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Have you ever wished for a glimpse inside the minds of design leaders from across the industry? Well, wish no more, the Bill’s DESIGN Talks series moderated by Cooper-Hewitt’s Director, Bill Moggridge are here. The series made possible in part by the Adobe Foundation, began in spring 2010 with the intention, as described by Moggridge in a press release “…to bring the most interesting designers to our audience in the Greene Space and online to find out what they do, what they think and who they are.”

This year’s Bill’s DESIGN talks opened on February 9th, with a tribute to the late Eva Zeisel, whose incredible career spanned over 75 years. For those unfamiliar with Zeisel, she was perhaps best known for her beautiful and evocative ceramics work. The tribute begins with a short video of her at the TED talks where the then 94 year-old explained that she was not doing things “still” but as she had always done and modestly described herself as a “maker of things” as opposed to an industrial designer, followed by Jed Perl, art critic for the New Republic and designers James Klein and David Reid recounting their experiences with Zeisel.

The following talk, on February 23rd featured Robert Wong, Creative Director of Google Creative Lab. Wong spoke about his life and work, sharing how he got his start, what inspires him and day-to-day challenges. He framed the conversation in the context of Jonathan Haidt’s book “The Happiness Hypothesis” and people’s relationship with work, then went on to describe his own professional journey, partly inspired by a scene from the 1986 movie “Highlander”.

These two examples demonstrate how the series speakers, their perspectives and experiences are as varied as they are rich. In short, the Bill’s DESIGN Talks series is sure to inspire, as well as delight.

Bill’s DESIGN Talks are held at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at New York Public Radio from 6:30-8:00 PM. Future talks scheduled between now and June are “Design Theory vs. Design Practice” with Helen Waters, Fiona Morrison and Beth Viner on 3/15; Emily Oberman, Pentagram on 3/29; Annabelle Selldorf, Selldorf Architects on 4/12; Scott Wilson, MINIMAL on 5/24 and Walter Hood, Landscape Architecture on 6/14.

Admission for Students and Cooper-Hewitt Members is free, other adults are $17. Seats are limited and need to be booked online.

All programs will be webcast live at Previous talks featuring Chad Hurley of YouTube, Michael Bierut of Pentagram, Michael Graves and Acumen Fund’s Founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz, among others can be viewed at

COPYRIGHT: Smithsonian Institution