M21D helps people develop a greater understanding of twenty-first-century design that positively impacts society and the environment. We do so by discovering, studying, and amplifying design that prioritizes community needs, nurtures humans and our surroundings, and reflects the cultures of the people that made it. These designs reside in our digital collections, along with research into their measurable social or environmental impacts.
 
M21D involves as many people as possible in its projects. Through programming, exhibitions, and a digital collection, we foster conversations that investigate design’s role in creating a better future.

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William Myers, Founding Director

William is an Amsterdam-based curator, writer, and teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the cultural sector. He is the author of Biodesign (MoMA, 2018) and Bioart (Thames & Hudson, 2015) and organizer of 14 exhibitions on a range of topics, from the uses and meaning of biotechnology to the impacts of artificial intelligence on society. He has lectured at various educational institutions worldwide and previously worked for MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, MIT Museum, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Science Galleries in Dublin and Rotterdam, among others. Read his full profile.

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Georgina McDowall, 

Head of Program Development and Operations

Georgina is an Amsterdam-based researcher and project coordinator, working at the intersection of culture and sustainability. She is passionate about breaking down the boundaries between disciplines and helping museums make the world a more socially equitable and environmentally sound place. She has presented on these topics throughout Europe and held positions at Museum of the Mind, Artis Library, and Ki Culture. When she’s not organizing things at M21D, she’s learning about all things bio-art, design, and technology.

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Kiersten Thamm,

Communications Lead

Kiersten is a Berlin-based art historian and communications professional. When she’s not writing about the politics of twentieth-century industrial materials and manufacturing, she’s helping to connect individuals and communities. She’s spoken across the US and Europe on interwar French design politics and held positions at the Berlinische Galerie, National Building Museum, and the Elmhurst Art Museum. 


Learn more about Kiersten, read her publications, and send her a note.

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Hsien-Yin Ingrid Chou,

Design Director

Hsien-Yin Ingrid Chou is a leading designer and educator who has worked for the Museum of Modern Art (New York) for 15 years as Creative Director. She specializes in experiential design that enables learning, from museum exhibitions to educational courses and public programming. Her museum work includes overseeing the development of visual identities across platforms and departments, leading teams of designers, and ensuring consistency across communication vehicles and initiatives — from social media to the design of product packaging and print publications.  

Chou’s exhibition and installation projects have been published internationally and have won numerous awards from organizations including AIGA, Communication Art, PRINTS, HOW, inHOWES, IDPURE, and Gestalten. Chou’s work has appeared in PAGE magazine. She has been a featured speaker at events such as the Fast Company Innovation Festival, 99u Conference Studio, and the ING Creative Conference in Dubai.

Chou also teaches at Parsons School of Design and holds an MFA from Yale University. She served on the board of the Type Directors Club, initiated the design practice Very Talented People (VTP), and was a jury member for the Rijksstudio Award, hosted by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

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Emma van der Leest,

Curator, Floriade

Emma van der Leest is a curator, author, and teacher focused on micro-organisms as the basic material of biodesign. Her book, Form Follows Organism: The Biological Computer, looks at biodesign and the shifting role of designers as they collaborate with scientists. Emma is also the founder of BlueCity Lab, an experimental and prototyping laboratory in Rotterdam. Her goal is to make it easier for anyone interested in working with micro-organisms and waste streams to develop new materials to do so. 

 

She holds a research position in Ecoliteracy at Willem de Kooning Academy, where she also tutors. At St. Joost Masters Institute, Central Saint Martins London, and the Design Academy Eindhoven, she develops educational programs and workshops.

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Meet the team

M21D is a cultural ANBI-Stichting (non-profit foundation) registered in the Netherlands. The management board consists of Vera Sacchetti (Chair), Nienke Binnendijk (Secretary), and Ben Cerveny (Treasurer). The board members receive no remuneration of any kind for their activities.

The Foundation's Chamber of Commerce (KvK) number is 82347948. The tax number (RSIN-number) is 8624.28.531. Read the M21D policy plan.

Zoutkeetsgracht 298

1013 LC Amsterdam

info@m21d.org