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Keynote Presentations

The NeoCon exhibition is complemented by world-class programming featuring some of the most creative minds and productive talents in the industry. All four of this year's keynote presenters share a human-centric approach to design. 

Monday (KE1)
Amanda Williams, Artist and Architect, AW Studio
The Business of Color: Amanda Williams and Cheryl Durst Illuminate Design's Impact on Purpose, Profit, Culture and the Future

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  • Date Monday, June 8, 2020
  • Time 8:00 AM
  • Fee Free (Registration Required)
  • Location NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, theMART
  • Register Now

Amanda Williams is a visual artist, architect, and TEDtalk speaker. Williams blurs the distinction between art and architecture through work that employs color as a way of examining the complexities of race, place, and how value is assigned to space in cities. The landscape in which she and her creative practice, AW Studio, operate is the visual residue of the invisible policies and forces that impact most major US cities.

Williams is a member of the Obama Presidential Center's Museum Design Team and sits on the boards of the Graham Foundation, Garfield Park Conservatory and Hyde Park Art Center. She has been recognized as a Joan Mitchell Foundation grantee, a USA Ford Fellow, an Efroymson Arts Fellow and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow.

Williams' installations, paintings and works on paper seek to inspire new ways of looking at the familiar, and in the process, raise questions about the state of urban space and citizenship in America. She has exhibited widely, including in the Venice Architecture Biennale, the MCA Chicago, and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, and is in several permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the MoMA.

Amanda Williams in conversation with IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, will discuss design's impact on cities and share insights on the intersections of design that shaped her career.

Presented by
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Tuesday (KE2)
Frans Johansson, Author and CEO of The Medici Group
The Medici Effect: Innovation at the Intersection

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  • Date Tuesday, June 9, 2020
  • Time 8:00 AM
  • Fee Free (Registration Required)
  • Location NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, theMART
  • Register Now

An author, entrepreneur, and acclaimed international speaker, Frans Johansson has inspired readers and audiences worldwide with his ideas on leadership and success, innovation, and diversity, while his practical insights have empowered thousands to take action. In his role as a thought leader and CEO of The Medici Group, Frans has advised executive leadership at Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, IBM, Nike, and Mastercard. His firm recently launched the world's first team coaching subscription service, which leverages diversity and inclusion to drive business outcomes, ultimately helping teams accelerate their innovation capacity, become more agile and collaborative, and better able to experiment.

Frans is the author of The Medici Effect (Harvard Business Press, 2004 & 2017), which innovation legend Clay Christensen described as “one of the most insightful books on managing innovation that I have ever read.” His follow up book, The Click Moment (Penguin Portfolio, 2012) was hailed by Fast Company as the book that challenges traditional business-school thinking and has been charged with destroying the 10,000-hour rule. The Medici Effect has been translated into 21 different languages and become the definitive book on diversity driving innovation, influencing numerous industries and fields such as architecture, design, economic development, education, and investing.

Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans has lived all his life at the intersection. He has been featured on ABC, CNN, CNBC, the PBS Newshour, and National Public Radio and serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York Hall of Science. He has spoken to audiences on six continents, in virtually every industry, and across disciplines, from creatives to engineers, financiers to scientists, and politicians to humanitarians. Frans founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund. Frans holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Presented by
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Tuesday (KE3)
Jeanne Gang, Architect and Founding Principal of Studio Gang

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  • Date Tuesday, June 9, 2020
  • Time 1:00 PM
  • Fee Free (Registration Required)
  • Location NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, theMART
  • Register Now

Architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Int. FRIBA, is the founding principal and partner of Studio Gang, an internationally renowned architecture and urban design practice headquartered in Chicago with offices in New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Her celebrated, award-winning designs arise from a distinctive approach that expands beyond architecture’s conventional boundaries to foreground relationships between individuals, communities, and their environment. Her diverse portfolio ranges from smaller-scale community and cultural projects to major work throughout the Americas and Europe, such as: the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York; the new United States Embassy in Brasilia, and Aqua Tower in Chicago. A Professor in Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jeanne has been named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine and won her largest commission to date, the new Global Terminal at O’Hare International Airport.

Presented by
  • AIA Chicago Logo

Wednesday (KE4)
Markus Dochantschi, Architect and Founder and Principal of studioMDA
ARTseen

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  • Date Wednesday, June 10, 2020
  • Time 11:00 AM
  • Fee Free (Registration Required)
  • Location NeoCon Theater, 19th Floor, theMART
  • Register Now

Markus Dochantschi is the founder and principal of studioMDA. Founded and headquartered in New York City in 2002, the firm’s mission has been to challenge the boundaries of design through the synthesis of art, architecture and culture. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent designers of art and cultural spaces, Dochantschi and his firm have designed dozens of galleries and exhibitions, and over 200 international art booths earning him the title of “the Art World’s New Go-To Architect”.

Working extensively with renowned art collectors, artists and galleries throughout the last sixteen years, studioMDA has created both innovative and provocative gallery and exhibition spaces in New York and around the world. His portfolio also includes high-end and affordable residential, cultural, commercial, educational, mixed-use, and institutional projects across the United States, and internationally in countries such as Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Peru, Chile, Cambodia, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. He is currently adding to his expansive portfolio of built projects with the Center of Advanced Mobility in Aachen, Germany which will see completion in 2020.

The 2017 Artsy magazine article “These Architects are Transforming the Way We Experience Art” featured Dochantschi and studioMDA as one of the firms “behind some of the most inventive and influential cultural spaces today.” Most recently, Dochantschi was selected to design the Phillips New York Headquarters, which will open its doors to the public in Summer 2020.

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