Juan Enriquez Opens SHARED VOICES

Juan Enriquez Opens SHARED VOICES

On Thursday, January 5, 2012, genomics and life sciences expert Juan Enriquez will launch RISD’s new Shared Voices speaker series. His presentation – open to the RISD community and the general public – will consider the ramifications of Designing with Life Code by looking at how our growing ability to “read, copy and re-code life will fundamentally change how we think of and execute design.” Just as the digital revolution radically changed how artists and designers create and share imagery and other works, he expects the “vast new programming language of life” to be equally revolutionary – to both creative practice and our everyday lives.

A visionary thinker, researcher and writer, Enriquez considers multiple disciplines in looking towards the future. He was once CEO of Mexico City’s Urban Development Corporation and the chief of staff for Mexico’s secretary of state, yet more recently has focused fully on bioscience and how our emerging understanding of DNA will radically change the world. Since presenting his take on the mindboggling science of genomics at a 2009 TEDTalk (see below), he has continued to discuss big new ideas around the globe.

Two other big speakers to follow

Enriquez is the first of three guest speakers who will visit RISD this winter as part of Shared Voices: The RISD Presidential Speaker Series, which has been conceived as a series of open conversations hosted by selected faculty members. “Over the summer, our academic leaders let me know that there was an interest in bringing thinkers I’ve been inspired by to RISD to spark new conversations,” PresidentJohn Maeda noted in announcing the series to the campus community. “I thought about people I’ve met who would not only bring fresh perspectives, but whose own work would benefit from exposure to a RISD point of view.”

Once Maeda proposed potential speakers, a group of faculty helped select the line-up. Each of the speakers in the 2012 series will contribute to the ongoing STEAM conversations at RISD about the natural symbiosis between art and science – in terms of inquiry, research, process – and the desire to exchange ideas more often with scientists, policymakers, healthcare specialists and others working within and beyond visually creative fields.

In addition to Enriquez, who will engage in conversation with faculty co-hosts John Dunnigan MFA 80 GD and Shawn Greenlee 96 PR, two other speakers will visit as part of the 2012 series:

Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist, author of the groundbreaking new bookKnocking on Heaven’s Door and an impassioned advocate for science and the art-science connection, will speak onThursday, February 2. Professors Daniel Cavicchi and Peter Yeadon will co-host her visit.

Kevin Kelly, an author, technology expert and co-founder of Wired magazine, will round out the series with a presentation on Wednesday, March 14. Professors Brian Goldberg MArch 00 and Eva Sutton will co-host his visit to RISD.

All talks in the series take place at 7:30 pm in the RISD Auditorium and are free and open to the public with advance registration.

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