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.

William Myers, Organizer

William is an Amsterdam-based curator, writer, and teacher with more than 20 years 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 education 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.

Georgina McDowall, 

Head of Operations

Georgina is a researcher working at the intersection of culture and sustainability. She holds a Master’s in Museum Studies from the University of Amsterdam, specializing in the role that culture can play in the climate emergency. Since graduating, she has presented on this topic at conferences in the Czech Republic and Norway and worked on art-science projects at Artis Library (Amsterdam) and Museum of the Mind (London).

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.

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.

Emma van der Leest,

Curator

Micro-organisms are the basic material of biodesign, just like paint is the basic material of an artist. Emma van der Leest graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in product design (honors) from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Form Follows Organism: The Biological Computer is the title of her research and book on biodesign and the shifting role of a designer working collaboratively with scientists. Throughout the years, Emma has worked with several different working materials made by microbes. She is the founder of BlueCity Lab, an experimental and prototyping laboratory in the former Tropicana water park in Rotterdam. Her goal is to lower the threshold for anyone interested in working with micro-organisms and waste streams in the development of new materials. Emma holds a research position in Ecoliteracy at Willem de Kooning Academy besides tutoring. She also develops educational programs and workshops for St. Joost Masters Institute, Central Saint Martins London and
Design Academy Eindhoven.

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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