Cynthia E. Smith
Curator of Socially Responsible Design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
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.
Conference Topic of Discussion: By the People: Designing a Better America