerial footage of the neighborhood taken by our new friends Above Summit!

On 7/24/14 we kicked off the series with a pink sunset, and a Keynote presentation by Christine McLaren, Vancouver-based Journalist and Lead Researcher for the book, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design. Guests heard her thoughts on the intersection of urban realities & environmental issues— and got a freshly signed copy of the book! Check out photos from this event here on our facebook page!

The second event on 8/29/14 was an exclusive screening of the film The Human Scale by Danish filmmaker Andreas Dalsgaard. Once the sun had set, and the popcorn was buttery we had the pleasure of watching this feature length film about the future of the world’s population and urban centers. Assembly Row’s outdoor amphitheater was the perfect place to enjoy this film! Check out the photos on our facebook page!

To finish off the tri-event series we hosted an expert panel on 9/25. The conversation focused on how we can collaborate on creating human-centered, thoughtful environments. Senior Urban Designer & Architect at Boston Redevelopment Authority, Corey Zehngebot moderated the conversation, fielding questions and responses from a group of diverse and talented panelists, including:

  • Jason Hellendrung, Landscape Architect & Principal at Sasaki
  • B. K. Boley, Architecture & Design Principal at ADD Inc
  • Don Briggs, Senior Vice President at Federal Realty Investment Trust
  • Brad Rawson, Senior Planner, Strategic Planning & Community Development, Somerville Mayor’s Office

  • Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor:
    Federal Realty Investment Trust


    Assembly Row_Logo

    Design Museum Mornings Interview with Ilya Vedrashko

    | October 9th, 2014 | No Comments »

    Boston, MA — October 9th, 2014

    Design Museum Mornings October presents Ilya Vedrashko, SVP Consumer & Business Intelligence at Hill Holliday. In preparation for his upcoming presentation on 10/24, he teaches us a little more about consumption, a tooth fairy, and the FBI! Read this mini-interview we held with Ilya to hear more about his Design Museum Mornings presentation.

    Learn more about this event & reserve your ticket today!

    DMB: How would you define consumer research?

    Vedrashko:First, consumer research is about shopping habits. All of us go about shopping in different ways and consumer research is about understanding how and why people make these choices when they shop. Are they aware of their own choices and actions? Or are they on autopilot mode?

    DMB: Would you say that the Consumer and Business Intelligence (CBI) unit at Hill Holiday is somewhat similar to the FBI? Why or why not?

    Vedrashko: Well, we don’t run the risk of getting shot! But I would say that the CBI and the FBI are similar in the way we try to understand people and the motive behind their choices. From what I’ve seen, the intelligence community in general seems to rely on some of the similar tools as the private sector researchers, in particular text mining technologies and methods for network analysis. Researchers in the private sector are also increasingly relying on biofeedback methods – things like measuring skin conductance, pulse rate, blood flow – which work on some of the same principles as polygraphs (lie detectors), although obviously to a different end. Overall, the FBI works to make a few people (the criminals, that is) feel bad, we work to make a lot of people feel good.

    DMB: How does your knowledge on consumer behavior affect the way you consume things?

    Vedrashko: I would say that knowing how consumers shop and how stores are designed to influence the way we shop, I tend to become more aware of my surroundings. Similar to how a musician might be particularly sensitive towards a specific aspect of music, like the bass, when listening to someone else’s work. But, consumer research is also a lot like character research that actors go through when preparing for a certain role they have to act. We need to immerse ourselves in the lives of our clients and consumers in general to understand how they think. I used to live in Cambridge, but now I live in the suburbs, and I realize that people shop differently over here, which is very interesting for me as an observer and researcher.

    DMB: Can you reveal a little more about this toothfairy you will be talking about at Design Museum Mornings?
    Vedrashko: Absolutely not! That will remain a secret until the event!

    Learn more about this event & reserve your ticket today!

    FIVE Gala Recap, Photos, Video!

    | September 29th, 2014 | No Comments »

    FIVE Celebrates 5 years of Design Museum Boston!

    A big thank you to everyone who came to FIVE: Design Museum Gala! It was such a thrill to celebrate our first five years with an amazing crowd at W Boston. Thank you to our Host Committee led by our honorary co-chair The Honorable Governor Deval L. Patrick, and co-chair David Silverman, Board Chairman of Design Museum Foundation.

    The Pre-Gala Dinner was really special, thank you to everyone who attended and to our fantastic emcee, Alex Zafris for kicking off our evening. The Gala began with the ambient pop of MEMOLE and transitioned to the hot brass sound of Cocek — the music that night was incredible!

    We hope you enjoyed our five-year highlight video (see above in case you missed it!) — five years of Design Museum Boston in four minutes!

    Thank you to our live auction and silent auction donors and to all who bid to support Design Museum Boston. We’re so lucky to have had Karen Keane from Skinner Inc as our auctioneer. Your winning bids and donations ensure that we can keep producing design exhibitions and events in Boston!

    After the auction the party erupted to the awesome sounds of DJ DayGlow — we even had some musical collaboration between DJ DayGlow and Cocek on the dance floor!

    What an amazing night — we’ll never forget it — and we’ll never forget the incredible support you showed for Design Museum Boston. Thank you to Zipcar for sponsoring a special night and thank you all!

    We have some awesome photos from Ben Gebo, Justin Hamel, and Mi Zhao on our Facebook page — check them out!

    Better Business Conference Review & Videos

    | August 20th, 2014 | No Comments »

    Better Business Conference Review

    by Mitchel Ahern
    VP Marketing, Cantina

    “Businesses have always employed designers to improve the look and feel of products and experiences, but we are now seeing design thinking happening sooner, and more deeply integrated into an organization’s products and services.”

    At Cantina we’re seeing design considerations steering technology choices in new ways that speed development, increase iterations and increase roadmap flexibility. Design Museum Boston (DMB), a distributed museum, is running their most recent exhibition, Better Business By Design, at the The Innovation & Design Building in the Seaport District. I attended both the opening and the Better Business Conference held there last week. The exhibit and event provided insight into the impact design is having on business, and illustrate different aspects of how design principles are being applied to businesses, spaces and products.

    The exhibit itself is a series of illustrated case studies, which included models, mock-ups and even a demo robot. Overall, the case studies can be summarized as “paying attention to design is good business,” and that point is made through narrative, comparison and a big chart pointing up how much better design-centric business shares perform over the market average.

    On Wednesday, August 6th DMB expanded their brief to host their first miniconf at the Better Business by Design exhibit. It was a success. Presenters from Mad*Pow, Preserve, Communispace, Digitas and Essential each gave a short talk expanding on their particular piece of the show. There was something for anyone interested in business design-related topics. For me the two stand-out sessions were Eric Hudson’s explanation of what Preserve is up to, and Richard Watson from Essential discussing their product design process as evidenced by work they did for iRobot.

    It was hard not to be infected with Eric Hudson’s enthusiasm about recycling #5 plastics, the material yogurt containers are generally made from. His presentation was equal parts business, environmentalism and practical design. Everyone got a Preserve toothbrush, which I’m happy to report does the job splendidly.

    I was also very happy to see Richard Watson, Partner and Co-Founder of Essential, describe their approach to product design as applied to work they did on iRobot’s Roomba. They evolved three new Roomba variations by focusing on brand, user experience and platform opportunities. By using an iterative design process they were able to quickly create three differentiated sub-brands to hit three different price points, without altering the underlying technology platform.

    I liked the miniconf format. Presenting a lot of good content in one afternoon session achieved a nice balance of learning and networking while still leaving an open chunk of the day for getting things done, and an after-party to unwind. Looking forward to the next one!

    – Mitchel Ahern

    Eric Hudson- Founder & CEO, Preserve

    Michael Tiedemann- SVP Creative Director, Digitas

    Melanie Seaborn- SVP of Services Design & Innovation, Communispace

    Amy Cueva – Founder & Chief Experience Officer, Mad*Pow

    Richard Watson – Partner & Co-Founder, Essential

    Design Museum Mornings Interview with Jeff Lahens

    | July 31st, 2014 | No Comments »

    Jeff Lahens

    Boston, MA — July 31st, 2014


    Design Museum Mornings in August Presents Jeff Lahens Manager at Dress Code Boston. Dress Code Boston is your reference guide for your individual style beyond the conformity of most dress code rules, and it answers your questions surrounding fashion and seasonal styles. Jeff will share great insight on how to further your personal brand!

    Learn more about this event here.

    DMB: Is it all about physical “look” or does DressCode for Boston go deeper than the suit?

    Lahens: This goes deeper than the suit and tie especially when many work places do not require a suit and tie all the time. Your appearance is what customers will see of you – you want your look to leave the lasting and correct impression of the brand it is representing. Your brands integrity lays in your seam line. What do you want the look to say about you today? Men and Women have been undressing the casual friday for a while now but we want to keep the scale balanced from looking attractive professional and looking sexy attractive.

    DMB: How will DressCode for Success ultimately better my brand?

    Lahens: Brand is who you are – your appearance acts as the brands packaging of how you are perceived and represented. Stylists might try to tell you what you are doing wrong but this is about your own style. There is no particular way to dress. Essentially you want your apparel to make you feel good, look good, and represent your brand good. Everyone is an individual with a personal style built into their personal brand package.

    DMB: Explain what a Strategist’s day to day is like?

    Lahens: What is my day like? I work with retail and marketing firms who are trying to connect with their consumers. I work to find a brand/look that works with who they are. If someone walks into store they should know exactly how to use brand. Don’t sell to consumer but sell what the consumer wants. A consumer needs to know they are looking at something unique and up to date with trends, I give these firms tools to keep up with that. I want to engage people, make people look and create conversations that last.

    Learn more about this event here!

    Interview with Intercontinental Boston: Home of Honey

    | July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »

    Intercontinental Boston

    Boston, MA — July 30, 2014


    Our next Field Trip brings us to the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston! We got to sit down with ICB’s Engineering Coordinator / Sustainability Rep, Fabiene Eliacin, and the Executive Chef, Chef Didier Montarou, to ask questions about the Green Initiatives at the Hotel and what seems to be Buzzing around their Roof!
    Learn more about this event here.

    Honey Comb

    DMB: What are some ways Intercontinental Boston Hotel is Green?

    Eliacin: Intercontinental Boston is a ZERO waste hotel. Everything we do here is recycled. We provide ample recycling receptacles around the hotel and send older furniture to shelters for further use. We send out our dirty cooking oil to be cleaned and then reused to warm up the building. We have been working hard to not only be Green but also educate our peers on how to be greener. Here nothing goes to waste, we send our soaps to Nigerian shelter (previously 760 lbs). We try to be as local and seasonally-aware as possible with our food. Our meat has less hormones in it and we also produce honey at our own rooftop apiary.

    DMB: How do you want your guests to feel at their stay here?

    Eliacin: “When you are here you are home and welcome. People are very comfortable and amazed at what they walk into. Recycling is in everyone’s’ hands here and they may not realize it.”


    DMB: Tell me about your bees.

    Chef Didier: Intercontinental Boston Hotel has had the Apiary for 6 years and was the first hotel to house one. We gradually grew our hives and now there are 8 hives currently reaching over 40,000 Bees. The Bees don’t harm anyone and live peacefully with one mission, to make honey. Each hive has its own Queen which sets the mood and personality for each hive. When there is an aggressive hive it means the Queen is aggressive and we find a new Queen.

    DMB: How do you harvest the honey and when was your last harvest?

    Chef Didier:I actually just harvest some honey– I harvested 5 trays which got me 18 lbs of honey. The honey can be unpredictable because it is all up to mother nature but we can get up to 600 lbs of honey. The different seasons and types of pollen affect the color of the honey, this honey is lighter in color.

    Learn more about this event here!

    Beautiful Aerial Video of Summer Series Venue

    | 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

    | 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

    | 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!