Erica Kochi of UNICEF Innovation Unit Aug. 29

Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series to explore art, architecture and “interaction design”

UNICEF’s Erica Kochi, one of Time magazine’s 100 “World’s Most Influential People,” will discuss development and “interaction design” Aug. 29.

Among social entrepreneurs and aid organizations, it’s known as the “last mile” problem. How does one deliver food, water, health care, education and other assistance to the most remote corners of the world?

Technology can’t solve every issue, said Erica Kochi, the co-founder and co-director of the UNICEF Innovation Unit, but it is very good at certain things: improving communication, finding efficiencies and managing distribution.

Over the last six years, Kochi — one of Time magazine’s 100 “World’s Most Influential People” — has helped UNICEF leverage these strengths through a series of smart, collaborative, design-savvy projects. Digital Drum is a rugged, solar-powered computer station housed in a steel oil container. RapidSMS is an open source platform that uses cell phones to meet a wide array of challenges, from registering births in Nigeria to coordinating relief supplies in Ethiopia.

At 6:30 p.m.Thursday, Aug. 29, Kochi will discuss design, technology and international aid as part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts fall Public Lecture Series.

Art, architecture and “interaction design”

Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group will present the Fumihiko Maki Lecture Sept. 30.

Kochi’s talk is the first of three centering on “interaction design,” an emerging field that examines the ways people interact with digital products, interfaces, environments and other complex systems.

All three are held in conjunction with the Sam Fox School’s Interaction Design Initiative, which explores best design practices across many university disciplines (and includes for-credit workshops open to all WUSTL students). Subsequent speakers will include Maggie Breslin, founder of Smaller Sanities Design & Research in Brooklyn (Sept. 26), and Gaby Brink, founder of Tomorrow Partners in Berkeley, Calif. (Nov. 14).

In all, the Public Lecture Series will feature 14 talks by nationally and internationally known artists, architects, curators, and urban designers.

Other highlights will include the Berlin-based team Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, the Sam Fox School’s 2012-13 Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellows, at the Saint Louis Art Museum Sept. 24.

Michael Murphy will discuss his work as co-founder and executive director of MASS Design Group Sept. 30. On Nov. 18, art historian Huey Copeland will discuss the exhibition Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks, on view this fall at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Art historian Huey Copeland will discuss Rashid Johnson: Message to our Folks Nov. 18. The exhibition is on view at the Kemper Art Museum Sept. 20 through Jan. 6. Pictured is Johnson’s Self Portrait Laying on Jack Johnson’s Grave, 2006. Lambda print. Collection of Dr. Daniel S. Berger, Chicago.
Image courtesy of the artist.

Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series

All talks are free and open to the public and, unless otherwise noted, begin at 6:30 p.m. in Steinberg Hall Auditorium. Each will be preceded by a reception at 6 p.m.

Steinberg Hall is located near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards, immediately adjacent to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

For more information, call (314) 935-9300 or visit

Fall 2013 speakers

Aug. 29
Erica Kochi
Co-founder and co-leader, UNICEF’s Innovation Unit
Interaction Design Initiative Lecture

Sept. 9
K. Michael Hays
Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

Sept. 23
Shaun O’Dell
Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist Lecture

6 p.m. Sept. 24
Saint Louis Art Museum
Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock
Collaborative Artist Team, Berlin
Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Teaching Fellow Lecture

Sept. 26
Maggie Breslin
Designer & Researcher, Smaller Sanities Design & Research LLC
Interaction Design Initiative Lecture

Sept. 30
Michael Murphy
Co-founder and executive director, MASS Design Group
Fumihiko Maki Lecture

Oct. 7
Sharon Johnston
Principal, Johnston Marklee & Associates
Coral Courts Lecture

Oct. 16
Coco Fusco
Interdisciplinary artist and writer
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost

Oct. 23
Angela Miller
Professor of art history & archaeology in Arts & Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis
On American Places: Painting the Landscape in the 19th Century
* Reception 6 p.m. in the Kemper Art Museum

Oct. 28
Flavin Judd
Co-president, the Judd Foundation
Co-sponsored by The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Nov. 4
Alfredo Payá Benedito
Founder, noname29
Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor Lecture

Nov. 13
David van der Leer
Executive director, the Van Alen Institute
Co-sponsored by The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Nov. 14
Gaby Brink
Founder and chief designer, Tomorrow Partners
Interaction Design Initiative Lecture

Nov. 18
Huey Copeland
Associate professor of art history, Northwestern University
On Rashid Johnson: Message to Our Folks

* Reception 6 p.m. in the Kemper Art Museum