Spatial design as it relates to physical interiors, exhibitions or installations, either permanent or temporary, for private, public, commercial or industrial purposes. Examples include: public installations, restaurant/hospitality interiors, office or medical interiors, set designs, retail displays, exhibition booths, etc.
Director, Diversity in Design Collaborative
Todd Palmer is a strategist, curator, and cultural leader of purpose-driven platforms at the intersection of design, public learning and spatial equity. As Director of the Diversity in Design Collaborative he steers a start-up driven by over 56 design-focused organizations that are aligned to confront systemic barriers faced by Black talent at critical moments in the design lifecycle.
Palmer orchestrated the second and third editions of the Chicago Architecture Biennial as its’ Executive Director, defining the platform’s identity as a global catalyst connecting design experimentation with civic urgencies. As Curator and Associate Director of Chicago’s National Public Housing Museum (2013-2016), Todd ensured exhibits and programs served grassroots efforts to rehabilitate a community site as a cultural framework for confronting poverty.
Palmer’s transdisciplinary efforts have been profiled in range of media outlets - most recently the DID Collaborative under Palmer’s leadership was recognized by a 2022 Fast Company Innovation By Design Award. As an independent creative Todd co-founded Program Collective, the design team behind immersive exhibitions tackling sustainability at the core of Spain’s World Expo 2008. He has also designed urban justice prototypes for Harlemworld at the Studio Museum (2004) and published critical essays in Columbia University’s The Avery Review (2015) and Illinois Institute of Technology’s 2022 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize catalogue. As an educator, Todd has created high school design curriculum for Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High School, and taught professional certificate and advanced degree courses in design and curatorial practices at NYU and for RISD’s M.Arch program.
Design Research & Director, Programs, SVA MFA Interaction Design
Adriana is a mother, design researcher, and educator based in NYC. She practices design research that focuses on elevating the voices and lived experiences of historically excluded and underrepresented peoples and communities. She works in the context of personal care, health, the built environment, digital products, and play. Previously, she supported the global design teams at Colgate-Palmolive to integrate co-design practices to make personal and oral care experiences more inclusive. She is a community advisor at 3x3, faculty and director of programs at SVA’s MFA in Interaction Design, and the homeschool teacher of her 9-year-old son, Rui, who is currently obsessed with dragons, kaiju, hobbits, and Buddhas.
Associate Director, Design & University Partnerships at Arts + Public Life
Nootan Bharani is a fierce champion of the continuum of communities and a thoughtful leader of processes to shape places where people want to be. An architect with a deep background in environmental sustainability, Nootan has a propensity toward existing buildings and in-between spaces, and has spent most of her career in non-traditional practice, working directly with neighborhood partners on projects at a wide variety of scales. Nootan is currently the Associate Director of Design and University Partnerships at Arts + Public Life, and a lecturer in the Humanities Division, at the University of Chicago. Previously, Nootan was Lead Design Manager for Place Lab at the University of Chicago where she was thought and practice leader for building projects. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, she was Managing Director for CB&I Sustainable Design Solutions of Illinois. Nootan is also a volunteer in Chicago Public Schools where her children attend, co-leading initiatives for caregivers of students with disabilities.
Assoc. Professor, Architecture, CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture
Shawn L. Rickenbacker is a trained architect, urbanist and urban data researcher. He is currently the Director of the J. Max Bond Center for Urban Futures where he directs the Center’s sponsored and partnership research and is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture. His research and work at the Bond Center confronts the complex urban intersection of spatial equity and the social and economic impacts of place-based policies, programs and design through the lens of urban data, forensic and design research. He’s served as Senior Research Fellow at the Phyllis M. Taylor Institute for Social Innovation, where he researched ‘Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Social Urbanism’, The Favrot Chair in Architecture at Tulane University, Gensler Distinguished Professor at Cornell University and Director of the Motorola Sponsored Future Interactions Lab at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Design. His work and research have been published in The New York Times, NY Daily News and Global Architecture, Wired and exhibited at Studio Museum of Harlem. Shawn holds a MArch with a Certificate in American Urbansim from the University of Virginia where he was the Dupont Scholar and a BArch from Syracuse University.