Designing solutions

Curating a museum exhibition is never a small task. For an undergraduate student, it’s a rare opportunity.

Last year, as one of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum’s inaugural Greenberg Curatorial Fellows, Elizabeth Korb helped organize “Wǒmen (我们): Contemporary Chinese Art.”

“We wanted to explore sociopolitical themes that speak both to Chinese society and to our broader globalized culture,” said Korb, a senior communications design major in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, who curated the show with Danielle Wu and Samantha Allen (both LA ’14).

Yin Xiuzhen, Portable City­Hangzhou, 2011. Suitcase, clothes, magnifying glass, map, sound element, 11 x 59 13/16 x 34 5/8″

Elizabeth Korb co-curated “Wǒmen (我们): Contemporary Chinese Art,” which included this work from artist Yin Xiuzhen: Portable City­Hangzhou, 2011. Suitcase, clothes, magnifying glass, map, sound element, 11 x 59 13/16 x 34 5/8″. Courtesy of Pace Beijing. © Yin Xiuzhen.

Korb also took part in WUSTL’s new Interaction Design Initiative Seminar last fall. Headed by alumnus Doug Powell, studio lead for IBM Design, the seminar emphasized the importance of user experience in developing new health care products and services.

Korb’s team — which also included Zev Powell, a senior in anthropology, and illustrator Chloe Kramer — worked with BJC Healthcare to improve patient access to transportation. The group created a free ride-share program coordinated by social workers through a mobile app that Korb designed.

“This was my first taste of designing for screen-based media, and of designing for a real-world problem that could drastically improve someone’s quality of life,” Korb said. “I left hungry for more.”

In January, Korb was one of six students representing WUSTL at the first national Emerging Creative Conference at Stanford University. The event was sponsored by a2ru, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities.

“I chose to be on a team that focused on social justice issues — specifically, how to improve the juvenile punitive system,” Korb said. “Coming away from a2ru, I not only gained a new network of creatively minded peers, but I also knew without a doubt this was the area of design I want to work in.”


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