We are thrilled to announce our Visiting Lecture Series lineup for the Spring 2014 semester:

Panthea Lee, Founder of ReBoot: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Matthew Manos, Founder of A VeryNice Design Studio: Thursday, January 21, 2014

Tom Gerhardt, Founder, Studio Neat: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 [This lecture is open to the public, but seating is very limited; RSVP here.]

Emily Pilloton, Founder of Project H: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Steven Heller, Author: Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cameron Tonkinwise, Director, CMU: Thursday, April 24th, 2014 [This lecture is open to the public, but seating is very limited; RSVP here.]

 First up on January 16th is Pantha Lee, principle of Reboot. As Reboot’s lead designer, focused on the practical applications of ethnography and systems thinking in delivering effective international development and governance programs. She oversees all aspects of the program management process, including research, design, implementation, and evaluation. Panthea has managed complex projects in over 20 countries, including sensitive political environments. In Afghanistan, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and others, she has facilitated cross-cultural collaborations among diverse stakeholders, including government, civil society, donors, and the private sector. Her experience includes work in education, financial inclusion, government accountability, human trafficking, and public health.

Our second speaker, on January 21st, is Matthew Manos, founder of A VeryNice Design Studio. Matt is a neo-philanthropist, creative director, and social entrepreneur that is dedicated to disrupting the way the design industry operates. Manos began his freelance design career at the age of 16, which is the same year he took on his first pro-bono client, and launched his first company. Three years later, he founded verynice, a global design and innovation consultancy that dedicates over 50% of its efforts toward free services for non-profit organizations. Manos has helped build over 300 brands in every sector and industry across the globe, and his studio works with a diverse clientele that range from Fortune 500 companies to small local shops. As of 2013, verynice has also provided over $800,000 worth of pro-bono design and consulting services in 40+ countries spanning 6 continents to benefit 200+ organizations thanks to a team of 200+ people located around the world. Notable clients of verynice have included The United Nations, NASA, MTV Networks, Edison International, Facebook, Kaiser Permanente, UNICEF, Disney Imagineering, and Human Rights Campaign.

Tom Gerhardt, Co-Founder of  Studio Neat, visits the studio on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Tom  is an internationally recognized artist and designer who works across a broad range of disciplines; and is one-half of Studio Neat. As a hardware and software developer at Potion, Tom helped create interactive installations for some of the Nation's most prestigious museums and retail spaces. As an artist, Tom's work seeks to reconcile modern man's dual citizenship in the physical and digital worlds through projects like The Mud Tub: an organic interface that allows people to control a computer while playing in the mud. Most recently, Tom and his design partner Dan Provost, created the Glif: one of the world's first crowd-funded commercial products and subsequently founded Studio Neat, a design practice dedicated to making things simple and making simple things.

Our fourth speaker, Emily Pilloton, is the founder of Project H Design. Founded in 2008, Emily believed deeply in the power of design and building to excite learning and citizenship. Her first crush, MacGyver, sparked her love of constrained problem-solving and tinkering. She went on to study architecture and building because it was the one thing that allowed her to geek out about everything, from math and structural engineering to ethnography and the fascinating behavior of people. Emily believes that by giving youth, particularly girls and students of color, the skills to design and build their wildest ideas, we can support the next generation of creative, confident changemakers. Her ideas and work have made their way to the TED Stage, The Colbert Report, the New York Times, and more. She is the author of two books, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, and Tell Them I Built This: Transforming Schools, Communities, and Lives with Design-Based Education. When she isn’t welding with her 10-year-old Camp H girls or co-teaching Studio H, Emily loves to run, write, rabble-rouse, and eat unreasonable amounts of Mexican food.

Steven Heller visits on Thursday, April 3rd. Steve is the co-founder and co-chair (with Lita Talarico) of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York, where he lectures on the history of graphic design. Prior to this, he lectured for 14 years on the history of illustration in the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual arts. He also was director for ten years of SVA’s Modernism & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design symposiums.With Seymour Chwast he has directed Push Pin Editions, a packager of visual books, and with his wife Louise Fili he has produced over twenty books and design products for Chronicle Books and other publishers. For over two decades he has been contributing editor to PRINT, EYE, BASELINE, and I.D. magazines, has had contributed hundreds of articles, critical essays, and columns (including his interview column "Dialogue" in PRINT) to a score of other design and culture journals.

And rounding our season out, on April 22nd (and fittingly Earth Day!) is Cameron Tonkinwise, Director of Design Studies at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Cameron has a background in philosophy; his dissertation concerned the educational philosophies of Martin Heidegger. Cameron continues to research what designers can learn from philosophies of making, material culture studies and sociologies of technology. Cameron is facilitating the School of Design's creation of a new Design Studies sequence of courses that better prepare designers for a wider scope of work and the more interdisciplinary challenges of 21st century societies. Cameron is also chairing the PhD Committee that is currently restructuring the School of Design's PhD program. He has extensive experience with practice-based design research, having supervised and examined reflective practice and artifact-based research projects and written about the epistemologies particular to this kind of work. Cameron's primary area of research is sustainable design. In particular, he focuses on the design of systems that lower societal materials intensity, primarily by decoupling use and ownership - in other words, systems of shared use. Cameron has published a range of articles on the role of design, and in particular, service design, in the promotion of the sharing economy and collaborative consumption.