Manifestoes, Ethics and Design Practice
is a conversation featuring Allan Chochinov, founding Chair of the MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City; Jennifer Rittner, founder of the communications strategy firm Content Matters; Celine Semaan, designer, Advocate, Writer and Founder of Slow Factory and The Library Study Hall; and Marc Dones, Executive Director of National Innovation Service.
Allan Chochinov is the Founding Chair of the MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and a partner of Core77, the design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts since 1995. Allan lectures widely at professional conferences, and has been a speaker and guest critic at schools including MIT, Yale School of Management, Columbia School of Business, RMIT, IIT, and Carnegie Mellon. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference and the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, and is a frequent guest critic and competition juror. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, The One Club, I.D. Magazine, and Communication Arts.

Marc Dones is the Executive Director of National Innovation Service. Dones has worked in program and policy development for their entire career. Currently their work focuses on the development and integration of equity oriented policies and program procedures across a number of projects. Previously, Dones served as the Associate Director of Equity Initiatives at the Center for Social Innovation (C4) and lead the SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities) Initiative. SPARC is currently focused on reframing homelessness response systems through an anti-racist lens by working with 8 jurisdictions across the nation, over 20 partner agencies, as well as the federal government. Additionally, Dones worked with a small team of C4 staff to build a training institute for over 300 provider agencies funded to work with individuals living with substance use disorders. Prior to C4 Dones served as a Program Manager in the MA Executive Office of Health and Human services where they assisted in the development and implementation of Governor Deval Patrick’s youth violence reduction program, the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. The program, with $10 million annual operating budget, was developed and implemented in 11 cities with site-specific responses. Additionally, Marc served as the policy manager for the Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. In this capacity they advised the commission, authored its reports, and conducted research on numerous issues.

Jennifer Rittner founded the communications strategy firm Content Matters in 2009 to help creative businesses thrive by defining their voice and learning how to communicate effectively with diverse audiences – clients, collaborators, advocates and the general public. Prior to consulting, Jennifer worked for international design consultancy Pentagram, as well as Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning and the AIGA. Jennifer has taught design management at Parsons the New School for Design and FIT. She also teaches various topics in art and history at the Montclair Art Museum, Montclair Historical Society and Van Vleck House & Gardens. She is working on a series of articles that address the intersections between design and social justice.

Céline Semaan is an ambassador of Cultures. Forced to flee her country as a child, she has been raised between the East and the West, finding herself advocating for peace, equality and human rights along the way. Ms. Semaan is a writer whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Cut, Elle USA, and Vogue as well as studied in Universities; she is a designer recognized and exhibited in museums around the World, and a thought leader trailblazing and championing Fashion Activism, a term she coined in 2012. Ms. Semaan’s work in sustainability has made her a recognized expert, her organization Study Hall is an official partner witht the United Nations, she also leads research on Regenerative Aesthetics within her company Slow Factory. Ms. Semaan is a Director’s Fellow at MIT Media Lab, she is on the board of Fashion Revolution USA and AIGA New York. Her research and work are at the intersection of Fashion and Politics.
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