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Hosted by Graduate Studies at Moore’s MFA in Interior Design program 

Smart definition: mentally alert, bright, knowledgeable, shrewd, witty, clever, pert, saucy, neat and trim, stylish or elegant in dress or appearance, appealing to sophisticated tastes and operating by automation

Friday, October 18, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
FREE Admission
Stewart Auditorium
Moore College of Art & Design
A reception will follow in Widener Memorial Foundation Gallery.
Please click here to register for this event


Carla Diana, Smart Fellow at Smart Design

Bringing objects to life through code, form and electronics”
We live in a time when our everyday objects and environments have just begun to become enchanted. Things as seemingly mundane as staircases, coffee makers and toothbrushes can sing, glow, buzz and pose in ways that make us smile, gasp, get annoyed, or otherwise feel the temptation to relate to them with emotion, as if they are somehow alive. When well-designed, animated objects have the potential to tug at our heartstrings, making us feel connected, engaged and, ultimately, understood. In this talk, Carla will share a range case studies, including products, interactive installations and digital experiences that use dynamic behaviors to give objects personality and build an emotional connection with the people who use them.

Carla Diana is a designer, author and educator who enjoys living as close to the near future as possible. In her studio she works on future-specting projects mixing robotics and sensor technologies with everyday life to create smart objects that can charm and surprise. She is a Fellow at the innovation design firm Smart Design where she overseas the Smart Interaction Lab. Carla has taught and lectured internationally, including a year as visiting faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was the creative director for the iconic humanoid robot, Simon.  Her recent article, “Talking, Walking Objects”, appeared on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review this January, and is a good representation of her view of our robotic future. She is currently working on a children’s book for Maker Media about the future of 3D printing.

Max Zahniser, Principal, Praxis Building Solutions 
Lee Waldron, President, Grenald/Waldron Lighting
Catherine Gow, Principal, Health Facilities Planning, FrancisCauffman
Moderator: Grace Ong Yan, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate Interior Design, Moore College of Art & Design

Max Zahniser started Praxis | Building Solutions, LLC in 2007, and continues his involvement in leading the green building and larger sustainability movements through his continued support of USGBC, AASHE, B-Lab, as well as building project teams and clients like Brandywine Realty Trust, Tim Hortons, The Men's Warehouse, Humanscale, the Pentagon, GreenWizard, and Con Edison. He continues to develop and teach sustainability curriculum through USGBC LEED Faculty (1 of only about 80 commercial sector faculty in the world), and with  private clients and strategic partners like Camp HOPE for Kids, Americorp, Drexel University, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Moore College of Art & Design, and others. Max cofounded The Sustainability NEXUS, a non-profit dedicated to accelerating the effectiveness of the sustainability movement but linking up the abundant but fragment energy already flowing into it. He is currently co-authoring a book that will envision and then quantify the performance of a truly sustainable form of human society that we may move toward in the coming decades. 

Lee Waldron joined the Grenald organization in l976. As President he is responsible for setting the overall strategy for the company and its future growth allied to the business of lighting knowledge management. As a Design Principal, Lee offers design expertise for both interior and exterior architectural applications. His early work with theatre, film and television lighting adds dramatic expertise to his projects. Lee's approach to creating the most appropriately lighted environment for his clients is determined by the proper mix of light - its color, distribution, intensity and control - and where it is best placed to achieve the desired effect. Every client's project is viewed as unique and new, to which Lee brings his wealth of talent and experience. Lee is a Fellow and former President of the International Association of Lighting and a member of the IESNA.

Catherine Gow, one of Francis Cauffman’s top healthcare planners, focuses her work on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of medical institutions. Her 15 years of experience in healthcare planning has included master plans, relocations and consolidations of emergency labs, surgery and radiology suites, cardiac and cancer centers and intensive care units. Catherine has helped to develop some of the firm’s most advanced, state-of-the-art operating rooms, as well as a prototype for a safe patient room that reduces injuries and infections. For F.F. Thompson’s emergency department, she introduced movable carts with color-coded drawers, revolutionizing how nurses access materials during patient emergencies. Catherine is on the advisory board of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, often serves as an expert panelist on healthcare planning and regularly presents at Health Facilities Symposium conferences. She has written articles about the latest trends and issues in the field, including safe patient rooms and outpatient facilities in such publications as Health Facilities Management and Healthcare Design. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University. 

Grace Ong Yan
specializes in teaching architectural and design theory with a background that includes practical experience in major design and architecture firms.  Her work focuses on branding and media, with such projects as “Inhabiting Media,” student work resulting in an exhibition; “Wildcards: The Game of Orgman,” a Graham Foundation-funded web installation and branding work for the Toys R Us Flagship store façade in New York.  Beside her own design studio, Grace has worked with some of the “greats” in architecture and design, including Gensler, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris.   Both her theoretical and design work have been published and have gained her a number of awards and grants. Her publications include Ong Yan, Grace, Peltason, R. eds., Architect: the Pritzker Prize Laureates in Their Own Words, Black Dog & Levanthal, New York, 2010.  In addition to Moore, she had taught at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia University, University of Pennsylvania, the University of Buffalo, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and Yale University.  Grace holds a BArch from the University of Texas at Austin, an MArch from Yale University and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania         


Published on October 18th, 2013