Tuesday, September 15

New Middles: Futures and Technologies
brought together futurists Dan Hill and Radha Mistry to discuss how strategic foresight and storytelling influences design. This conversation is premised on an idea attributed to science fiction writer William Gibson: the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. What new normal realities from education and equity, to mobility and manufacturing will shape what’s next? Whose voices are represented? How might we extrapolate emergent technologies and contemporary conditions facing the Midwest into a speculative future of the middle?

Dan Hill
Vinnova, Stockholm, Sweden

Radha Mistry
Autodesk, San Francisco CA

Moderated by Marcus Fairs
Editor-in-Chief, Dezeen

Dan Hill is Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, the Swedish government’s innovation agency. A designer and urbanist, Hill’s previous leadership positions have included Arup, Future Cities Catapult, Fabrica, SITRA, and the BBC. He is a visiting professor at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose in London, an adjunct professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, and one of the Mayor of London’s Design Advocates.

Radha Mistry has a background in architecture, narrative environments, and strategic foresight. Mistry currently leads the Foresight practice at Autodesk, exploring the impact of emerging technologies and how they will change the way we design and make in the future. Prior to Autodesk, Mistry focused on the future of work with the Steelcase Applied Research group, and was part of the Arup Foresight + Innovation team in London and San Francisco, crafting speculative futures for international clients. She has also exhibited during the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, and worked on design-led community engagement initiatives in cities across Europe.


Dan Hill. (2020, April). The Slowdown Papers. Medium.com/slowdown-papers

Dan Hill. (2019, January). Doppelgänger and Digital Twins, Urban Glimpses and Drawing Data. Medium.com/butwhatwasthequestion/

Dan Hill, Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary (Strelka, 2014)

Radha Mistry (2019, April 24) Could Small-Town USA Be the Future of the Manufacturing Industry. Autodesk.com/redshift/

Thursday, September 17

Columbus has long been a place of invention, but how are shifts in technology and manufacturing changing our city’s future? Miller Prize recipients Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of Dream the Combine joined Wayne Eckerle, Vice President of Research and Technology for Cummins Inc and Cindy Frey, President of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in a dialogue about how innovation drives designs of the future. Moderated by Donna Sink, Rowland Design.

Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers
Dream the Combine, Minneapolis MN

Dr. Wayne Eckerle
Cummins Inc, Columbus, IN

Cindy Frey
Columbus Indiana Chamber of Commerce

Moderated by Donna Sink
Rowland Design, Indianapolis IN

Dr. Wayne Eckerle
is Vice President of Global Research and Technology for Cummins Inc. Since joining the company in 1989 he has held leadership positions in Fuel Systems Technology, Advanced Engineering, and a several other areas. In his current role, Wayne is responsible for developing and integrating technology for Cummins’ next generation of products, developing advanced computer simulation and advanced manufacturing capability, deploying engineering processes to improve product development efficiency, and creating the technology roadmaps to deliver future products.

Cindy Frey has spent 35 years driving growth and visibility in leading corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. She joined the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce as its president seven years ago - drawn to both the organization’s 130-year history and its vision for the future - and has focused resources on business growth, talent attraction and innovation. To accelerate innovation in the region, the Chamber launched a partnership with Bloomington, Indiana and Elevate Ventures to connect those with high-potential business ideas to mentoring and venture capital. They branded the $2.5 million, three-year partnership “Velocities” to signify the forward momentum of this southern Indiana region.

Donna Sink, AIA, is a registered architect and cheerleader for Indianapolis and is committed to elevating the demand for good design in the city. She has previously lived in Philadelphia, Detroit, Portland, and Phoenix. Locally, Donna is Board Chair for People for Urban Progress, a non-profit known for salvaging the RCA Dome roof and turning it into fashionable bags as well as many other urban and reuse projects. Donna currently works at Rowland Design, an architecture firm doing cultural, educational, and residential projects throughout the country.

“Our practice is fundamentally interested in people: The ways we interact and come together as humans, the discovery of connections between us, and the networks of relationships that connect us across the country and around the world. How do we live together and support each other? For us to move into that future together it will inevitably require the toppling of old ideas, ideologies, and historical legacies.”

- Dream the Combine