Conversations in Design: Crowdsourcing Creativity and Community

Taking place in Toronto at the Interior Design Show on January 27, 2011, this symposium will challenge its audience to think outside the box, and ultimately illuminate and inspire on the provocative subject of Crowdsourcing Creativity and Community. Is crowdsourcing – better known as “tapping talent from the crowd” – helping or hindering creativity? How are crowdsourcing and open source contributing to design for social change? These are just a few of the issues and questions that will be debated by 10 international thinkers who will share their practical experiences with crowdsourcing and open source design as it relates to humanitarian projects and commercial design.

Speakers and their topics this year include:

David Benjamin: Looped
David Benjamin is a principal at New York-based architecture firm The Living, and Director of the Living Architecture Lab at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Jason Bruges: Creating Interactive Art and Design
Jason Bruges, architect, artist and designer, founded London, UK-based Jason Bruges Studio in 2001 after working with Foster and Partners and as a senior interactive design consultant at Imagination.

Douglas Coupland: Art, Design and Social Media for Generation X, Y and A
Vancouver writer, artist and filmmaker Douglas Coupland will converse with moderator Helen Walters. His career has been, contrary to initial glance, consistent and methodical. His ongoing focus has been on visual culture, writing, typography, popular culture, essay writing and technology.

Robert Fabricant: Social Innovation by Design
Based in New York, Robert is frog design’s Vice President of Creative and leads multidisciplinary teams for clients such as BBC, Comcast, GE, Humana, MTV, and Nissan.

Heather Fleming: Collaboration to Drive Social Change
Heather Fleming is CEO and co-founder of Catapult Design in San Francisco, a product and technology firm that serves impoverished communities and emerging markets.

Matthias Hollwich: Design Democracy!
Matthias co-founded New York firm HWKN in 2007. Early work, such as the MINI ROOFTOP NYC and MEtreePOLIS (an award-winning vision for Atlanta in 2100) have led to international acclaim and established HWKN’s role in current architectural discourse.

Dan Rockhill: Design and Construction – Hand and Mind, the Work of Studio 804
Principal of Kansas City firm Rockhill + Associates, Dan Rockhill is the J L Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Kansas and Executive Director of Studio 804.

Roo Rogers: Does Collaborative Design and Crowdsourcing Negate the Need for Designers?
Roo Rogers is the President of Redscout Ventures in New York City.

Hunter Tura: Does Collaborative Design and Crowdsourcing Negate the Need for Designers?
Hunter Tura is the President & CEO of Bruce Mau Design, Inc in Toronto.

Helen Walters, Moderator and Host
Helen Walters is a New York City-based editor and journalist covering the intersection of business and design.

John Winsor: The Epic Journey from Scarcity to Abundance
John Winsor is the CEO of Victors & Spoils in Boulder, the world’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles.

The symposium is recognized by the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) and attendees can claim 0.6 CEUs for full day and 0.3 CEUs for half day.

For more information, please visit