Jeanne Gang, FAIA, is the founding principal and partner of internationally renowned architecture and urban design practice Studio Gang. Recognized for an approach that expands beyond architecture’s conventional boundaries to foreground relationships between individuals, communities, and their environment. Jeanne has a diverse, award-winning portfolio of work throughout the Americas and Europe. These include Aqua Tower in Chicago, an expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the new United States Embassy in Brasilia. A MacArthur Fellow and Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jeanne this year was named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine and won her largest commission to date: the 2.2 million sf O’Hare Global Terminal.
Photo by Saverio Truglia.
John Maeda is an American technologist, designer, engineer, artist, investor, author, and teacher. He was recently appointed chief experience officer at Publicis Sapient, the technology consulting and delivery arm of communications and marketing conglomerate Publicis. He has held positions with Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com; the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins; led research at the MIT Media Lab; and served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Named as one of the “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by Esquire, Maeda draws on his diverse background as an MIT-trained engineer, award-winning designer, and executive leader to bring people and ideas together at scale. He is the author of several celebrated books, including The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership and How to Speak Machine published on November 2019. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for TED have received millions of views.
Photo by Julia Hembree.
Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science and technology.
She has curated shows, written books, lectured worldwide, and taught in several schools, including Harvard and UCLA. Following the XXII Triennale di Milano––her 2019 Broken Nature, devoted to the idea of restorative design––Material Ecology, a show on the work of architect Neri Oxman that opened at MoMA on February 2020; on several new sessions of her MoMA R&D Salons; and on two books–– a collection of essays on contemporary design and Design Bites, a book about foods from all over the world as examples of design.
Photo by Marton Perlaki.
Simon Humphries is Head of Toyota & Lexus Global Design. He was appointed to oversee design for both brands in 2018.As Head of Lexus Global Design Humphries seeks to define Lexus' unique values in the form of a brand philosophy, incorporating a clear cultural reference to Lexus' Japanese heritage and building a design direction that is relevant to users around the world.
Humphries joined the companyin 1994. His many roles in leadership and advanced design include defining the signature spindle grille that has become an icon for the Lexus brand.In 2016 he became President of ED2 (Toyota Europe Design Development) where his team spearheaded development of mobility concepts such as the Toyota e-Palette concept as part of the brand’s transition from “automotive company” to “mobility company.”
Humphries began his career in design in 1988 when he was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bursary Prize for Product Design in the UK.The award gave him the opportunity to work for Sony, which jumpstarted his passion for living and working in Japan. In his spare time Humphries enjoys carpentry and is restoring a 100-year old Japanese farmhouse.