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School as Lab: Moholy-Nagy in Chicago

November 4, 2016
3:00-4:00pm CST
The Art Institute of Chicago - Fullerton Hall
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603

Panel event at The Art Institute of Chicago presented with IIT Institute of Design

Upon its founding Moholy-Nagy referred to the New Bauhaus in Chicago as a "laboratory for a new education". As the New Bauhaus evolved into Institute of Design, his legacy of experimentation in education maintains through experiential, project-based learning and a commitment to prototyping. Over the past eight decades, ID's school-as-lab model has provided a forum to conceive new futures in healthcare, transportation, retail, finance, social services and computer-human interaction. The field of design has broadly adopted the human-centered approach grounded in the New Bauhaus as standard practice. Entirely new approaches to learning outside of traditional education models and infrastructures have been developed through the collaborative efforts of designers, entrepreneurs, artists, policymakers and others. 

This discussion will feature a multi-disciplinary group of panelists representing the academic, non-profit, and creative sectors. Patrick Whitney, Connie Yowell, Eric Ellingsen, and Dr. Melissa Gillian explore Moholy-Nagy's influential legacy of experimental education in Chicago.


Eric Ellingsen
Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture, IIT College of Architecture 

Eric Ellingsen started Species of Space (SOS) in 2009. Ellingsen's practice centers in space activism. SOS twists tools from many different bodies of knowledge. Ellingsen's work is informed by collaborative learning through experienced experiments, relational thinking, walking, ecology and ecological economies, translation, performance and perception.

The heart of Ellingsen's work involves learning how to learn. This takes place through the design of site and institution specific works in which learning learns across different creative spatial practices.

Melissa Gilliam MD, MPH
Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics, University of Chicago

Dr. Gilliam is the founder and director of Ci3, an interdisciplinary research center at the University of Chicago addressing the health of adolescents using innovative methods such as games, technology, design, and narrative. Her clinical focus is in pediatric and adolescent gynecology and family planning.

Patrick Whitney
Distinguished Professor and Steelcase/Robert C. Pew Professor of Design, IIT Institute of Design

Patrick Whitney, was dean of IIT Institute for twenty-eight years. He has published and lectured throughout the world about ways of making technological innovations more humane, the link between design and business strategy, and methods of designing interactive communications and products. His writing is generally about new frameworks of design that respond to three transformations: linking insights about user experience to business strategy, the shift from mass-production to flexible production, and the shift from national markets to markets that are both global and “markets of one.”

Connie Yowell

Connie is the visionary and CEO of LRNG. She brings considerable experience from the MacArthur Foundation, where as Director of Education she oversaw a $200 million effort over 10 years to support research and design experiments in Digital Media & Learning. Prior to joining the Foundation, Connie was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, publishing scholarly work that examined the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Connie briefly served as Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration and has worked closely with teachers and administrators to develop programs for youth development.

In 2004, Connie received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, an award to support scholars seeking to bridge research and practice, under which she worked with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers.

Connie earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale, and her PhD from Stanford University.