CAMD launches Center for Design


Mihiro Shimano

The launch event took place on the 17th floor of East Village.

Mihiro Shimano, news correspondent

The College of Arts, Media and Design, or CAMD, hosted the official launch event for the Center for Design Tuesday evening. The event showcased some of the interdisciplinary research that the center has worked on.

“[The] Center for Design was built to create a common space between these areas of study and interdisciplinary projects,” said Paolo Ciuccarelli, professor of design, as he introduced  the Center and its mission.

The center will emphasize the fostering of interdisciplinary research and will serve as a space for design to be merged with other disciplines. Elizabeth Hudson, the dean of CAMD, said “design can be a bridge to connect so many different subjects together.”

The event also included a presentation and conversation about current work.

Faculty members of the Center for Design presented their work, including Professor Dietmar Offenhuber in arts, design and public policy, Professor Margarita Barrios Ponce in art and design and Professor Kristian Kloeckl in art, design and architecture.

Maxwell Benman, a business administration and design major, attended the event and talked about this panel of faculty.

“I recognized some of the people speaking today,” Benman said. “Their conversations were interesting regarding human interaction between humans and artificial intelligence.”

The launch largely touched upon the link between design and artificial intelligence, a field that has been rising rapidly in recent years. James Bean, provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs, spoke about the combination of these two disciplines and how the new concept of “humanics” has essentially been introduced in CAMD.

“We’re not just looking at AI in a traditional old way. We’re calling it experiential artificial intelligence …  Artificial intelligence is designed with humans in the loop, perhaps even as the processors as part of AI and also the applications feeding back,” Bean said. “So the kinds of things that are going to be done at the Center for Design and data viz and many of the things that are growing as key contributors in the College of Arts, Media and Design are going to be critical to the development of what we’re now calling the main model of contextualized AI life sciences to human experience.”

 Later on, Giorgia Lupi, an information designer, presented some of her work in design, explaining her humanistic approach toward data and visualizing it into art. She talked about many of her projects, including being on the team of Pentagram, a design firm, as well as her collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

The event ended with a panel discussion between Lupi from Pentagram, Ari Adler of IDEO, Gigi Gormley Kalaher from Fidelity Labs and Jeffrey Schnapp from Piaggio Fast Forward discussing the future of design as interdisciplinary work and the future of the Center for Design. 

Many Northeastern students and professors were present at the event to support the launch. Clement Liu, a fifth-year business administration and interactive design major, came to the event because he was invited by a friend who was passionate about design.

“I was interested in seeing the field of design, especially as I admire Pentagram and their work,” he said. 

Uwe Hohgrawe, a professor in the College of Professional Studies, attended the event because he was interested in design and AI.

 “I was impressed by the creativity and application of humanics,” he said. “I’m interested in data viz and how we can obviously improve in terms of humanizing.”