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  • Feb 25, 2015

Nobel Museum Director and Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Digital Design Director To Speak at ASI on March 18

A Night of Social Wonder:

Designing for A Better Tomorrow

Wednesday, March 18 - doors 6:30 p.m., program 7 p.m.


Tickets: $10 ASI members/$12 general public.

Click here to register online or call 612-871-4907.

Presented by HGA Architects and Engineers 

ASI’s latest exhibition, Nobel Creations: Inspired by the Nobel Prize, explores the unifying thread that drives Nobel laureates, fashion designers and composers: creativity.  Alfred Nobel left a direct call to action in his will to create opportunities for human kind to think on entirely new lines, dare to question established theories, and combine innovative insights from different fields, all in an effort to create a better tomorrow.

At A Night of Social Wonder: Designing for A Better Tomorrow, we pause to ask: how do you creatively design for success?  Design has been a hallmark characteristic of Swedish society, gaining attention as a process for solving problems in an increasingly complex world.  ‘Design thinking’ is becoming a more commonly understood approach to successfully examining and solving difficult, multi-dimensional problems - more specifically, effective methods to ideate, select and execute solutions. 

ASI welcomes four brilliant minds, moderated by 89.3 The Current’s Mark Wheat – to share the stage, take nine minutes to present the highs and lows of their design challenges, share the successes and failures of projects that are changing the world, and ignite a conversation around new approaches to designing a better tomorrow. 

“As an organization that engages locally yet connects globally, ASI is fortunate to have two internationally recognized and of- cited leaders in the museum and digital field join us for A Night Of Social Wonder.  Both Seb and Olov bring a global perspective on design solutions that can, and probably should be applied anywhere.  Their perspectives add to an equally qualified slate of leaders Thomas Fisher and Tricia Khutoretsky who work locally in the Twin Cities redefining spaces that encourage a more engaged and empowered public. 

‘It’s what the A Night of Social Wonder is all about – finding inspiration through conversation and discovering threads that challenge us all to reflect on our own practice and how we approach our day to day.  In this day and age where creative place-making is becoming a part of our vernacular, A Night of Social Wonder allows us to look at what others are doing in other cities, places and professions we might not ourselves occupy, but certainly add perspective to what and how we live our own lives.

‘We’re equally excited to have HGA Architects and Engineers as the official presenter of this conversation.  As a firm that supports thought leadership and understands the importance of responsive, innovative and sustainable design, we couldn’t be more pleased to have their support for A Night of Social Wonder,” said Scott Pollock, Director of Exhibitions, Collections and Programs.


Olov Amelin, Director of The Nobel Museum (Stockholm)

After more than 100 years, the world’s premier museum honoring Alfred Nobel’s prizes will be given a modern home of its own in Stockholm, Sweden. The expanded Nobel Center is being designed by the British architect Sir David Chipperfield and will be placed right in the heart of Sweden’s capital city.  Its design and location spurred a little controversy and a lot of great ideas from the international design community. Amelin will speak to the role that the new Nobel Center (expected to open in 2019) will play as a civic building and gathering place for more than half a million visitors a year.

Sebastian Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (New York)

As part of one of the most anticipated museum re-openings in recent years, Seb Chan of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, will speak about transforming the impact and role of museums through interaction, design, media, technology and visitor-centered approaches.

Tricia Khutoretsky, Curator, Public Functionary Art Gallery (Minneapolis)

Technology and globalization are rapidly transforming the way in which we communicate, connect and make sense of the world around us. Within this, the notion of the "artist" is evolving and the function of the art space will be challenged. Khutoretsky is currently at the helm of an art space that claims to be "defining the role of the modern gallery." She will speak to the outdated perception of the gatekeeper and how a perspective shift can create more energetic gathering spaces around art.


Thomas Fisher, Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota

For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than in rural areas, and we continue to flood into cities at record rates. What does that mean in terms of how we will live, work and recreate in the future and how will the city change as a result?


Mark Wheat

A favorite voice and personality of the Twin Cities community and music scene, Mark Wheat grew up near Cambridge, England, where he regularly listened to the late great BBC DJ John Peel. Like Peel, Wheat came to the USA to start his radio career. Since 89.3 The Current launched in 2005, Wheat has hosted weekdays 6 to 10 p.m., including The Chart Show on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. 

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