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TOM WEIS

RISD + NSQUARE


09 - 06-18-33182

Davis-Monthan Air Force Boneyard, Tucson, AZ

PHOTO: Google Earth

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Tom Weis is an Assistant Professor in the

N Square is a multi-million dollar initiative

Industrial Design department at the Rhode Island

designed to stimulate innovation in the fields

School of Design. Weis works with a team of

of nuclear disarmament, nonproliferation and

faculty to guide graduate students through their

safety and security. N Square is the brainchild

year-long thesis projects. His undergraduate

of five of the largest peace and security funders

courses include such topics as advanced

in the United States: The Carnegie Corporation

prototyping, aquaponics and global security.

of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett

His work has appeared in such places as the

Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T.

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Time

MacArthur Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund,

magazine’s Best Inventions of 2010 and the

and the Skoll Global Threats Fund. N Square is

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History

based on the idea that new forms of cross-sector

and Innovation. Weis recently initiated a Global

collaboration—combined with the sheer ingenuity

Security Fellowship at RISD with the support

of an engaged public—will enable us to innovate

of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur

our way to a world free from the risks associated

Foundation. He is working with two Fellows

with nuclear weapons and fissile materials.

exploring communication challenges around strategic stability and youth outreach with the U.S. State Department. Weis is also working with a multidisciplinary team developing new concepts related to nuclear verification issues.

Special thanks go out to the team at N Square and PopTech for their generous support and the connections they provided. Our experience was greatly enriched by the visiting guests and experts that helped us navigate and understand the issues related to global security.

B O OK D E S I G N BY B R I A N G PAY N E P R I N T E D BY E D I T I O N O N E B O O KS

2018


Design, Culture & Global Security TOM WEIS


Painted mural in Missile Alert Facility Charlie-Zero, Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks, ND

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03 Introduction CCOONNTTEENNTTSS

06 Collaborators

Why should

anyone care about nuclear weapons?

PAU L C A R R O L L

Start By

Making Something

TO M W E I S

Expanding

the Circle of Connections

E R IKA G R E G O RY

The Yield

of Strong Collaborations

B R I A N J. N OVO S E L I C H P H. D. , P. E . /

L I E U T E N A N T C O LO N E L H A R RY J O N E S , P H . D.

Communicating

to New Audiences

LAICIE HEELEY

Culture as

a Driver for Change

LOV E LY U M AYA M

13 25 43 55 67 81

98 What I Learned

PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION, LIB R A RY OF CONG RE S S (H A ER N D -13- G-5)

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+ In the fall of 2017, nine students in the Industrial Design Department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) enrolled in an advanced studio course titled Design, Culture & Global Security. For most, this was a topic that they knew little about yet the issues, concerns and implications have an impact on nearly all of us. This book reflects some of the lessons, insights and conversations that helped us understand how creativity and design might play a role in the reduction of nuclear threats. Our experience was greatly enriched by the visiting guests and experts that helped us navigate and understand the issues related to global security.

TO M W E I S

INTRODUCTION

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D E S I G N, C U LT U R E A N D G LO B A L S E C U R I T Y

RISD,Industrial IndustrialDesign Design Dept. Dept. 161 RISD, 161S. S.Main MainSt. St.Providence Providen

TUES. 1 TUES. DEC. DEC. 12 6PM RM60 11––6PM RM600

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I N ST R U C TO R : TO M W E I S

Design, Culture & Global Security OBJECTIVES

▶ Students will learn and develop the ability to frame questions based on insights and inquiries with user groups and experts. ▶ Students will learn and Develop new communication platforms across diverse areas of expertise. ▶ Students will learn to design and build objects that illustrate and communicate complex stories and narratives. ▶ Students will design stories/messaging to reach specific audiences and exploring metrics for measuring impact and effectiveness. ▶ Students will practice and refine presentation skills. ▶ Students will learn and develop strong time/ project management skills.

F 17 R I S D N 41° 49' 23.069" W 71° 24' 22.334"

Course Description Each day we consume news, information and media about countless global crises or threats. In many cases, these threats appear too complex for the average citizen to contribute toward a more positive outcome. This class will explore the role that design can take to shape culture, public perception and policy around global security and nuclear weapons. If we imagine the future we would like to live in, how do we design the conditions for that to occur? Throughout the semester, students will work on several projects and exercises that will rely on user testing and feedback to inform their process and directions. Projects will include the design of objects, tools or creative activities that link to and complement new ways of thinking about and working collaboratively around global security. Students will develop engagement strategies that push the conventional messaging of nuclear issues and link these strategies to specific calls to action established by subject matter experts. N Square, an innovation collaborative focusing on nuclear issues, will provide access to guests, mentors and supporting materials for this class.

Course Goals The purpose of this course is to employ the tools and processes of industrial design to approach complex problems with multiple stakeholders and possible outcomes. These processes include research, user testing and prototyping. Students will create frameworks for innovation that encourage diverse subject matter experts to work with non-experts. The frameworks and activities in this course can be applied to a broad range of topics and challenges.

ASSIGNMENTS

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Collaborators

+

Paul Carroll

Michelle Dover

S E N I O R A DV I S O R / N S Q UA R E

D I R E C TO R O F P R O G R A M S / P LO U G H S H A R E S F U N D

Paul is a well-regarded expert on a broad array of nuclear weapons topics, from the history and current status of US plans and programs, to international programs and treaty regimes. He has a particular expertise on the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons infrastructure—where warheads are designed, built, tested, and stored. He also is an expert on North Korea’s program and the challenges to limiting it, having traveled to the DPRK twice with nongovernmental delegations.

Michelle leads the grantmaking team, providing guidance on grantmaking strategies, performance and direction to the program team and Ploughshares leadership, as well as conducting due diligence on grants.

Laicie Heeley FOUNDER / INSTICK MEDIA

For 17 years before joining N Square, Paul was the Director of Programs at the Ploughshares Fund. He led all of Ploughshares’ grantmaking efforts and provided strategic guidance to the president, executive director and the board. Prior to Ploughshares Fund, Paul worked on nuclear weapons issues in the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. He also worked on environmental issues at a regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has published articles and appeared as a commentator for a number of media outlets including The Daily Beast, Hannity, CNN International, Fox News, AP Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Al Jazeera America, among others.

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Laicie is a Fellow with Stimson’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program. Her areas of expertise include U.S. budget process, defense strategy, nuclear weapons proliferation, and Iran. Prior to joining Stimson, Heeley was Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where her research focused on nuclear proliferation in emerging states such as Iran and North Korea, as well as budgeting and strategy at the Department of Defense. While in this role, Heeley served as part of the independent Sustainable Defense Task Force formed in response to a request from Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), working in cooperation with Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), to explore possible defense budget contributions to deficit reduction efforts. Heeley previously held positions at Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Counter Terrorist Finance Organization, and Global Green USA where her research focused on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in addition to the financing and structure of terrorist organizations.


Erika Gregory M A N AG I N G D I R E C TO R / N S Q UA R E C O L L A B O R AT I V E

Over the last 25 years Erika has led creative approaches to some of most crucial social challenges of our time—from reducing the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation to providing excellent education opportunities for children in poverty. As Managing Director of N Square Collaborative, Erika leads a team that is exploring cross-disciplinary, collaborative approaches to nuclear weapons threat— from engaging technology innovators to recasting the way nuclear weapons are portrayed in popular media. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama and a master facilitator of group process, Erika has co-founded two companies: Collective Invention, a boutique social innovation firm, and The Idea Factory, a strategy and innovation center. In the early 2000’s, Erika also supervised the replication of the San Franciscobased Idea Factory model in Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Singapore.

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Collaborators

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Jones, Ph.D. A S S I STA N T P R O F E S S O R O F P H I LO S O P H Y / U N I T E D STAT E S M I L I TA RY AC A D E M Y, W E ST P O I N T

Harry H. Jones, PhD, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S.Army teaches ethics and works on strategies for developing leaders of character. He also serves as Associate Director for Design for the West Point Center for Innovation and Engineering where he aims to equip leaders with the tools they need to become innovators and expert creative problem solvers within their organization. His research focuses on the intersection of character, creativity, and leadership, and he sees creativity as an essential skill for leadership in complex environments in the 21st Century.

Rebecca Friedman Lissner R E S E A R C H F E L LO W / U N I V E R S I T Y O F P E N N S Y LVA N I A G LO B A L P O L I C Y R E S E A R C H C E N T E R

Before her current role, Dr. Lissner was previously the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brady-Johnson Fellow at Yale University’s International Security Studies, and a Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellow. Dr. Lissner has also worked as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy and as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Lissner’s research interests focus on international security and American foreign policy, and she is working on a book (based on her dissertation) that examines how military interventions shape great powers’ grand strategies. Her scholarship has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, International Peacekeeping, Survival, and The Washington Quarterly. Her policy writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. Dr. Lissner received an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University.

maxma maxama S E N I O R P O L I C Y A DV I S O R / N N S A

Lovely Umayam is a Project Manager with Stimson’s Managing Across Boundaries initiative. Her work incentivize WMD nonproliferation, such as exploring industry’s role in upholding nuclear security, as well as examining the intersection between WMD nuclear weapons and glob

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++ Morgan Matthews

Lovely Umayam

D E P U T Y D I R E C TO R / N S Q UA R E

F O U N D E R / B O M B S H E L LTO E

Morgan is a people-focused design strategist and innovation practitioner with expertise in strategic planning, systems thinking and design thinking methodologies. She has facilitated design thinking and strategy workshops at TED conferences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the World Futures Society Summit, among others. Morgan is energetic and enjoys building community, connecting the dots in new ways, and convening teams to collaboratively solve problems.

Lovely is the founder of Bombshelltoe, a creative hub linking artists, community organizers, and nuclear experts together to present nuclear policy in a compelling and impactful way to the greater public. Bombshelltoe is the first-prize winner of the U.S. Department of State’s Innovation in Arms Control Challenge, and is currently developing Ways of Knowing, a project in partnership with Navajo community members that aims to showcase hope and resilience after decades of uranium mining—for energy and nuclear weapons—in the Southwest United States. She is also a Program Manager at the Stimson Center in Washington DC, where she develops programs to secure civilian nuclear material and technologies from being disseminated and misused for nuclear weapons development.

Brian J. Novoselich Ph.D., P.E. A S S I STA N T P R O F E S S O R / D I R E C TO R , C E N T E R F O R I N N OVAT I O N A N D E N G I N E E R I N G / D E PA RT M E N T O F C I V I L A N D M E C H A N I C A L E N G I N E E R I N G U N I T E D STAT E S M I L I TA RY AC A D E M Y, W E ST P O I N T

Brian Novoselich is an active duty Army Lieutenant Colonel and earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in 2016. He holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and West Point respectively. His research interests include capstone design teaching and assessment, undergraduate engineering student leadership development, and social network analysis. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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The Manhattan Project’s Trinity Test, the first detonation of a nuclear (plutonium fission) weapon occurred on July 16, 1945 in Alamogordo, NM. photo: Berlyn Brixner

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Why should anyone care about nuclear weapons? (or everyone)

PAU L C A R R O L L S E N I O R A DV I S O R N S Q UA R E

We are bombarded with bad and overwhelming news. It’s as though we’re actually living in a dystopian world more upsetting than what Hollywood can dish out. People can be forgiven for having “compassion fatigue.” So why add nuclear weapons and war to our ever growing list of things to worry about? After all, isn’t that the stuff of the old Cold War? Aren’t we past that? And what could regular people do anyway?

Nuclear missile in launch tube at the Delta-09 silo, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, South Dakota

N AT I O N A L PA RK S E RV I C E / J. M I L B R AT H

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As it turns out, we never escaped the real threats that haunted us during the height of the US-Soviet stand off, we simply forgot about them. But as it also turns out, we have more power today to eliminate these threats than ever before. All it takes is some awareness, a little bit of knowledge, and a belief that we can meet the challenge. The world made a good run and shutting the door on the daily risk of Armageddon we once lived with. Today the world is burdened with roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons; far too many. But this is far fewer than the more than 60,000 we had during the height of the Cold War. So the overall trend has been positive. The problem we face today is that this trend has stalled and is beginning to reverse. And when only one nuclear bomb can devastate an entire city and kill hundreds of thousands, it’s clear we have a long way to go. So, while it may be tough, we simply have to make room in our psyche to take on the existential threat of nuclear weapons. Unlike other dangers we rightly worry about, they can end our existence in hours and days, rather than years or decades. But it’s paralyzing right? After all, most of us aren’t nuclear physicists or highly trained experts with access to nuclear secrets. What is it we can do about it? Fortunately, the part of the nuclear risks landscape that has changed for the better is our ability to act on it. We have more access to information, thus more knowledge, and therefore more power. It also means we have more ways to tackle this immense challenge. It is audacious, but these weapons and the risks they pose are something we created, and therefore can resolve. As the self-help phrase goes, when faced with a problem, don’t get furious, get curious. Not sure you know enough to have a say? Then take just a little bit of time and learn some of the basics. This book and the contributions in it are a great start. We aren’t all experts at medicine, but we know enough to wash our hands to prevent germs from spreading. We can just as easily and pretty quickly

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master the basic outlines of how destructive these weapons are, how lucky we have been that terrible accidents or mistakes haven’t happened, and how we can affect changes to policies and operations to make ourselves safer. You don’t need to know details of how

Holes burned in film from Trinity blast photo: Berlyn Brixner OPPOSITE: Radioactive clouds crossing the U.S. during the era of nuclear testing (1951–1962) From “Under the Cloud” by Richard Miller

nuclear fission works, or anything that is “classified.” You just need to know that a nuclear explosion over a city would be a radically different kind of catastrophe that would shake the fundamental nature of our society. Think 9-11 was a radical event? That would be child’s play compared to the wake of a nuclear explosion—both in

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terms of the devastation and the political upheaval afterward. There are other reasons to be concerned—angry even—about the threats that nuclear weapons burden us with. The costs of maintaining, let alone “modernizing,” these vast arsenals takes away from other pressing needs. We spend multiple tens of billions of dollars each and every year to keep these bombs at the ready. The United States alone is poised to spend over $1.5 trillion over the next thirty years to re-build the platforms we use to deliver them. The theft of these resources from nearly any other public program—from health care to education to infrastructure—is a travesty. The human health and environmental impacts are likewise significant and long lasting—essentially eternal. Not only have the production and testing of our nuclear arsenals killed many people, the wastes and contamination to our biosphere is well-documented and extremely costly. We still don’t know how to clean it up. And who has borne the brunt of those impacts? You won’t be surprised

ALERT

Titan II missile launch

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<

to learn they have fallen mostly on minority, Native American, and lower-income communities. So pick your poison. The risk of cataclysmic war, the continuation of unjust impacts to disenfranchised communities, the affront to the environment and our own health, or the pillaging of public goods for the support of machines that make us less safe. Any one of these is cause enough to care about the “nuclear threat.” And each one offers an opportunity for people to get involved. Whether you are a scientist with new ideas for managing nuclear waste and cleanup, an artist with ways to capture people’s imagination about the topic, an organizer with strategies to build

The risks these weapons pose are something we created, and therefore can resolve.

efforts for policy change, or a coder with a knack for building apps or games that could crowdsource tools, you can help. In fact, we need your help. The policy and technical experts that built the nuclear world have critical skills to help deconstruct it, but not all of them. More and different kinds of mindsets and skillsets are desperately needed.

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We have more power today to eliminate these threats than ever beforeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; all it takes is some awareness, a little bit of knowledge and a belief that we can meet the challenge.


Design, Culture & Global Security HELPFUL HINTS

When making your objects, consider how the materials you choose might communicate elements of your story. How does the form influence how its read? Does the interaction with the object help communicate its meaning? Are some parts of it soft and other parts have a texture? Be sure that your objects are cleanly executed and can withhold handling from viewers. (It shouldn’t fall apart while being passed around)

Project Brief Create a small object (must fit in a carry-on bag) that enhances or illustrates aspects of a story found in the news. Challenge yourself to create an object that will resonate with viewers long after you’ve shared it. Try not to create a literal prop that might be predictable or obvious. For example, if the story you’ve chosen is about a bank robbery, don’t make a wooden gun. You might, however decide to create an object that references a weapon or even a gun. This object could be exaggerated or contradictory, speaking to the complexity or unknown elements of the news story.

Deliverables Bring your completed object and be prepared to talk about the news story you chose. Stories should not last longer than 7 to 10 minutes. If you choose to use images, data or other information graphics (that you’ve created) be sure to use 5 slides or fewer.

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Students communicating ideas through prototypes and sketch models

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Start By Making Something Designing new curriculum takes countless hours of preparation and reflection. Whether you are preparing to teach third graders or graduate students, each lesson, activity and assignment needs to be choreographed and planned. If you are fortunate, or perhaps really experienced, you might just be ready once the first day of class begins, but for most the preparations are a never ending part of the process. As I prepared to teach a sixcredit advanced studio in the Industrial Design department at RISD titled, Design, Culture & Global Security I wondered where does one even begin?

TO M W E I S A S S I S TA N T P R O F E S S O R OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN

Paper glider sketch models exploring countless iterations

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In 2015, I participated in PopTech’s annual conference in Camden, Maine. My studio, which is located just 20 minutes away, facilitated a workshop related to education, technology and youth from our local community. As part of the conference, my team had a display that showcased a submersible ROV (remotely operated vehicle) we were developing as part of an educational platform. One of the most memorable presentations given by the Program Manager of N Square challenged the audience to engage around the 3D printed miniature “bombs”

topic of nuclear threat reduction. I was struck by this call to action as I never considered the topic of nuclear threats to be something that the general public could have a role in. Later that afternoon, as I 3d printed parts and spoke with participants of the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with the Program Manager from N Square and thus began my unexpected introduction to the world of nuclear threat reduction. On the final day of the conference, I arranged to meet the N Square Program Manager for coffee. It was late October and I was in the early planning stages for an upcoming graduate level course that I would be teaching in my role as an Assistant Professor in the Industrial Design department at the Rhode Island School of Design. I hadn’t discussed this with my department head or anyone else, but I pitched the idea of focusing a graduate studio on this call to action to N Square and we both agreed that this could be a fantastic opportunity for everyone. Three months later, I taught a five-week course to incoming graduate students on the processes and methods used in industrial design. We used the theme of nuclear threat reduction as the overarching topic through which we would practice these design methods. The results and enthusiasm exceeded my expectations by far. In fact, I was so energized by the work that came out of that class that I have continued to pursue the topic since. Design, Culture & Global Security was the title of the second course that I taught within the Industrial Design department at RISD. This Advanced Studio met for five hours twice a week for

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Students fabricating prototypes in RISD’s Industrial Design metal shop

PHOTO BY DAVID O’CONNOR

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1. HEAD Emergency Whistle

6. UPPER BACK Safe Zone Map

2. MOUTH Potassium Iodine Pills

7. LEFT ARM Pocket Knife 8. LEFT FOOT Flashlight

3. RIGHT ARM Survival Blanket 4. RIGHT FOOT Fire Starter

9. LOWER BACK Dust Mask

1

2

5. BELLY Meal Ready to Eat (MRE)

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3 7 8 9

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S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Jeremy Bass, MID 18 Survivabear concept, 2016

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S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Melissa Sim, 18 ID

thirteen weeks. There were two primary differences between this

Making an object to tell a story (from the news): Reminder Switch

course offering and the previous version that I had offered. The first was the obvious expansion of time, the previous course I taught related to this topic was only five weeks long. This meant that the pacing could hopefully allow for deeper inquiries or moments to reflect. The second difference with this course was that it was intended for undergraduates rather than graduate students. The design of the course would focus on slightly different outcomes given these differences. With regard to content, my challenge was knowing where to begin. This was not a class about history, or policy, or foreign relations. This class was designed to challenge students to employ a creative process to reduce nuclear threats. As I began to pour over books and articles related to the topic, it was a phone call with Harvard Professor of Practice at the Kennedy School, Matthew Bunn, that was most informative. I was delighted and grateful for the amount of time that Professor Bunn spent with me on the phone. He was quick to share information and helpful resources,

L E A R N I N G O B J EC T I V E S

As I began to design the syllabus for the class I focused on both the content of the course, in addition to the process in which it might be explored. As an industrial designer, the process was clear. A successful student in this class would be able to demonstrate the following: Students will learn and develop the ability to frame questions based on insights and inquiries with user groups and experts.

Students will learn to design and build objects that illustrate and communicate complex stories and narratives.

Students will learn and develop new communication platforms across diverse areas of expertise.

Students will design stories/messaging to reach specific audiences and exploring metrics for measuring impact and effectiveness.

Students will practice and refine presentation skills. Students will learn and develop strong time/ project management skills.

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an incredible act of generosity from one of the preeminent experts on the topic. Some of the obvious themes that might be addressed S TUDENT P R O J E C T

included geopolitical tensions, accidents related to our aging weapons system, storage and transportation issues with weapons

Melissa Sim, 18 ID

or fissile materials or perhaps the threat of a non-state actor getting

Researching Millennials from nuclear countries: Sunflower Seed Project Poster

their hands onto things we don’t want them to have. I began to load up on facts, data and more handouts than were necessary. Despite this growing collection of information, it was clear that my knowledge was limited and I would be unable to answer many of the questions that might arise with any sense of certainty. Fortunately, N Square’s sponsorship of this course allowed me to cover the travel expenses for an incredible roster of experts on the topic who were willing to contribute to the class. This allowed me to focus on design process, with the authority of the experts guiding the questions and inquiries we would take on. In truth, many of the books that I ordered about nuclear weapons, arms control and policy remain unfinished in piles throughout my house (although they look super impressive!) Even if I were to finish them, it would take someone

PopTech is a global network committed to the vanguard of emerging technology, science, exploration and creative expression. From the annual PopTech conference, to the organization’s globally recognized Fellows programs, consultative services, exploratory labs and collaborative initiatives, PopTech stretches beyond the notion of passive idea-sharing, instead, cultivating a culture committed to robust exchange and action.

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who has devoted their career to this topic, to help me understand the complex decisions and infrastructure that has created the capability to destroy life on earth multiple times over. I did enjoy Eric Schlosser’s, Command and Control and more recently Daniel Ellsberg’s, The Doomsday Machine. Well written, these books were intended for general audiences and while fascinating and in depth, they are also easily consumed. As I began to reflect on the role of design and these intractaS TUDENT P R O J E C T

ble problems, it forced me to acknowledge what design was not. On occasion, my conversations with experts in the nuclear field

Iman Serag, 18 ID Making an object to tell a story (from the news): O.D. Toe Tag

would end with a suggestion that my students might be able to help with a website or perhaps a logo or maybe even a jacket cover for their forthcoming book. Many of the experts in the nuclear field, believed this is what design was. While they were not entirely wrong, this was not the version of design that I was trying to teach. So what is it that a trained Industrial Designer brings to the table of overly complicated problems? Shallow content knowledge will get you so far. Exercises with sharpies and post its might get you a bit further. I’d like to think we can provide a process that has been

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S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Aaron Simmons, MID 18

Prop Box is a discursive object aimed at giving a North Korean citizen a sense of the outside world.

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practiced repeatedly and executed with a confident ownership that might lead to new knowledge or solutions to a problem. But what does that even mean? From the outset of the class, there was intentionally little if any discussion around the nuclear theme. Instead, we began to work our way around the edges of the topic and some of the related themes that connect to it. On day one, we discussed the theme of “security” and brainstormed what that meant to us and what we associated with it. For some it was that light left on in the hallway as a child, or the little lock icon on websites we can trust. Whether the word conjured images of your favorite stuffed animal or an image of secret service agents with sunglasses and earpieces, the conversation shifted to the idea of a “sense of security.” These conversations about security naturally wound their way to the topic of trust. This theme would make continued appearances throughout the semester, but it began with conversations about where my students get information, how they communicate and what they find credible. These open and candid conversations were enlightening in ways that were unexpected and informative. The generation of students I was working with has been referred to as Generation Z. These young people grew up with technology and social media. I will never forget a conversation when several of them discussed how their parents (who did not grow up on social media) have closer personal relationships with their friends than they do. It quickly became clear that the perspectives of the students and how they viewed the world would make for some interpretations that I couldn’t have imagined no matter how long I prepared for the class.

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Cole Jorrisen, 18 ID Making an object to tell a story (from the news): Falafel Coin

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When we say “making” we mean many things

We live in an art school We live amongst people who are masters of type, ceramics, code, glass, metal, wood, paint, images, animation, digital media, space, and landscape. Their deep attention to craft informs ours.

We mean final products and sketch models. We mean objects and systems. We mean single prototypes and whole production runs. We mean procedures and experiences.

We make because making makes us better

When we make, we use many materials

We trust that the lessons of making are transferable

We work with wood, metal, plastic, paper, language, patterns, and behaviors. Some of our materials are physical and some are conceptual. Some of the materials we use are old as history, some are just being discovered, and some we will invent ourselves.

We focus on making to learn the skills and habits of mind of design. The lessons of precision, attention, responsiveness, and focus—learned at a bench—are just as applicable to the creation of new services, systems, and strategies as they are to the creation of new products and objects.

We believe making takes time to master We make to ask questions We construct artifacts to elucidate and uncover fundamental questions about material processes and about larger political and cultural conditions. We use making to apply real insights and to test unproven ideas. We marshal our making skills for the social good and for the creation of new value.

Why We Make S E T H ST E M 2014 C O M M U N I C AT I O N Creating a three dimensional expression of an idea to share the workings and visual aspects of a design with others. CRAFTSMANSHIP To learn how to work with accuracy, to learn tolerances of different materials and structures. To gain an understanding of the importance of process sequence when making. DESIGN To develop and represent an idea in a basic or manner for purposes of testing or proving out a design. To create an actual working prototype of an object that fully represents the thought, visual expression and function involved.

We start with craft, but we do not end there We begin at the workbench. We design through a deep material understanding of wood and metal; through practice precisely crafting three dimensional models and roughing out working prototypes; through a rigorous attention to what we are working on and what the thing we are working on tells us.

To realize, communicate, and evaluate an idea.

E M OT I O N A L R E WA R D To feel the satisfaction of completely embracing processes with a competent level of skills to competently manipulate materials to represent a creation. To experience the feeling of completeness through designing and making. M AT E R I A L S To explore material properties and application potential, to discover through working, responding and reflecting. To be informed about the array of materials that are available so the right material choice for the design and construction of a project can be intelligently made.

SAFETY To learn proven techniques as a foundation that embodies safety procedures. TO O L S To learn how to use tools safely, whether they are chisels or hand shears, table saws or milling machines. COSTS To have the ability to better understand the expense of birthing an idea, either artistically or commercially.

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“ It’s about making a product no one even knew could be a solution, until they see and feel it. It’s reframing the question and presenting an answer at the same time.” RYA N S M I T H, 18 I D


Design, Culture & Global Security RESEARCH METHODS

▶ Ethnography: observing people in their natural environments ▶ Not just asking questions, listening to answers ▶ Delves deeply into the lives of a few vs large superficial study ▶ Studying behaviors and experiences in daily life ▶ Tell stories from the data you collect, make connections in the data

Overview Russia, The United States, France, China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea all possess nuclear weapons stockpiles. While the overall number has dropped significantly, 14,000 to 16,000 nuclear weapons are spread between these countries. In many cases, nuclear experts are highly knowledgeable about the issues, policies and technologies related to this topic but know less about the young people that will inherit them. Working in teams of two, choose two of the nine nuclear armed countries and create a multimedia research presentation that captures the interests, aspirations, trends, traditions and other important features of 20-somethings.

▶ Photo and Video diaries or prompts ▶ Shadowing ▶ A day in the life

Project Brief

▶ Personal belongings ▶ Future forecasting ▶ Trend spotting ▶ Cultural Probes ▶ Cultural comparisons - what are the factors/ implications when designing for unfamiliar markets? ▶ Persona Maps: Fictional characters based on real-life cases. Info might include age, occupation, education, hobbies, etc ▶ Helpful to start with foundation of existing data ▶ Goals, skills, behavior, opinions, fears, hopes

designkit.org/methods/2 servicedesigntools.org/

Begin by determining what questions and information you’d like to ask. Make your best effort to do first-person research. Attempt to meet research subjects from your selected countries and conduct interviews, provide cultural probes or other research tools that you’ve designed. Take advantage of student organizations and international offices at both RISD, Brown and other area schools. It is important to reach as many research participants as possible and to avoid generalizations of your subjects. Presentations may include slides, video, sound, objects and other artifacts that communicate your information. Once you’ve illustrated the information about each group you have researched, take time to highlight or showcase any shared or contrasting insights that stood out to you. You will have 10 to 15 minutes to share your research with the class.

ASSIGNMENTS

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S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Cole Jorrisen, 18 ID Mind-mapping different means of information transmission and reception.

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Expanding the Circle of Connections In the beginning, our work to catalyze new forms of collaboration around nuclear threat reduction was driven by three assumptions.

E R I K A G R E G O RY M A N AG I N G D I R E C TO R N S Q UA R E C O L L A B O R AT I V E

First, that people really didn’t know very much at all about nuclear weapons today and that their ignorance about the issues equated to a lack of interest in or feeling about them. Second, that we’d be more successful engaging people if we spoke to them in terms that were directly relevant to their experience rather than preaching to them, helping them instead to discover for themselves the ways in which what they’re doing already can be applied to nuclear threats. We figured that would be more

Fireset trigger system for Fat Man bomb, Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos, NM

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effective than asking them to do or learn something outside their day-to-day activities and interests. Third, when it came to acting as a catalyst for innovation in the nuclear threats field, we assumed a general knowledge of models for cooperative problem-solving and innovation around complex social challenges—such as systems analysis, transdisciplinary collaboration, and frameworks for social-impact investment. We’ve checked these assumptions pretty regularly and now, four years in, I’d say they were misguided—or, at a minimum, misinformed—as often as not. Over and over we’ve learned that nuclear weapons have, both directly and indirectly, shaped people’s experience of the world. We’ve heard countless stories about family connections to the bomb, even from relatively young people whose parents or grandparents have stories to tell about Los Alamos, bomb shelters, duck and cover drills, Hiroshima. About living downwind of test sites, or near abandoned uranium mines. About doctors prepared to euthanize their families in the event of a nuclear attack. We’ve learned that while people may not be able to quote statistics or even accurately describe today’s nuclear landscape, they often have palpable connections to the bomb, to the prospect of doomsday, to nuclear weapons being extraordinary, different than other weaponry, and fearsome. We’ve learned that people care much more than we might have understood at the beginning, but that there is a critical difference between knowing, caring, and having agency. On the other hand, our assumption about needing to create connections by learning about people versus talking at them proved to be right on point. Essentially, if we were going to succeed at widening the circle of people vested in reducing nuclear risks we needed to show newcomers how they were uniquely qualified to help. That required us to be a lot more curious about them than they might have been about us or “our” topic. To create a bridge of relevance we had to understand what they were working on and why it was

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How do we identify and prioritize places where innovation could have the greatest effect?

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Benjamin Liang, 18 ID Ice breaker activity: Private Investigator game prompts.

Student, Benjamin Liang discussing his project with guest mentor Rebecca Friedman Lissner

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S TUDENT P R O J E C T

exciting before we ever started talking about nuclear weapons. We Melissa Sim, 18 ID

had to put ourselves in their shoes, thinking about what they really

Ice breaker activity: Seeing Together

valued, what motivated them, and even what business models they were using so we could identify easy, natural points of connection. For instance, once we started digging into the questions that really excite data scientists, we could show them that there are some really juicy data science challenges that have yet to be solved that just happen to relate to combating nuclear proliferation or verifying international agreements. By exploring what makes an impact investor tick, we could talk about mutually beneficial opportunities to make the world safer, rather than lecturing them about the threats we face. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve probably been most surprised at how big the opportunity

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still is to develop a more systemic understanding of this field. I think we are all still trying to understand how to prioritize, how to identify places where innovation could have the greatest effect. There is also a huge opportunity to rethink how investments work— from philanthropy, the public and private sectors alike—to incent, reward and embed innovation. The same is true in terms of leadership development. This is a field that could benefit from an influx of energetic leaders who may not have the expertise that comes with a lifetime of work in arms control but who bring something else that is currently missing, which is an understanding of the policies, practices and even physical spaces that unleash people to do their most effective, most creative work. At the risk of infuriating people in this field, I’d say the biggest obstacle we’ve faced is a kind of parochialism. I know that seems paradoxical given the global nature of the nuclear threat, but in general the people working on, funding, and studying nuclear disarmament, proliferation, and security have spent their lives on some aspect of this issue space rather than working in other fields

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Iman Serag, 18 ID Ice breaker activity: Prototype Fashion Show

first. This means a few things: The expertise in this field is unquestionable; the field is pretty insular and self-referential; and nuclear experts don’t have as wide a diversity of frameworks, methods, and problem-solving heuristics to draw on as we might hope. I am only drawing on empirical data when I say this (though I’m not a researcher, I’ve worked on a lot of different topics and issues over the course of a 25-year career) but it seems to me that other global issues have more diversity in all relevant respects: Professional background, technical knowledge, sector, discipline, age, culture and gender. Of course what comes with that diversity is not only the capacity to span boundaries more effectively but also a greater elasticity and breadth of networks, which is why we’ve made the bet we have that network-building can be a lever for change in this field. A few unusual collaborations come to mind. I think we were all very energized by what happened when we got people like Ernie

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Augustine Park, 18 ID The Human Empathy Initiative concept development

Moniz, Bruce Blair, Meredith Horowski, Joe Cirincione and Jeffrey Lewis in a room with the creator, executive producer and writers for the show Madam Secretary. By investing in the Hollywood, Health & Society program at the USC Annenberg School’s Norman Lear Center, we gained access to a team that acted as a conduit between experts and creatives, and the result was an astonishingly good piece of popular media (the 2018 season finale of Madam Secretary, entitled “Nightwatch”) which has made its way into the homes of over 6 million people, the highest levels of the Vatican, and working groups involving arms control advocates in the US and Russia. Behind the scenes the cooperation was much more extensive than that, however, as noted game designer Nick Fortugno (a member of our network) furiously partnered with the Center for International Security Studies at the University of Maryland to create an online nuclear weapons decision simulation—NuclearDecisions.org—and Public Radio International stepped up to host it, all so the public would have a way to engage more deeply after seeing Nightwatch. There’s more to that story but I think it’s a pretty awesome example. What would help individuals or organizations transition from collaborative projects to longer term partnerships? To some extent I think this is beginning to take care of itself, as evidenced

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by the work RISD is doing with the State Department, where you have a sponsor for an interesting project who is also a purchaser of services (they bring money as well as interest) partnering with makers, builders, and service providers. One of the issues we face is that projects often don’t have all those actors involved from the beginning, so innovators come up with excellent solutions that don’t have financing or implementation partners attached to them. That just perpetuates a problematic dynamic, as traditional philanthropy becomes the fallback financier for projects that—partly by virtue of their being different, new, experimental and untried—may not fit neatly into their funding priorities. We are trying to encourage people to work differently, bringing as many stakeholders in a project into the room as early as possible so (aside from the creative benefits of working this way) there is a sense of co-ownership, co-investment in the idea from concept development through prototyping and user research all the way to full implementation. We haven’t cracked the code on this yet, but we hope by cultivating networks that include impact investors, private companies, and people with good business development sense we can increase the likelihood that teams will be able to access a full complement of partners much earlier than they might otherwise do.

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Benjamin Liang, 18 ID WorldWithWeapons app-based game that opens the dialogue about the necessity of force in resolving conflict. (mockup)

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“ They looked like a team of Jason Bournes walking into the room … ” C O DY C H U, 18 I D


Design, Culture & Global Security HELPFUL HINTS

Research precedents that may include previous outreach campaigns. Reach out to people outside of your class to get feedback on your concepts early in your process.

Project Brief Now that you have investigated your assigned demographic, compile your findings into a poster that communicates your insights and research. A template for some basic information to be included will be provided. Convene with your groups of three during class to discuss any shared themes or observations about your research. Brainstorm potential concepts to reach your demographic. With the overarching theme of reducing nuclear threats, what message would you convey to communicate this and through what means? This could range from online campaigns, to the use of satire and humor, or even the development of branded products. Refer to your research findings to determine how you might approach your specific audience.

Deliverables Bring sketches, sketch models or concepts to share with our guest speaker to get feedback on your general directions. The final deliverable will include your initial research poster and a related poster that communicates your outreach campaign.

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Trust-building prototype test

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The Yield of Strong Collaborations As an engineering educator, I am constantly exploring new and innovative ways to create learning opportunities for my students. Collaborating with Tom and his students on urban combat related topics provided insights beyond my expectations. The collaboration that occurred between West Point cadets and RISD Industrial Design students involved a good deal of risk taking, but I feel the reward was worth the risk. Somewhat surprisingly, when I told my colleagues that Lieutenant Colonel Harry

L I E U T E N A N T C O LO N E L B R I A N J . N OVO S E L I C H , P H. D. , P. E . D I R E C TO R / C E N T E R F O R I N N OVAT I O N AND ENGINEERING A S S I S TA N T P R O F E S S O R D E PA R T M E N T O F C I V I L A N D MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, W E ST P O I N T M I L I TA RY AC A D E M Y

Jones and I planned to bring a group of cadets to RISD to discuss a capstone project, there was nothing but support. Everyone was intrigued by the idea. The actual event provided a unique glimpse into the learning that can occur when you bring different communities together and operate at the intersection of those communities. Although both the West Point Cadets and RISD students were â&#x20AC;&#x153;designers,â&#x20AC;? both

Working in teams, West Point cadets and RISD students explored Providence, RI as a test site to understand how cities can be prepared for disasters

N A S A / G S FC / L A N DS AT 7

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An example of the research students conducted during class

groups approached design from a different perspective. The West Point Cadets took a very positivist approach to their design thinking, whereas the RISD students were much more constructivist and empathetic. What I found most exciting personally, is the way each group of students took ownership of the “design process.” The follow-on study that Tom, Harry, and I conducted (and subsequent paper we co-authored for the American Society for Engineering Education, where it was presented at their 2018 annual conference) showed that it was the RISD students who took ownership of their process and found it to be ‘the’ way to design. The West Point Cadets were more open to other design methodologies and willing to take feedback from their RISD counterparts. Going into the event, I know some of the cadets were skeptical of the value the RISD students could provide, that attitude changed quickly. It was great to see the students’ ‘eyes opening’ as they began to unpack the ideas they held regarding not only the design challenge they were faced with, but also their preconceived notions of their counterparts. Whether the students acknowledged it or not,

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“ Whatever happened was going to be surprising and yield some important learning for all involved. We were not disappointed.”

it seemed they all had a mental image of their counterparts going

Students and cadets testing trust-building prototypes

in. And that image began to be deconstructed over the course of the first evening’s activities. Tom, Harry, and I were most enthused when we had to break up the party on that first night. Harry and I had wondered how much interaction we would get between the two groups, we got much more than we could have imagined. I was very proud of all the students for making the most of this learning environment. Moving forward, I am extremely excited about the prospects of further collaboration with Tom and RISD. As the Army aspires to create innovative leaders, I realize quickly that this aspiration can be in direct conflict with the structured, critical environment within which we train our leaders. Consequently, I believe exposing our Cadets to creative and innovative colleagues at RISD can provide an avenue for exploration and intellectual excitement. Conversely, I hope our engagement with RISD will provide this very different community with an understanding of military training and operations so that the military becomes more approachable than it can appear in the media and Hollywood.

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Research in the field

Findings

Issues

Problems

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Debriefing from team explorations at RISD in Providence, RI

I believe in the power of relating that which others view as unrelated, of working at intersections, and of learning from the friction that often comes with them.

L I E U T E N A N T C O LO N E L H A R RY H . J O N E S , P H. D. A S S I S TA N T P R O F E S S O R D E PA R T M E N T O F E N G L I S H A N D P H I LO S O P H Y, W E ST P O I N T M I L I TA RY AC A D E M Y

I have been teaching at West Point for over five years, and during that time, I have tried regularly to put cadets in contact with people outside their primary community in order to expose them to new ways of working. These exposures have included the founder of an electric bicycle company, the CEO of a prominent design strategy firm, a professional oboe player, a pastry chef, and many others. I even had cadets work as teams on a problem under the supervision of designers. Those were all great experiences, but I have always wanted to have a group of West Point cadets work together with

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Collaboration Table

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Dave Kang, 19 ID Diagram for a table to facilitate collaborations.

design students on a shared problem. So I was delighted when I met Tom about a year ago, and I quickly found that he was equally excited to bring RISD to West Point. I pitched the idea to Brian and was pleased to discover that he too thought it was an idea worth pursuing. None of us could predict how it would go and the cadets were especially skeptical, but I was certain that the result was going be surprising and yield important learning for all involved. We were not disappointed. We agreed on a collaborative workshop that was designed to leave an impression. The West Point contingent arrived in full uniform with all the seriousness of a team of federal investigators arriving to a crime scene. We played up the differences between the

Judging the West Point 2018 Soldier Design Competition

groups at first but quickly began systematically to break down barriers. We did this by breaking bread together while RISD Department Head, Charlie Cannon, skillfully led the group through a get-toknow-you exercise called “Frew’s Five Questions.” The questions seem fairly benign, but are crafted to get people to self-disclose at a level much deeper than what is typical of a first meeting. It was very effective. As we transitioned through the customary remarks about the daily experience of RISD Industrial Designers versus West Point Cadets and began to discuss the challenge, the group really warmed up. Several hours later, we found ourselves (surprisingly) having to urge everyone to break for the night and reconvene in the morning.

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We had not really started conducting the planned exercise, and already the group contact, however tentative at first, was yielding pleasant surprises and subtle learnings on both sides, some of which would not fully sink in until later. The exercise the next day yielded a number of key insights and pushed the cadets in particular to open their minds to a wide range of unexpected potential solutions to the challenge. Many cadets anticipated one outcome, an early â&#x20AC;&#x153;obviousâ&#x20AC;? solution involving drones, and found it was actually better met with a much simpler approach. All in all, it was a fantastic experience, one I would certainly do again. I hope we will be able to finds ways to continue bringing together groups of outstanding students working in very different contexts for the unique learning opportunity it provides for all involved. I cannot predict what it will yield, but I am confident it will benefit all involved. Officers, faculty, students and cadets

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“ A lot of jargon around nuclear technology is really fear driven ” IMA N SERA G, 18 ID


Design, Culture & Global Security HELPFUL HINTS

Utilize multiple sources that might portray diverse perspectives. Imagine the events that you are exploring as part of a larger system. What might have influenced the events that took place. What were the roots, catalysts or contributing factors? Practice a new format for presenting your research. Explore data visualization techniques that are easy to understand.

Project Brief Following our recent exercise with West Point, we will continue our investigation into urban spaces and the theme of global security. Natural disasters, military conflicts, public protests and other current events provide lessons for governments and societies to prepare for and address scenarios that are at times predictable and other times unexpected. For many, the names Katrina, Mogadishu, Tahrir Square and Ferguson all inspire immediate images and associations. Select a transformative event that has taken place in an urban context such as those listed above and map out an exhaustive portrait of what happened and what we learned from it. Begin by listing the questions that you would like to answer. What were the catalysts, predictors or signals that indicated that an issue or event might arise? Who were the stakeholders? What were the policies or government agencies in place that were involved? What was unexpected? What was learned? Were there any silver linings or positive outcomes that arose from these incidents? What documents and guidelines exist that inform citizens about addressing these issues? Dig deep and uncover information from multiple sources that might have different perspectives about the issues.

Deliverables Create a multimedia presentation that outlines a case study that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve chosen. The goal of this investigation is to provide shared research for the class as a foundation for the next stage of this project. In addition to the presentation, share a PDF that outlines the key points from your exploration that I will print out and share with the class. You will have ten minutes to share an engaging and informative presentation of your research.

ASSIGNMENTS

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Communicating to New Audiences When I entered the nuclear security field, I joined an incoming class of hungry, young scholars, ready to make their mark on the field, a class not unlike the class of students who came before or after. We gathered, fresh-faced and full of possibility, over drinks, around conference tables, to brainstorm how we might bring our issues to the masses. Why, we asked, were our peers mobilized by the threat of climate change, but not the threat of nuclear annihilation? What could we do to raise their awareness?

LAICIE HEELEY M A N AG I N G D I R E C TO R I N KS T I C K M E D I A

Students created little books on the topic of trust and verification

INKSTICK MEDIA

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As our careers have progressed, some of those students have moved on to key positions in and out of government, further establishing themselves as experts in the field. Some have simply moved on, perhaps finding roadblocks along their path to success. And some,

People don’t yet care because we have not yet told them that they should.

along with their colleagues from past and future generations, are still grappling with a version of that same question we all asked ourselves at the outset. How do we speak to young people? How do we convince them to care? My observations as to the reasons for this movement’s struggle are not scientific, and represent a perspective that is largely grounded in the nonprofit sector. The issues I’ve encountered have nonetheless come up again and again. The hurdles faced by expert communities in messaging to new or unfamiliar audiences are twofold. First and foremost, the failure of authors to identify an audience often leads to ineffective and inefficient messaging. A longer white paper or report might contain details essential to policymakers capable of driving change, but those details are worthless if they remain within the confines of the pages on which they are written. Too often, “the media” becomes a catchall for influence over communities ranging from Generation Z to Congress, as a whole. It’s one of the most basic rules of communication: Know your audience. But while in theory, it’s a simple, scientific, tried and true method of success; in practice it’s often neglected and misunderstood. Particularly in expert circles, where facts and figures reign supreme. Reaching out to new audiences, then, can prove a challenge in fields where the building blocks of communication still face hurdles of their own. Organizations’ tactical approaches suffer as a result of this incomplete and inefficient strategy. A simple, 500-word op-ed, placed in a national outlet, is a tactic often employed for dissemination, and an easy enough feat for most experts to accomplish. But

The nuclear badges are earned by Girl Scout Ambassadors who learn about the multifaceted issues related to nuclear weapons such as policy, security and science.

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who is that op-ed’s intended audience? Are they older? Younger? Diverse? Do they work for the current administration? Are they

D E S I G N, C U LT U R E A N D G LO B A L S E C U R I T Y


S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Iman Serag, 18 ID Girl Scout Cookie concept, Project Yellow Cakes

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constituents with the ability to influence key Members of Congress? Which Members? And, particularly if the outlet is high volume, how will that audience find the piece once itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s live? These are essential questions to ask. Social media is another well-known and useful tool, but, to speak to whom? Journalists on Twitter? Millennials on Instagram? Uncle Joe on Facebook? An effective strategy for targeted dissemination, such as for the release of a report, is rarely one that aims to target all of the above. An effective strategy, rather, identifies the drivers of change on a case-by-case basis, and targets them with precision. Where an audience has been correctly identified, a second issue often arises. Moving compelling facts and figures from the page to the hearts and minds of those audiences that will solidify their legacy is an afterthought. An op-ed is written, a few graphs are tweeted out, an event is held, and, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s it. Stats are reported back. A good dissemination strategy can and must use creative approaches to target an audience using multiple means, thereby increasing the chance of the message to rise above the noise of an unrelenting 24-hour

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Ryan Smith, 18 ID Nuclear Football educational tool concept

news cycle. Podcasts, illustrations, infographics, and creative uses of social media such as live stories are just the beginning of what should be considered essential tools for expert dissemination. These shortfalls, however, are not simply the result of neglectful authors and organizations. Rather, they remain for two reasons. One of which begets the other. First, facts, figures, and insider knowledge have, in the past, taken priority over effective messaging and marketing. Scientifically proven tools such as storytelling and visual appeal have taken a backseat to long reports, lobbying,

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and lectures. These tools remain as a cornerstone of policymaking, but they are not all encompassing, nor are they mutually exclusive to effective communication. Second, and perhaps more importantly, as it suggests a path forward: this problem has historically been systemic. In fields such as nuclear security, where overall funding may be limited, funding for research has been prioritized over the marketing and dissemination of this vital knowledge. As a result, most expert organizations lack communications resources, and those resources that exist are overtaxed. Reaching out to new audiences, then, is a stretch for organizations that might be struggling simply to speak to an audience of fellow experts and policymakers inclined to keep tabs on their respective fields. The issues I’ve outlined are improving, as my observations are not unique, and the field has already moved to self-correct. But the need for creative resources and stronger communications knowledge remains. Today, I realize what I did not when I entered the field: People don’t yet care because we have not yet told them that they should. It is unfortunate, but change does not rise, on its own, from the ashes of truth. Expert communities must deliver their knowledge more effectively, or remain smoldering in the ashes for generations to come.

Throughout the class, we talked to so many inspiring women doing great work in the realm of nuclear and I wanted to highlight that. Project Yellow Cakes is founded upon that idea of bringing awareness and highlighting women that have and are doing amazing work in the field and giving them the recognition that they deserve. These amazing badass ladies are killing it with podcasts, instagram stories, policy, and so much more. They need to be appreciated for all the work they have done and are doing.

themselves and the work they do. Events like those should be integrated into the schedule in a more pronounced time slot; one where more people could come to in order to truly appreciate the women in the field, because these women know they are amazing. It’s people who don’t already appreciate the women in the field that need to attend the event, and they definitely will not at 8 am after a night of drinking. In addition, we need to uncover the women in history that have made a significant impact on nuclear like Lise Meitner who was integral in the discovery of nuclear fission but only her colleague Otto Hahn received a Nobel Prize for his work. Thus, giving recognition to women in the field currently and those who have past is essential.

The idea solidified when talking one on one with women in the field who recalled how events for appreciating women in nuclear are usually at an early hour in the schedule at the nuclear conferences. They shouldn’t have to wake up at 8 am in order to appreciate

The goal is to inspire the next generation of women in nuclear through a curriculum that makes girls excited about nuclear and eager to tackle the problems that reside in it. To inspire the next Marie Curie, that’s the goal of Project Yellow Cakes.

Global Security Proposal I M A N S E R AG, 18 I D

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Global Security Proposal RYA N S M I T H, 18 I D

What prevents good, intelligent people in the nuclear community from working together to fix problems related to nuclear proliferation and disarmament? Why does it feel as though the entire community is in a stalemate, that everyone has gone to their corners of the ring, and nothing is getting done? Why is it special that experts and influencers would get together once a year, isn’t the only way to work together to get together often? And why, once together, does everyone seem to talk a lot, and do nothing? Those questions are what I want to address. My goal is to find a way to get this community to engage in more meaningful discussion, and inspire them to do more than just discuss issues—they have to do something. That is the central idea of my project—do something! My particular skill is making objects, well crafted objects with interactive elements, both analogue and digital. I have always had the perspective that talk is cheap, and that producing something physical as quickly as possible in a design process is paramount to escaping a maze of empty discussion. I believe that objects have intrinsic meaning which transcends digital platforms, and perhaps, that is where the nuclear community (and similar communities) are being underserved. Maybe, LinkedIn and Slack and Telegram and the like are not the ideal platforms for people to forge working relationships. I hope that a better way is creating an object. I am not aiming for everyone. I believe that with an issue like nuclear proliferation, I do not have to appeal to the population at large. The topic is too complicated,

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too dense, to expect the average person to understand and form an opinion. So, while the population’s voice is of course important, and that they want as a whole must be heard, the people who are going to solve this problem are nuclear experts, the heads of nonprofits, and figures in governments. And therefore, they are who I am targeting. Grasstops, not grassroots. I’m going right for the people in power. My plan, as it stands, is to make objects that test form factors, aesthetics, and interaction concepts as soon as possible. I will test them here at RISD, and once I am comfortable with an idea, I will make many of them (40+ ideally) and send them to as many people in Tom’s network as possible, and will hopefully get Tom’s help in testing them with those people in person. I will use that feedback in the last two weeks before class to improve my design. I will communicate over email, Skype, anything, and will mail objects as frequently as possible to people interested in seeing new iterations. I am finding inspiration in things that people keep with them, things they covet, things they won’t throw away or lose. Is it sentimental value? Is it personalization? Why do people like things on their desk that are functional? What does a nuclear expert’s desk look like? What do people carry around all day? Are they willing to add something new to their pocket or keychain, or do I need to make this object extremely small, or have it replace something? Are they willing to carrying a new thing at all, or does the object have to live off the person, and therefore limit its possible functions? Products exist in this category, and it is from them I draw my inspiration. The final deliverable will be an object, or a series of objects, and if necessary their corresponding digital platform, which will be in the hands of experts, leaders, and influencers. I don’t yet know how I will test the success of the concept, but hopefully that will come in time.


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“ How often do people take the time to really look? ” DAVE K ANG, 19 ID

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Design, Culture & Global Security HELPFUL HINTS

Now that you have worked with experts from the world of global security, be sure to reach out to them for feedback on your ideas early in your process. Practice presenting to people who have never seen your work so you can understand where the gaps might be in the explanation of your ideas. Try something new, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall back on approaches that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve tried before. This is your opportunity to push the limits and take some risks.

Project Brief Your final project is an opportunity for you to address the theme of global security through your own lens. Write a one page proposal that describes the design opportunity you have identified and the audience you are trying to reach. What are the precedents or analogies that you are interested in researching and how will you test your ideas? Your proposal should include a budget and timeline for review.

Deliverables Create a concept that includes a physical prototype and prepare a ten minute presentation that communicates your design intentions. Your final project is an opportunity for you to address the theme of global security through your own lens. Write a one page proposal that describes the design opportunity you have identified and the audience you are trying to reach.

ASSIGNMENTS

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Culture as a Driver for Change The world is a patchwork of creation stories. Genesis, Turtle Island, Gaiaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; these are variations of narrative that attempt to satisfy the human desire to make sense of existence. But we not only yearn for creation stories that explain profound, cosmic phenomena; we also cannot help but wonder about the origins and purpose of ordinary objects, everyday situations, the banalities of our mortal experience. Why is our world the way it is now?

LOV E LY U M AYA M FOUNDER B O M B S H E L LTO E

Blast door closed, break-in kit on left, looking east. Ellsworth Air Force Base, Delta Flight, Launch Control Facility, County Road CS23A, North of Exit 127, Interior, Jackson County, SD

PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION, LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (HAER SD-50-A-87)

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We are hardwired to be curious because it is, as writer Katherine Harmon Courage elegantly describes, “the catalyst that turn detrimental potential energy into true human progress.” To be inquisitive is to evolve, to survive. But there are some things in this world that are so tightly enveloped in authority and secrecy that they become impervious to inquiry, and by extension, responsibility and accountability. Like black boxes, they exist without public knowledge of what they are made of, and what they are made for. And with the passing of

Curiosity is the catalyst that turns detrimental potential energy into true human progress.

time, they are emblazoned into our collective memory as immovable and immortal. Too big to fail, too big to challenge. In my work, I’ve had the chance to peek inside one of the biggest black boxes made by mankind: nuclear weapons. Technologically marvelous as they are morally reprehensible, nuclear weapons are the quintessential “necessary evil” to achieve the greater good, a logic used to justify their continued role in national security. But I ought to admit that I had no knowledge or care for these bombs for most of my life. As a child of the nineties with no experience of war on the home front, the specter of nuclear destruction was a blip in my mind. I would imagine these weapons loosely based on their Hollywood caricatures, collecting cobwebs in the dark, stored

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Cole Jorrisen, 18 ID Whole Earth Bio Lab awareness campaign concept images.

somewhere secret and guarded by soldiers that typify “the nation’s finest,” whatever that means. Every so often a historical reference—a line in a textbook or a documentary about nuclear survivors—would remind me that these bombs are not limited to action movies; they are real and around. But still, I presumed that there was good reason to warrant their safekeeping, and that the explanation was just beyond my comprehension. I never questioned why the world continues to allow a select few to possess and brandish such frightening things. I just thought it had to be this way so as not to disturb some higher world order. Who am I to ask?

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Eventually my foreign policy career got me thinking about nukes. And upon entering the exclusive world of nuclear policy, I was shocked to see its true nature: a labyrinth of technical knowledge, strategic defense thinking, geopolitical power dynamics, and political bureaucracies. Worse, there is no end in sight, no clear answer for their continued existence. Instead, everybody gets lost in specialized jargon and hypothetical introspection —pondering what a nuclear adversary would do and what would be the appropriate response—such that the devastating impact nuclear weapons inflict on people and the environment become an afterthought. Recounting her interactions with experts during a nuclear weapons policy workshop in 1984, scholar Carol Cohn noted the ways strategic and scientific nuke-speak insidiously centers the attention on the bomb instead of human lives. This skewed admiration for the bomb is further bolstered by a glorified creation story: scientists tirelessly tinkering in secret laboratories until they birthed the ultimate technology that delivered the world from war, a fireball so frightening it made Robert Oppenheimer, the “father” of the bomb, recall Bhagavad-Gita’s scripture—Now, I become Death, the destroyer of worlds. Thirty-four years after Cohn’s experience, the situation remains unchanged: the world has been conditioned to love and accept the bomb, even though there is no actual evidence for their utility. So what does it take to break a black box? Surprisingly, I found the answer in a bare brick classroom on a balmy September afternoon. It was a studio design class. The vibe was chill; students rolled into the room with ease, still hashing out conversations from lunch. They sat on mismatched chairs around a table, and waited for the lecture to begin. I was the obvious stranger in the room: first time in Providence with no design background, representing a field of study that has shown apathy, if not disdain, for “the arts.” I was more nervous than usual, feeling the weight of the task at hand: introduce

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nuclear weapons policy to young creative practitioners, and encourage them to wrestle with all of its complexities. As the policy analyst, I had the depressing knowledge of nuclear weapons on my shoulders, and it was my job to unload and share, so that the students, in turn, can give it form and feeling. This was part of a bold experiment to see how the design process could potentially debunk the pretense that nuclear issues are too complex and serious for genuine public engagement. It was a classroom version of Who Would Win?—nukes on one end and “the arts” on the other—and I was poised to be referee. Knowing how nuclear policy employs all sorts of subterfuge to befuddle and discourage public discourse, I worried that it had the unfair upper hand. But the creative mind was a formidable match. The students began with the basic questions—how many nuclear weapons are in the world, who has them, what are the actual effects of an attack, is nuclear war survivable—as if to dip their feet into the water before wading further into its depths. And as they became comfortable

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and curious, the line of inquiry got harder, wilder, wiser. Why is the concept of deterrence remain uncontested despite the lack of evidence that it works? Why are nuclear weapons still relevant when the sophistication of conventional and cyber weapons are rapidly growing? Why would anyone believe the prospect of nuclear disarmament when those who have it continue to brag about their value? In a design classroom, there is no such thing as a stupid question; designers are trained to agitate and pry assumptions apart to pinpoint all the unknowns—the best spots where creativity can grow. And in answering their questions, and being forced to admit to the uncertainty, I was given space to let go of deeply rooted perceptions of how things have always been and invited to imagine how things could be. I was permitted to unlearn, and by doing so, freed up space in my mind to genuinely wonder: what can we do? How fitting to experience this breakthrough in the humility of a classroom! In their attempt to learn and unlearn, I saw students take on an impressive range of expressions: the confusion that rests on a furrowed brow, the pensiveness (or perhaps boredom) of a deep stare, the dash of inspiration that momentarily flickers in the eyes. It reminded me of artisans turning over materials in their hands, trying to figure out what and how to make their craft. One student shared that the design process has an element of divination: to offer solutions from possible futures because people are too stuck in the present to ask the right questions. “It’s about making a product no one even knew could be a solution, until they see and feel it. It’s reframing the question and presenting an answer at the same time”, he casually shrugged. If only such wisdom parlayed into other aspects of our lives! And in the four months since that first day of class, these students applied this foresight into their work, dreaming up new nuclear futures and posing questions no diplomat, military strategist, or nuclear expert is equipped to answer. What if there was a future where society actively encouraged girls to become physicists and engineers to help the world reduce nuclear risks?

S TUDENT P R O J E C T

Interactive installation that addresses public complicity as it relates to nuclear weapons issues by RISD students: Charlotte McCurdy, Erica Efstratoudakis and Allison Davis, 2016

Benjamin Liang, 18 ID Atomic App educational game concept.

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What if there was a virtual reality game that taught children the magic of the atom—not as bomb, but as a scientific marvel that helps power the world? What if we used fashion to make people think about the consequences of nuclear waste? It doesn’t matter if the policy practitioner in Washington, DC would find these questions fanciful, even pointless. The work of a designer and the purpose of art is not to dismantle the actual warhead from the missile. Rather, it is to challenge the existing structures of power that insist nuclear weapons are too hard and too valuable to dismantle. Writer Arundhati Roy once lamented that nuclear weapons kill the human imagination because they ransom the world into depending on their existence for protection—used or unused—such that ordinary people can’t even fathom what it would be like if they were never created in the first place. I like to think that inside that bare brick classroom we committed a form of creative resistance, to salvage the imagination we have left in order to open that black box and say “There’s really nothing in there. We can do better.”

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When confronted with the news of a belligerent country perfecting its nuclear weapons capability, or a government decision to increase the defense budget for bombs but not for healthcare, we

Director Kayla Briët preparing a 360-virtual reality camera to take landscape footage of Bisti Badlands in New Mexico as part of the Bombshelltoe multimedia initiative, Ways of Knowing: A Navajo Nuclear Histories Project.

find it easy to slip into the habit of powerlessness. We hide behind a veil of apathy and shame, telling ourselves that the existence of nuclear weapons is one of those problems too big to solve with our sad little hands. But if we are to survive—not just nukes, but a world brimming with bad news —it behooves us to imagine the counterfactual, and ask why we’ve followed a certain path towards destruction, and continue to ignore the signposts to peace. We cannot work towards goals we do not believe in, let alone have yet to envision. But now that the semester is over and the grand experiment has ended, the students probably think that the culmination of their work was just another final project, and acquired knowledge about nuclear policy they never thought was ever theirs to think about and play with. I wonder if they know that their act of creation—asking, thinking, and making—is also, and I daresay more so, powerful than an explosion brighter than a thousand suns.

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Global Security Proposal C O L E J O R R I S E N, 18 I D

I have written a draft of my project concept to hopefully be passed along to some real scientists! Do you think there is too much emphasis on nuclear? I would really appreciate some feedback. My name is Cole Jorissen and I am a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design. I am currently in an advanced studio course in the Industrial Design department which surrounds issues of global security and nuclear threats. I recently attended a conference called Pop Tech, where I was introduced to Dr. Kevin M. Esveltâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work on Crispr cas9 gene drives. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m particularly interested in the risks associated with a self perpetrating gene drive system and the potential large scale applications for the future of genome editing. I believe that the conversation about gene drives has significant intellectual overlap with the risk narrative of nuclear weapons/energy and relates to navigating large-scale existential threats. I am currently working on a project that aims to communicate the new opportunities associated with gene drive technologies. The product would likely exist in the form of an interactive web experience, unraveling a narrative about genetics and our responsibility to safeguard our DNA. My goal is to use innovations in gene drive to reframe the conversation about nuclear weapons: to present the possibility of manufacturing a biological resistance to radiation. By presenting a hypothetical biological solution to mitigating nuclear threats, I hope to elevate the perceived risk of developments in the nuclear field (particularly warheads). I would love to open up a dialogue to explore the logistics of gene editing, and get some advice about the potential viability of disseminating gene drive as a preventative measure. If all is well, please feel free to pass along to any potential advisors. I would appreciate any formal introduction you can facilitate, I could probably use a little boost to secure the legitimacy of my designer-genetics initiative.

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asking ourselves “How do we change the world?” Seems like a crazy statement, right? But what we realized is that we’ve done this so many times before. In equal rights, poverty, climate change and even in technology.

Global Security Proposal B E N J A M I N L I A N G, 18 I D

Having been initially drawn to the class due to the nature of the subject matter, I was really interested in how designers can solve complex social issues. For years the role of the designer has progressively evolved and as a result, recently more and more corporations are really starting to understand the value of creativity and problem-solving. Tom’s Class at RISD was an opportunity for me to be involved in just that.

“While many think the future of nuclear power depends on public acceptance, or solving the waste issue, or improving nuclear safety; it actually depends on building a passionate next generation of young people to take it in directions that none of us has even thought of yet. Life is about passion – so let’s all work to bring out the passion in a new generation of nuclear people. The future is open to us— but only if we can attract the best and brightest people needed to make it happen.”

As a small class, we worked together alongside nuclear experts, Scientists, Teachers and Politicians looking to uncover the real issues within in the world of nuclear. Through collaborations with the west point military academy and N-square, we got a real sense of these issues involved in a way that allowed us to understand differing perspectives, basis and agendas. Importantly, the research we conducted was immensely varied, valuable and current which overall gave us a great deal of empowerment when It came to take the project in our own directions as designers.

For years we have been teaching children difficult lessons in Religion, Sex and moral studies and It’s difficult lessons such as these that build real passion and inspire curiosity. In Science class, we already teach children about complex equations, dynamics and space travel. In 1969 It took only 400,000 people to put a man on the moon and of those 400,000 you can be pretty certain most of them grew up being inspired from an early age to do so. This begs the question: Why do we not teach nuclear in schools? With my project titled ‘Atomic’ I started with this simple notion, How do you encourage the next generation to grow up wanting to become Nuclear leaders for the better.

Alongside this, Tom’s passion, support and encouragement throughout the project was vital in helping us to navigate what is a very difficult and complex subject matter. A big part of this was the communal feeling that we were all working together to tackle the real, complex problems that we faced. Importantly Tom always placed an emphasis on the fundamentals of networking, teaching us how to build connections and use these connections to further our design process.

ATOMIC is an educational platform and toolkit that utilizes connected hardware and Mixed Reality technology to focus on Nuclear material, empowering a relatable and fun learning experience for a young demographic. I worked on looking at how Technology, education and Supporting language to be an influencing factor in awareness. Helping to reduce the age gap in the nuclear field in a bid to encourage a younger demographic to revolutionize the future of nuclear politics.

It was these practices that really helped me to uncover true insights into the project. Especially within a problem that is so complex nature.

Using an interactive and educational toolkit as an advocate for change ATOMIC influences, informs and inspires the next Generation, Alpha (the Generation after Gen Z) to grow up with an interest in our world and the safeguarding of fissile material.

As a Designer, one of the most rewarding experiences is to be given the opportunity to work on a project that is really trying to make lasting change and impact in the world; Tom’s class at RISD was just that and throughout we continually

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We committed a form of creative resistance, to salvage the imagination we have left in order to open that black box and say:

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“ There’s really nothing in there

we can do better.” LOV E LY U M AYA M

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Launch control capsule: acoustical enclosure. Communications console at left; launch control console at right; padlocked panel at top center contains missile launch keys.; shock isolator at far left. view to east. Minuteman Launch 1.5 miles north D E S I G N, CIIIUICBM LT U R E A N DControl G LO BFacility A L S ENovember-1. CURITY of New Raymer & State Highway 14, New Raymer, Weld County, CO.


PRINTS AND PHOTOGRAPHS DIVISION, L I B R A R Y O F C O N G R E S S ( H A E R C O L O, 6 2 - N E R AY.V, 1-2 7 )

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What I Learned TO M W E I S

One of the challenges we faced in this course was the tension between developing new concepts while addressing some of the real constraints that many of our guests shared with us. At times our discussions were unexpected or may have benefited from a more informed facilitator on the topic; ethics, values and justice were just a few of the themes that I could have prepared for more. By the end of the semester the students recognized that the questions raised by the concept of nuclear security and deterrence perhaps had no “one” answer. It was equally as difficult to know if there was even a “right” answer. Are we safer in a world with a small number of nuclear weapons, or are the risks too great for us to have any at all? As we each developed our own thoughts and opinions on these matters, it was with great pride that I watched my students work together with an open mind and a willingness to listen to one another without judgment. For this, I give a great amount of credit to RISD’s culture of critique. This method of open discussion that includes valuable questions and acknowledgments along with often blunt observations or criticism, is embedded into the fabric of the student experience. Students are instructed on how to be both open to feedback on their work, to elicit response where needed, as well as on how to be constructive and forthright in their discussions of others’ projects. I realized that this culture might be one of the ingredients that is absent in spaces that normally think about the power structures around nuclear weapons and disarmament. For

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experts grappling with how we might reduce nuclear risks, the stakes are so high that the constraints to new ways of thinking could be paralyzing. This class would not have been possible without the support of both N Square and PopTech. The guidance and mentorship that their networks provided for the students and myself made this a truly unique experience. The experts and guests that visited our

+ CRITICAL SITES Nsquare.org

class challenged our ideas in thoughtful ways and nurtured our process when we felt lost. These relationships helped bring form to many of the final projects produced by the students that were both powerful and personal. The personal aspect took the longest time to foster. It is also what feels absent in so many discussions around nuclear weapons. Unlike issues such as climate change, poverty or hunger, nuclear weapons don’t seem personal to most of us. Individuals have the agency to make small decisions related to

NTI.org TheBulletin.org watson.brown.edu/costsofwar Ploughshares.org Skollglobalthreats.org

climate change. Regardless of the impact of riding ones’ bike versus driving, or bringing your own shopping bags; we often “feel” like we are making a difference. There are few individual actions that seem related to nuclear threat reduction. For their final project, I challenged my students to take what they love about design, the very best parts of their process or approaches that they enjoy - and mash it up with the idea of reducing nuclear threats. That is when they created their best work.

Armscontrolwonk.com Carnegieendowment.org Belfercenter.org Nuclearsecurityproject.org Armscontrol.org

As with many classes, when the semester ends it actually feels like things are just beginning. We haven’t solved any nuclear crisis that I know of, but the point of this work was to embolden these students with some of the tools and confidence to be fearless in the face of complex problems, nuclear and beyond. And to better understand, even slightly, the role of design within this field and how we might collaborate with others to make the world even a little bit safer. With that, I urge you to conjure your own superpowers, to

Bombshelltoe.com Nuclearsecrecy.com inkstickmedia.com www.janes.com c4ads.org

reach out to your dream collaborators and stir together the things that are uniquely you, with the problems that need us the most.

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Profile for bgpayne

Design, Culture & Global Security  

This book is a collection of essays and projects that offer new, alternative methods for confronting the threat of nuclear weapons through d...

Design, Culture & Global Security  

This book is a collection of essays and projects that offer new, alternative methods for confronting the threat of nuclear weapons through d...

Profile for bgpayne
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