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Designing Peace: Building a Better Future Now

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How might we collectively put our creative forces together to envision a future we want to live in and take action to create it now? Designing Peace by Cynthia E. Smith is an intersectional snapshot of the actions—culturally diverse and wide-ranging in scale—that are currently in play around the world.

Offering perspectives on peace through essays, interviews, critical maps, project profiles, data visualizations, and art, this book conveys the momentum that design can gain in effecting a peace-filled future. From activists, scholars, and architects to policymakers and graphic, game, and landscape designers, Designing Peace flips the conversation: peace is not simply a passive state signifying the absence of war, it is a dynamic concept that requires effort, expertise, and multidimensional solutions to address its complexity. This publication aims to expand the discourse on what is possible if society were to design for peace.

This publication accompanied the exhibition Designing Peace, that was on view at Cooper Hewitt through August 6, 2023.

Softcover, 224 pages.


Foreword by Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Preface by Darren Walker, Ford Foundation

“Designing the Future Now” by Cynthia E. Smith, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“A New Climate Change Council” by Michael Adlerstein, United Nations (former)

“To Whom Does the Earth Belong?” by Pablo Ares and Julia Risler, Iconoclasistas

“Designing the Kitchen” by Merve Bedir, Land + Civilization Compositions

“Citizen-State, a Bottom-Up Reparation Model” by Everisto Benyera, University of South Africa, Pretoria

“Beautiful Trouble Toolbox” by Andrew Boyd and Nadine Bloch, Beautiful Trouble

“In Transit Studio” by Håvard Breivik-Khan and Tone Selmer-Olsen, Oslo School of Architecture and Design

“Universality through Visual Symbols” by Lee Davis, Maryland Institute College of Art

“Imagining the Just City” by Toni L. Griffin, Harvard University

“Musings on Peace” by John Paul Lederach, Humanity United

“The Business of Peace” by Jason Miklian, University of Oslo, and Kristian Hoelscher, Peace Research Institute, Oslo

“An Architecture of Peace” by Michael Murphy, MASS Design Group

“Women, War, and Peace” an interview with Binalakshmi Nepram, Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and Control Arms Foundation, India, by Cynthia E. Smith

“Objects, People, and Peace” by Caroline O’Connell, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

“Designing for Urban Inclusivity” by Chelina Odbert, Kounkuey Design Initiative

“Borders and Boundaries” by Beth Simmons, University of Pennsylvania; Michael Kenwick, Rutgers University; and Dillon Horwitz, Princeton University

“New World Summits” by Jonas Staal, New World Summit