Make It Better: A Symposium on Art, Design and the Future of Healthcare

The Make it Better Sympoisum will take place on March 11 & 12, 2011 at the Auditorium of Rhode Island School of Design. The symposium is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This series of conversations will bring leading artists, designers and activists together with health professionals, policy-makers, entrepreneurs and members of the RISD community to frame an expanded role for art and design in health innovation and change. The symposium is open to the public and free of charge, but requires advanced registration. Click here to connect to the event’s website and to register.

Closing keynote speaker: Sara Diamond

Sara Diamond is the President of Ontario College of Art and Design University, Canada’s “university of the imagination”.  She holds a PhD in Computer Science and degrees in new media theory and practice, social history and communications from the United Kingdom and Canada. She has received numerous research awards for her work in visualization, mobile content design, wearable technologies and collaborative tools. She is a visualization software researcher and developer  Diamond created and was Editor-in-Chief of, an on-line showcase for new media art and design, in collaboration with Heritage Canada.  She provides media consulting to Heritage Canada, SSHRC, CFI, Industry Canada, CHRC and DFAIT, as well as international governments, institutions and agencies as diverse as China, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Finland, Australia, Brazil and the USA.

Prior to her presidency at OCAD Diamond was the Director of Research for the Banff Centre. She created the renowned Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led it until coming to Toronto in 2005. Diamond taught at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, The California Institute for the Arts and remains Adjunct Professor, University of California, Los Angeles in the Design/Media Department. In 2007 she was named one of Canada’s fifty most significant artists as part of the Canada Council’s fiftieth anniversary celebration.  Her work resides in collections such as the National Gallery of Canada, where she was honored with a retrospective in 1992 and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Invited speakers include:

Amale Andraos, Partner, WORKac

Kelli Auerbach, Lecturer, Critical Studies, California Institute of the Arts

Jay Baruch, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Brown University

Mel Chin, Artist

Kelly Dobson, Assistant Professor and Interim Head, Digital Media, RISD

Susan Doyle, Assistant Professor, Illustration, RISD

Alexandra Drane, President and Co-founder, Eliza Corporation

Donna Garland, Associate Director of Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sarah Goldhagen, Architecture Critic, The New Republic

Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-founder, KaBOOM!

Natalie Jeremijenko, Artist

Raynard S. Kington, President, Grinnell College

Lindsay Kinkade, Critic, Graphic Design, RISD

Howard K. Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Khipra Nichols, Associate Professor, Industrial Design, RISD

Jeremy Nobel, Adjunct Faculty in Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Founder and President , Foundation of Art and Healing

Claire Pentecost, Artist

Aidan Petrie, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Ximedica

Benjamin Sawyer, President, Digital Mill and Founder, Games for Health

Damon Rich, Urban Designer, City of Newark, Founder, Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

Pam Wescott, Director of Patient Perspectives, Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making

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