LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning will hold its inaugural “The 12000 Who Innovate Alumni Symposium” on Friday, Oct. 14, at Marvin Hall. It will feature a dozen of the school’s eminent alumni in a series of TED-style talks about issues facing design and architecture, with a session for student-alumni networking.
“The name of the event derives from school’s 11,000 living alumni plus its 1,000 current students,” said the school’s dean, Mahesh Daas. “We are all one school, and with alumni in more than 50 countries we are a truly global network.”
Daas, who became dean in June 2015, got the idea for the symposium from more than 20 visits to alumni in many cities, where he estimates he has met about 700 alumni in person.
“Alums in leadership positions at some amazing companies will be speaking at the symposium,” Daas said. “They crave the opportunity to meet and share their experiences with each other and to engage with our enormously talented students.”
The symposium kicks off with “The Business of Design” as alumni who have built multidisciplinary and collaborative firm cultures share the ways they have created organizations that produce exceptional work. Speakers include Arjun Bhat of CannonDesign; Kelly Jones, president, Lighting Design Alliance; Krista Masilionis, creative director, Hallmark, and Jeff Vaglio of the building façade manufacturer Enclos.
During “Designing Outside the Design Bubble,” alumni will talk about how their work engages society and uses design to address its challenges. Speakers are Mike Hauser, founder of DesignHaus Studio; April Pottorff, an architect whose firm, CGL RicciGreene, specializes in justice facility design; Amy Slattery, principal of Odimo, and John Wilson, House Minority policy chair in the Kansas Legislature.
The final session of the day, “Connecting in a Connected World,” will look at the ways firms are leveraging the power of the Cloud to connect emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities, the Internet of Things, digital fabrication, robotics and virtual reality. Presentations will be made by urban futurist Cindy Frewen; Matthew Hufft, principal of Hufft Projects; Garmin concept designer Todd Register; Jeremy Williams, creative director of Dimensional Innovations, and Jay Vaglio of Cerner Corp Labs.