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Program Library

Explore the virtual NeoCon Program Library and choose from a line up of informative and engaging on-demand programing, featuring world-class expertise and insight on today’s most relevant topics as well as the future of commercial design.

  • Between Art and Design

    June 13, 2022Keynote
    Nick Cave, Artist | Bob Faust, Principal and Creative Director, Faust | Moderated by Cheryl S. Durst, EVP and CEO, IIDA

    IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst moderated a dynamic conversation with Nick Cave and Bob Faust about the art of collaboration, hybrid practice, and the design of life. For almost three decades, internationally renowned, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave has been working at the intersection of sculpture, installation, sound, performance, and film to address pressing societal issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and class. As a creative, activist, educator and community-builder, Cave often activates and engages the public sphere as part of his artistic practice. Bob Faust, Nick’s partner and design collaborator, is the Principal and Creative Director for Faust, a Chicago-based art and design studio with a focus on cultural articulation. He has been described as “part artist, part designer and part mediator.” Together, Nick and Bob launched Facility—a multi-disciplinary, multi-use collaborative space in Chicago, where art and design can foster peace, build power, and create change.

    Nick Cave
    Nick Cave is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance.

    Cave is well known for his Soundsuits, sculptural forms based on the scale of his body, initially created in direct response to the police beating of Rodney King in 1991. Soundsuits camouflage the body, masking and creating a second skin that conceals race, gender and class, forcing the viewer to look without judgment. They serve as a visual embodiment of social justice that represent both brutality and empowerment.

    Throughout his practice, Cave has created spaces of memorial through combining found historical objects with contemporary dialogues on gun violence and death, underscoring the anxiety of severe trauma brought on by catastrophic loss. The figure remains central as Cave casts his own body in bronze, an extension of the performative work so critical to his oeuvre. Cave reminds us, however, that while there may be despair, there remains space for hope and renewal. From dismembered body parts stem delicate metal flowers, affirming the potential of new growth. Cave encourages a profound and compassionate analysis of violence and its effects as the path towards an ultimate metamorphosis. While Cave’s works are rooted in our current societal moment, when progress on issues of global warming, racism and gun violence (both at the hands of citizens and law enforcement) seem maddeningly stalled, he asks how we may reposition ourselves to recognize the issues, come together on a global scale, instigate change, and ultimately, heal.
    Nick Cave
    Bob Faust
    Bob Faust is the principal and creative director for Faust, a Chicago-based art and design studio with a focus on cultural articulation. He is also the partner and design collaborator of artist Nick Cave. Together, the two recently opened a dynamic, multi-use creative space in Chicago called Facility. As an entity, it believes that art and design can create peace, build power, and change the world ... that by fostering an environment and community built from your dreams you will wake up daily within your destiny.

    NewCity magazine honored Faust as "Best Breakthrough Design Artist" in 2017 and followed up in 2020 naming he and partner Nick Cave "Designers of the Moment." He has also been recognized as a design leader nationally and internationally by publications and institutions such as Communication Arts, NBC5 Chicago, the Society of Typographic Arts and Under Consideration. Faust also serves on the Cultural Advisory Council for the City of Chicago, as well as the Committee on Design for the city's Department of Planning and Development. Other positions he currently holds are on the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Board of Directors and the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Council.
    Bob Faust
    Cheryl S. Durst
    Cheryl S. Durst is an exceptional communicator, innovator, and visionary leader who has spurred progress, driven change, and encouraged the expansion of the interior design industry.

    As the Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association, known as IIDA, Cheryl is committed to achieving broad recognition for the value of design and its significant role in society through both functionality and engagement in every day workspaces and the built environment. With 15,000 members across 58 countries, Cheryl oversees the strategic direction of IIDA, curates and publishes Perspective, the association’s award-winning design journal, and manages a team of 25 professional staff members.

    Cheryl extends her support of arts and culture through volunteerism and is a Trustee for Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; and the NYSID. She has been referred to by Interior Design magazine as “an ambassador for innovation and expansion, and a visionary strategist.” Citing her leadership in the industry, Cheryl was inducted into the prestigious Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2016 as the recipient of its first-ever Leadership Award. She is the first African American woman to be inducted into the industry’s Hall of Fame.
    Cheryl S. Durst

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  • Bruce Mau on Design

    June 14, 2022Keynote
    Bruce Mau, CEO & Co-Founder at Massive Change Network

    Designer, author, educator and artist Bruce Mau is a brilliantly creative optimist whose love of thorny problems led him to create a methodology for life-centered design. Across thirty years of design innovation, he’s collaborated with global brands and companies, leading organizations, heads of state, renowned artists and fellow optimists. His work and life story are the subject of the feature-length documentary, “MAU,” scheduled for North American theatrical release this year. In these times of complex, interrelated challenges, Bruce believes life-centered design offers a clear path towards identifying the full context of our problems and developing innovative, sustainable, and holistic solutions.

    Bruce Mau
    Bruce Mau is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Massive Change Network (MCN), a global design consultancy based in the Chicago area. Across more than thirty years of design innovation, Bruce has worked as a designer, innovator, educator and author on a broad spectrum of projects in collaboration with the world’s leading brands, organizations, universities, governments, entrepreneurs, renowned artists, and fellow optimists.

    To create value and positive impact across global ecosystems and economies, Mau evolved a unique toolkit of 24 massive change design principles — MC24 — that can be applied in any field or environment at every scale. The MC24 principles underpin all

    Bruce’s work — from designing carpets to cities, books to new media, global brands to cultural institutions, and social movements to business transformation — and they are the subject of his book, Mau: MC24, Bruce Mau’s 24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in Your Life and Work. Books are central to Bruce’s purpose of achieving and inspiring understanding, clarity, and alignment around visions of a better future. He has also written the books Massive Change, and Life Style, as well as The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, a forty-three point statement on sustaining a creative practice. Bruce co-authored the landmark architecture book S, M. L, XL with Rem Koolhaas; The Nexus: Augmented Thinking for a Complex World –The New Convergence of Art, Technology, and Science, with Julio Ottino, dean of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering; The Third Teacher with OWP/P Architects and VS Furniture; and Spectacle with David Rockwell. He has collaborated with clients on the development and design of more than 200 books, including Art Gallery of Ontario, Claes Oldenburg, Douglas Gordon, Frank Gehry, Gagosian and Getty Research Institute, James Lahey, Mark Francis, and Zone Books.

    Bruce’s work and life story are the subject of the feature-length documentary, “MAU,” scheduled for North American theatrical release in 2022.
    Bruce Mau

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  • Design: Sustain-Ability

    June 15, 2022Keynote
    Shashi Caan, Founding Partner, SC COLLECTIVE | Joined by Peter Exley, Co-Founder, Architecture is Fun

    With her extensive international work experience, Shashi Caan is a multicultural designer, educator and author. In her leadership roles with a roster of global clients, institutions, and firms, she has focused on meaningful improvement of life quality as shaped by design. Often described as a futurist and visionary, she has a keen interest in the foundational development for the design discipline to address current societal challenges. She is the recipient of numerous awards and has been conferred international, regional, and national professional fellowships from the IFI-the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, Latin America, Australia, the UK, and the US. Peter Exley, co-founder of Architecture is Fun and 2021 AIA National President, joined Shashi in conversation.

    Shashi Caan
    Shashi Caan is a distinguished thought leader for architectural design internationally. As a practitioner, design educator and author, her dedication to furthering human betterment through and by design is reflected in her 25+ year design career.

    Co-founder and leader of THE SC COLLECTIVE (2002), the inventively structured firm, Shashi is also the Co-founder and President of Globally We Design – GloWD (2015), an independent design futures think-thank, through her ReDesignEd Educators Forum facilitated the Universal Design Education Charter in 2018 and The Johannesburg Declaration in 2019. Shashi was formerly Associate Partner and Design Director with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), in New York and Chair of the Interior Design Department at Parsons, the New School for Design.

    In her volunteer service within the design industry, Shashi also serves as the Chief Executive Officer on the Executive Committee of International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) Executive Board. She is a former two-term President for the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) and has been recognized as a Fellow of IFI and Fellow of Royal Society of the Arts, UK. She holds honorary fellowships from the Australian Institute of Designers, the British Institute of Interior Design, the Ibero-Americano Council of Design, as well as the American Society of Interior Design. Amongst others, her past volunteer and executive board level service includes the US International Interior Design Association (IIDA), NY’s Interiors Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the United Nations Association (UNA).

    She was Contract Magazine’s US Designer of the Year (2004), granted the Golden Seat Architectural Master Award of China (2012), and appointed JDP Design Ambassador to Japan (2013), this amongst her many awards and accolades for design projects and design leadership across the world. With countless published writings, her seminal book, Rethinking Design and Interiors: Human Beings in the Built Environment (2011), has been translated into multiple languages.
    Shashi Caan
    Peter Exley
    Peter Exley, FAIA, has established an internationally recognized practice of architecture for children, families, and communities, elevating the standards of design for learning and play environments. He is the co-founder of Architecture Is Fun, a Chicago-based, woman-owned architecture, design, and consulting firm. Dedicated to helping the next generation of architects, Peter has also been an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for more than 25 years. He led the American Institute of Architects as its 97th President in 2021. The eponymous book, Architecture Is Fun, co-authored with Sharon Exley, was published in 2021.
    Peter Exley

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  • THE MART 2.0: A New Era

    June 13, 2022Special Programming
    Todd Heiser, Managing Director and Principal, Gensler | Lily Diego, Design Director, Gensler

    Gensler is collaborating with THE MART to imagine an exciting future for the building. THE MART has long been at the center of creativity and commerce in the city, and this session, led by Gensler’s Todd Heiser and Lily Diego, will explore its evolution as it takes on a new relevance to best serve the design and business communities of Chicago and beyond. Key areas of focus in the design plan are the first and second floors of THE MART; as the nexus of activity where the public, conference goers, and tenants intermingle, the design will encourage and reflect this confluence while respecting the legacy of the storied building.

    Todd Heiser
    Todd Heiser is a Co-Managing Director of Gensler’s Chicago office. His leadership showcases more than 20 years of experience in next-generation design at the cutting edge of workplace strategies, and his commitment to conceptual and technical development transforms spaces for clients around the globe. Todd’s design process champions partnership with his clients, which include Matter, Google, Kohler, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Le Meridien Hotels, and Nickelodeon. He is also a major design voice in reimagining Chicago’s Willis Tower. Todd’s architectural background and visceral, experience-based interiors integrate materials, planning, and client-focused detailing. Todd was named Contract magazine’s 2016 Designer of the Year and Interior Design magazine’s 2015 HiP Leader for Workplace. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture and a bachelor’s degree in interior design. He also received the Henry Adams Medal from the AIA.
    Todd Heiser
    Lily Diego
    Lily Diego is a Design Director and Regional Office Buildings: Repositioning and Landlord Services Leader in Gensler’s Detroit office. Lily brings over 25 years of experience directing design for projects spanning workplace, community, and office building repositioning and development. Her creative curiosity is fueled by the evolution of the user, uncovering innovative and adaptive future-forward ways of experiencing space and place. Lily’s tenacity and dedication to excellence has earned her the trust and respect of her community and clients, including automotive consumer goods, emerging technology and professional services companies, and developers such as Ford, Volkswagen, and Olympia Development, among others.
    Lily Diego

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  • IIDA Equity Roundtable

    June 13, 2022Special Programming
    Ronnie Belizaire, FIIDA, Vice President, JLL | Jon Otis, IIDA, Founder and Principal, O|A (Object Agency) | Amy Storek, Ind. IIDA, CEO of the Americas, Arper | Moderated by Cheryl S. Durst, EVP and CEO, IIDA and Monae Redmond, Director of Member Services, IIDA

    IIDA has long supported and led the industry in the promotion of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and in the Spring of 2022 launched the IIDA Equity Council. CEO and EVP of IIDA, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA and IIDA’s Director of Member Services, Monae Redmond conducted a roundtable discussion with leading voices from the council about bringing EDI to life— having open conversations, creating actionable goals, and implementing real change at work and personally.

    Ronnie Belizaire
    FIIDA, Vice President, JLL
    Ronnie Belizaire
    Amy Storek
    Ind. IIDA, CEO of the Americas, Arper
    Amy Storek
    Jon Otis
    IIDA, Founder and Principal, O|A (Object Agency)
    Jon Otis
    Monae Redmond
    Director of Member Services, IIDA
    Monae Redmond
    Cheryl S. Durst
    EVP and CEO, IIDA
    Cheryl S. Durst

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  • Designing for Measurable Impact: ASID Outcome of Design

    June 14, 2022Special Programming
    Royce Epstein, A&D Design Director, Mohawk Group | Kari Stringfellow, Vice President Member Experience, ASID | Rebekah Matheny, Associate Professor of Interior Design, The Ohio State University | Karen McCallum, Senior Director of Design, CBRE Design Collective

    Attendees learned how to demonstrate interior design’s value by incorporating outcome measures to positively impact people, place, and planet. Interior designers strive to create spaces that elevate the human experience, delivering beneficial outcomes to clients and end users. How do we measure those outcomes to better validate and communicate the value of design? ASID Outcome of Design celebrates sustainable, humancentric, and socially responsible design solutions, providing the tools to measure results and demonstrate return on social, environmental, and financial investment for any type of space or project. Attendees were inspired and empowered to start the conversation around impact and embed ASID Outcome of Design in their projects.

    Royce Epstein
    Royce Epstein, Industry Partner ASID, LEED AP is the A&D design director for Mohawk Group. Royce shares her passion and vision for design, cultural trends, and the meaning of materials in a broad context. Her role is to evolve and share Mohawk Group’s design vision with the A&D community, and to leverage product design with what A&D desires. Constantly on the watch for new trends in all aspects of culture, Royce feeds this insight to our industry’s touch points. A veteran materials and product specialist, Royce spent two decades working in A&D firms before Mohawk. She is based in Philadelphia, where she is active in the design, art, and music scenes.
    Royce Epstein
    Rebekah Matheny
    Rebekah Matheny, NCIDQ is an associate professor of interior design in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University. She holds a Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon where she also received a Technical Teaching Certificate with a concentration in sustainable design strategies. With over a decade of industry experience in retail brand experience design and consumer strategy, Rebekah’s research investigates the emotional connections between people, product, brand purpose, and physical place to create a more environmentally and socially sustainable retail culture.
    Rebekah Matheny
    Karen McCallum
    Karen McCallum, ASID, LEED AP has 18 years of experience as a certified interior designer in the A&D industry since obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from University of Florida. In her current role as Senior Director of Design for the Americas at CBRE Design Collective, she specializes in creating thoughtful and innovative design solutions for her clients. Her design expertise encompasses a variety of solutions in workplace, higher education, and hospitality allowing her to bring a unique perspective to each project. Karen believes that by encouraging a culture of collaboration and creativity across her teams they are able to drive lasting innovation.
    Karen McCallum

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  • Designing a Better Chicago - Panel Discussion

    June 15, 2022Special Programming
    Moderator: Tanner Woodford, Founder and Executive Director, Design Museum of Chicago | Panelists: Kathy Gregg, Friedman Place | Maya Bird-Murphy, Chicago Mobile Makers | Laviyah Ayanna, The Tilden Pilot to Permanent Design Incubator | Emily Winter, The Weaving Mill | Quilen Blackwell, Chicago Eco House

    Designing a Better Chicago shined a light on our city’s extraordinary design legacy—the local talent, assets and community that have long supported civic good through design. Launched in 2020 with a Design Impact grant program, this initiative showcases individuals and organizations, public art and programs across the city, inviting residents and visitors to consider the many ways design improves civic life. The 2020 grant winners (Kathy Gregg, Friedman Place and Maya Bird-Murphy, Chicago Mobile Makers), the 2021 grant winners (Tariyawn Knighten, The Tilden Pilot to Permanent Design Incubator and Emily Winter, The Weaving Mill), and the 2022 winner (Quilen Blackwell, Chicago Eco House) held a discussion about their outstanding efforts to design a better Chicago. The panel was moderated by Tanner Woodford, founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago.

    Kathy Gregg
    Kathy Gregg is a professional fundraiser with nearly 20 years of experience working mainly at organizations that serve our elders and people who are disabled. She has been with Friedman Place for 6 years. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in English and Writing. She uses all she learned to write inspiring mission based stories for major gift proposals, annual appeal and planned giving campaigns, in writing grants and prospect research. She values education, enjoys learning new things, and served as a member of her local school board and various professional organizations. Prior to her career in fundraising Ms. Gregg worked in the financial markets for a decade trading stocks and commodities.
    Kathy Gregg
    Maya Bird-Murphy
    Maya Bird-Murphy is the founder and Executive Director of Chicago Mobile Makers, an award-winning nonprofit organization bringing design-focused skill-building workshops to underrepresented communities. She is also a faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Boston Architectural College. Maya believes that the design field must expand to include more people and perspectives through teaching and community engagement. She loves Chicago and hopes to make her mark by making it a more equitable place to live. Maya was recently featured in Dwell Magazine and was selected as an Experimental Design Lab awardee, an initiative led by Theaster Gates, Rebuild Foundation, and the Prada Group.
    Maya Bird-Murphy
    Emily Winter
    Emily Winter is an artist and weaver based in Chicago. She is co-founder of The Weaving Mill, an experimental industrial weaving studio that blends design, production, textile education and research-based practice. Her work utilizes material experimentation, functional design, community-based practices, research and publication to explore the intersections of industry, material histories and technology. She earned her MFA in Textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design and her BA in History from the University of Chicago. She has received project support from the Center for Craft, the Design Museum of Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, the City of Chicago, the Propeller Fund and the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught weaving at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Weaving School.
    Emily Winter
    Quilen Blackwell
    Quilen Blackwell is the president and co-founder of the Chicago Eco House and Southside Blooms which turns vacant city lots into solar powered flower farms on the south and west sides of Chicago and creates jobs for at-risk youth. His work has resulted in over 10 acres of vacant land converted into flower farms, thousands of gallons of rainwater diverted to agricultural use, thousands of watts of solar power generated, and dozens of jobs created for youth. His work has also been featured in Forbes, Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Steve Harvey Show, and many other publications. He is happily married to the co-founder, Hannah Bonham Blackwell, and has three children while residing in the Englewood neighborhood.
    Quilen Blackwell

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