Conference Topic of Discussion: By the People: Designing a Better America
Cynthia E. Smith
Curator of Socially Responsible Design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
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Cynthia E. Smith serves as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s Curator of Socially Responsible Design. Trained as an industrial designer; for more than a decade she led multidisciplinary design and planning projects for cultural institutions; and after earning a graduate degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government joined Cooper Hewitt where she integrates her work experience with her advocacy on human rights and social justice issues.
She co-authored "The Politics of Genocide: U.S. Rhetoric vs. Inaction in Darfur" for the Kennedy School Review; curated "By the People: Designing a Better America" (2016); co-organized the Social Impact Design Summit and white paper with the National Endowment for the Arts; curated "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES" at the United Nations headquarters (2011); co-curated the "Design Triennial: Why Design Now?" (2010); curated the groundbreaking "Design for the Other 90%" exhibition (2007). Named a “20/20 New Pioneer” by Icon design magazine; she serves on numerous international design juries, including the current Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge; is the Smithsonian expert on Inclusive Cities for the World Economic Forum’s Transformation Map; and lectures widely on socially responsible design.