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Workshops

After listening to speakers and panelists, conference attendees feel the urge to take action. Workshops channel an attendee’s newly-inspired vigor by providing opportunities for hands-on learning. With workshops, members of the Better World community can get their hands dirty with the pros.

Workshops

Designing Social Media
DIY Biology
Natural Fiber Composites: Design and Engineering
projectOPEN Rapid Prototyping
Technological Disobedience
The Grand Anything
Urban Waterfront Renewal
Uses and Potential for QR Codes in Interactive Learning Tools
Waste for Life
“What Took You So Long?”

Tours

AS220
Biological Influences on Design
Development of Downtown Providence

Workshops

Designing Social Media

Hosted by Sandbox on Saturday from 5:30 to 7:00pm – Salomon 203 – Brown

Advocating an alternative to large centralized social networks isn’t easy, but Daniel Grippi of Diaspora (joindiaspora.com) thinks that the privacy concerns make it worth it. Because it isn’t hard to code all of the features that these networks provide, why not allow the network to be more dispersed, where everyone owns his own information? Grippi will give a workshop on how far his startup has come and what challenges it faces.

Daniel Grippi, Diaspora

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DIY Biology

Hosted by Sandbox on Saturday from 5:30 to 7:00pm – Salomon 202 – Brown

Mackenzie Cowell of DIYbio will lead a workshop on the emerging movement of “Do It Yourself Biology,” which has flourished in part because of the accelerating field of synthetic biology. The workshop will discuss how anyone can use the basic techniques of molecular biology and cloning to design small cellular machines to accomplish a variety of tasks. Cowell will demonstrate some technology that he has developed to improve user interface with these technologies and improve results.

Mackenzie Cowell, DIYbio

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Natural Fiber Composites: Design and Engineering

Friday from 4:15 to 5:45pm – RISD ID Gallery, 161 Main St. – RISD

This presentation by Ahlstrom, BASF and RISD considers materials and innovative methods of producing natural and bio-synthetic composites that are environmentally friendly. These materials present enormous design opportunities due to their versatility. Some of these fibers have very high tensile strength similar to fiberglass and carbon fiber. Ahlstrom will demonstrate the properties of their non-woven natural fibers and showcase how this material can be impregnated with a new liquid polymer called Acrodur developed by BASF, which yields a rigid, strong, waterproof, and non-toxic product in both its manufacturing process and end state. The goal of this workshop is to assess the usefulness of this new material across many design disciplines.

Gero Nordmann, BASF
Seth Stem, RISD Industrial Design
Douglas Benton, Ahlstrom
Hugh McKee, Bast Fibers LLC
Pat Hooper, Hooper Associates
Garry Balthes, Indyco LLC
Don Rosato, PlastiSource, Inc.

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projectOPEN Rapid Prototyping

Friday 4:15 to 5:45pm – Metcalf Refectory B – RISD

BRUTE LABS uses design and technology to create sustainable social entrepreneurship and has launched eleven projects around the world. They have garnered recognition for a project on open source altruism entitled projectOPEN, which assembles useful information about places to seek help for the homeless in Santa Monica. In this workshop, we will work together to prototype such a guide for the city of Providence, RI.

Taylor Ellowitz, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
Josh To, BRUTE LABS
Marc O’Brien, Project M

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Technological Disobedience

Saturday from 5:30 to 7pm – Petteruti Lounge in Stephen P. Roberts ’62 Campus Center –

  Brown

Ernesto Oroza is a Cuban-born innovator who is fascinated with a phenomenon he calls, “Technological Disobedience.” Due to its history and the longstanding economic embargo on it, Cuba has learned find adaptive use and reuse of any and all machines. The scope of this attitude is far-reaching and can be seen in architecture and contraptions. Oroza has collected machines and other examples of this phenomenon since 1994. He will discuss and demo his findings and discuss ways of incorporating this attitude into United States culture.

Ernesto Oroza, ernestooroza.com

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The Grand Anything

Friday from 4:15 to 6:45pm – Meet at Market Square – RISD

This workshop will investigate exploratory play as a tool for framing and reframing our goals as we move through the design process. We will explore ways to develop a balance between divergent thinking (exploring diverse possibilities) and convergent thinking (bringing it all together into a cohesive whole). Working at the Tockwotton Studio, our creative collaboration will culminate in the design and construction of The Grand Anything, a structure whose form and function cannot be predetermined, but rather will emerge out of purposeful play.

Capacity: 10

Ian Gonsher, Brown University Visual Arts

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Urban Waterfront Renewal

Friday from 4:15 to 5:45 – Metcalf Refectory A – RISD

John Torgan of Save the Bay will lead a workshop about the progress that has been made over the past 30 years in renewing Providence’s waterfront through community action. The workshop will provide an historical overview of what worked and what didn’t in the task of revitalizing the Narragansett Bay. It will also highlight current challenges and future directions and will involve a group brainstorming session on ways of incorporating design into this effort.

John Torgan, Save the Bay

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Uses and Potential for QR Codes in Interactive Learning Tools

Saturday from 5:30 to 7pm – Conference Room 225 in Stephen P. Roberts ’62 Campus

  Center – Brown

Steve Cronin is the President and CEO of Mercury, a 50 year old direct marketing and fulfillment company in Pawtucket, RI. Cronin has taken some of his company’s data-centric, web-based technology and applied to his teaching at Providence’s Hope High School where he has been teaching a life skills class for the past several years. He has written three textbooks for his program using periods of American history to introduce leadership, success, and change concepts and the associated skills to achieve them.

Steve Cronin, Mercury

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Waste for Life

Saturday from 5:30 to 7pm – Meet at Faunce Arch – Brown

RISD has been working Waste For Life to make salable products from plastic bags for trash picking collectives (cartoñeros) in Argentina. As part of our process we’re testing instructions that the cartoñeros will use to make prototypes in Buenos Aires this fall. In this workshop you will get a chance to make your own recycled-plastic card holder in RISD’s Industrial Design Model Shop. You’ll help us test the assembly instructions, make a W4L cardholder, and work in a RISD shop.

Capacity: 15

Charlie Cannon, RISD Industrial Design
Emily Sara Wilson, RISD Industrial Design

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“What Took You So Long?”

Friday from 4:15 to 5:45pm – Metcalf Refectory C – RISD

Sebastian Lindstrom and Alicia Sully of the What Took You So Long Foundation will present footage from their latest journey throughout Mongolia and Uzbekistan in search of Camel Cheese. They believe that cheese made from camel milk has the potential to provide valuable nutrition and entrepreneurial opportunities for nomads who are increasingly settling down and leaving their nomadic lifestyle behind.

Sebastian Lindstrom, What Took You So Long Foundation
Alicia Sully, What Took You So Long Foundation

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Tours

AS220

Saturday from 5:30 to 7pm – 115 Empire Street – Providence

Join us for a tour of AS220, Providence’s treasured non-profit community art space, “providing an unjuried and uncensored forum for the arts.” The tour will be led by Bert Crenca, one of the founders of AS220 and Artistic Director the space since 1982. Crenca will talk about AS220′s impact on the community as a cultural factory that provides a space for artists and innovators all across the state of Rhode Island to perform and exhibit their work. The tour will showcase the Empire Street Complex, The Print Shop and the Dreyfus Building.

Bert Crenca, AS220

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Biological Influences on Design

Friday from 2:30 to 4pm – Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab – RISD

Neal Overstrom is the director of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD. He is trained as both a zoologist and a designer, which leads him to an interest in the role of living systems in a sustainable built environment. He will lead a tour through this unique space, while discussing the importance of biomimicry, biophilia and related concepts to design education.

Neal Overstrom, Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab

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Development of Downtown Providence

Friday from 2:30 to 4pm -Meet a entrance of RISD Auditorium – RISD

Steve Durkee has been an architect in Providence since 1994, when he co-founded the firm Durkee, Brown, Viveiros, and Werenfels. He has been involved in many projects instrumental to the development of Providence’s Downtown Area. On this tour he will discuss how specific buildings influenced the balance between civic space and private development.

Steve Durkee, Cornish Associates

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