Just as the 19th century was transformed by the industrial revolution and the late 20th century by the computer revolution, the 21st century is being transformed by a design revolution.

In recognition of this trend, West Virginia University is presenting a collaborative, multidisciplinary program called Design Dialogue: Conversations about 21st Century Innovation and the Role of Design in Education, Community and the Economy.

The program begins Wednesday, Oct. 24, and continues through Wednesday, Nov. 7, featuring lectures and conversations on campus and the Web (Design Dialogue blog:http://designdialogue.blogs.wvu.edu/home/). All events are free and open to the public.

Rather than concentrating on a single design discipline, the planners of Design Dialogue are taking an integrated approach, said WVU art professor Kristina Olson.

Local, national and international thinkers from a number of design fields will be brought together to present ideas and promote discussion,she said.

Topics include innovations in design education, the value of integrated aesthetics in metropolitan design, New Urbanism and city planning, business design, livability issues, the economic impact of green design and the power of design thinking.

Specific design issues, from those affecting the local campus and Morgantown to broader issues affecting the state and region, will be explored,Olson noted.The goal is to draw together a variety of stakeholdersfrom educators and administrators to business people, public officials, community members and studentsto engage in a constructive dialogue on the possibilities of innovative design thinking.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 24 umbau = Transform,a lecture by William Tate, umbau School of Architecture and James Madison University, is set for 7 p.m. in Room 1001 of the Agricultural Sciences Building. A reception will follow in the lobby. This event is sponsored by the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25 Higher Education and the New Design Economy,a lecture by Dan Boyarski, head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, will take place at 7 p.m. in Room 202 of Brooks Hall. A reception and design exhibition are planned for 8:30 p.m. in the lobby.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6 AttendMetro Harmony: Designing the Livable City,a discussion with Alessandro Guerrierodesigner, architect and president of the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan, Italyand James Hillmanoriginator of the field of archetypal psychology; distinguished lecturer at Yale, Princeton, Chicago and Syracuse universities; and author whose many books,includingCity and Soul,have been translated into some 20 languages. The event will be at 4 p.m. in the Bloch Learning and Performance Hall at the Creative Arts Center. A reception and design exhibition will follow at 5:30 p.m.in the Douglas O. Blaney Lobby.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 7 The Future of Design Education and the International Context,a roundtable discussion organized by Dan Weiner, director of the WVU Office of International Programs, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Monongalia Arts Center Tanner Theatre. Participants will include Boyarski; Guerriero; Marco Cabassi, owner of NABA ; Brunello Morrelli, vice president for International Affairs at NABA ; and members of the WVU Disegno Italia Steering Committee.
  • Details to be announced The Importance of Community Design

Supported in part by funding from the Myers Foundation to the WVU Division of Art in the College of Creative Arts, Design Dialogue is a joint program with the WVU Division of Design and Merchandising and Landscape Architecture in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences; the Institute for Public Affairs in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; and the WVU Office of International Programs/Office of the Provost.

For more information, call 304-293-4841 ext. 3138 or e-mail Kristina.Olson@mail.wvu.edu or Daniel.Weiner@mail.wvu.edu .