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 and teacher with more than 20 years experience in the cultural sector, including a decade at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Myers is the author of Biodesign (MoMA, 2018) and Bioart (Thames & Hudson, 2015) and organizer of more than 15 exhibitions on a range of topics, from the potential of biotechnology to revolutionize design to the impacts of artificial intelligence on creative practices. William has lectured at learning institutions worldwide and has worked for the Guggenheim Museum, MIT Museum, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, RISD, The New Institute in Rotterdam, Vitra Design Museum, Science Galleries in Dublin and Rotterdam, TU Delft, and MU Artspace in Eindhoven, 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 leader, working at the intersection of cultural content and climate action. McDowall earned an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Amsterdam, and is dedicated to working with museums to make the world more equitable and ecologically sound. Georgina has presented on these topics throughout Europe, and held positions at Museum of the Mind, and Artis Library. In 2020, Georgina was instrumental in launching Ki Culture, an international nonprofit creating resources for the cultural sector to improve its climate impacts. In addition to propelling M21D into the future through advancing its content development, fundraising, and practical operations, McDowall is learning about emerging science, art, design, and technology.

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Kiersten Thamm, Curator of Collections

Kiersten is a Berlin-based design historian with a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on the politics of industrial materials and manufacturing in Europe and the USA after 1851. Thamm has spoken across the US and Europe on French design practices, the subject of her dissertation, "The Political Life of a Chair: The Chaise Sandows in Interwar France," and held positions at the Berlinische Galerie and the National Building Museum.


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

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Emma van der Leest, Curator (Floriade)

Emma is a researcher, author, and teacher focused on micro-organisms as central to the future of design and fabrication. Her book, Form Follows Organism: The Biological Computer (2016), examines the shifting role of designers as they collaborate with scientists. Emma is a co-founder of BlueCity Lab, a prototyping laboratory and start-up hub in Rotterdam. One of Van der Leest’s goals is to make it easier for anyone interested in working with micro-organisms and waste streams to develop new materials to do so. Emma holds research and teaching positions at Willem de Kooning Academy. In addition, she develops workshops and programming for St. Joost Masters Institute, Central Saint Martins London, and the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Instagram | Linkedin | Ted Talk

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Hsien-Yin Ingrid Chou, Design Director

Ingrid is a leading designer and educator who worked for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 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 included 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 publications. Chou’s work has been published worldwide and received numerous awards. Chou teaches at Parsons School of Design and earned an MFA from Yale University. She served on the board of the Type Directors Club, initiated the practice Very Talented People (VTP), and was a jury member for the Rijksstudio Award, hosted by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The Team

DETAILS

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