From September 27 to 29, 2019, the three-day conference ‘Noise’ brought together students, professionals, and dozens of speakers with a passion for design in Brown University, Rhode Island. Organized by Better World by Design (BWxD), the aim of the conference was to consider how design and social practices can create major shock waves, while disrupting traditional methods and generating new ideas.
BWxD is a student led-initiative that celebrates collaboration between designers, educators, innovators and learners in the broadest sense. Through workshops, panels and discussions, but also by organizing ambitious conferences, they want to open up the field of design, with as a result it may catalyze positive change on a local and global scale.
‘Noise’ was the theme of the 7th conference organized by BWxD, an opportunity to embrace imperfection while challenging distortion. A diverse selection of speakers (from designers to scientists) presented their just as diverse interpretations and solutions to how to challenge traditional conventions, amplify historically underrepresented voices, and draw attention to personal, local and global inequalities.
Partner Pinar Guvenc spoke on the topic ‘Create with Purpose’, with examples of work from both SOUR and Open Style Lab, a nonprofit organization which she serves on the board of and is dedicated to creating functional wearable solutions for people of all abilities without compromising on style. The underlying message of Pinar’s keynote was that all creatives and designers have the responsibility of creating meaningful spaces or products, as with the accumulation of urban, social and environmental problems we face today, we cannot afford to do otherwise.