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A Night of Social Wonder: Designing for a Better Tomorrow

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 6:30pm

doors 6:30 p.m., program 7 p.m.

Presented by HGA Architects and Engineers 

ASI’s 2015 exhibition Nobel Creations 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 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 approaching 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, giving them each nine minutes to present the highs and lows of their design challenges, share with us the successes and failures of projects that have changed the world, and ignite a conversation around new approaches to designing a better tomorrow. 

Olov Amelin,  Director of The Nobel Museum

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. The expanded Nobel Center is being designed by the British architect Sir David Chipperfield and will be placed right in the heart of Stockholm city.  It’s design and location spurred a little controversy and a lot of great ideas from the design community. Amelin will speak to the role the new Nobel Center (expected to open in 2019) will play as an important civic building and gathering place for more than half a million visitors a year.

Sebastian Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media, Cooper Hewitt  

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

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? Fisher’s remarks will focus on the work that he has participated in at the Metropolitan Design Center at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.

Tricia Khutoretsky, Curator Public Functionary Art Gallery

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.


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. Emigrating in 1983, Wheat lived in St. Louis, in Kure Beach, N.C., and in Hoboken, N.J. It was while living in Hoboken that Wheat learned how to push the buttons at the legendary free-form station WFMU. After moving to the Twin Cities in 1992, Wheat volunteered at community radio station KFAI and created Local Sound Department, playing only Minnesota music. Wheat spent 18 months at commercial station Zone 105, hosting Across The Pond, a weekly show playing music from all over the world. In 1998, he became Director of Student Programming at the University of Minnesota's Radio K, and created a weekly magazine show, The Music Lovers ClubSince The Current launched in 2005, Wheat has hosted weekdays 6 to 10 p.m., including The Chart Show on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. 


$10 ASI members/$12 general public. Cash bar available. Museum admission must be purchased separately.

This event is sold out. Please call (612) 871-4907 to be added to the waitlist. 

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