Women in Design Schedule

Below is ABX19 info; ABX20 information is in production. Please check back.  


Wednesday, November 6


WEW1 | Empathetic Design: Crafting Spaces for People - Women in Design Keynote

8:30 am - 10:00 am

In a time when the national political debate focuses on policies that exclude, discriminate, and promote barriers, it is vitally important as design professionals to ask ourselves how we create places – homes, workplaces, or public squares – that feel safe, welcoming, and inclusive. Central tenets of Human-Centered Design include empathy and an iterative process. By truly understanding the inhabitants of the space, testing out options, and using feedback to refine the product, the result is a natural response to the needs of people.  Join us as we explore the ideas, processes, and outcomes of this design approach as they relate to designing for both individuals and communities.Empathetic design strives for the equitable application of human-centered design principles, which prioritize the effect a space has on the people who occupy it. While these principles are widely used in product and web design, this panel will investigate how they are translated to interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. Empathetic design seeks to expand the definitions of stakeholders, acknowledging patterns of historical marginalization.  In this keynote discussion we bring together architectural practitioners, educators, and community engagement professionals to explore the ways each implements and explores empathetic design in their practice.


  • Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Institute for Human Centered Design
  • David Rubin, Founding Principal, Land Collective
  • Aysha Upchurch, Director of HipHopEX -  A Hip Hop Education Lab + Adjunct Lecturer in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Stephen Gray, Assistant Professor of Urban Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design


  • Juliet Chun, AIA, Leers Weinzapfel Associates

WE11 | A Designer and Neurologist's Approach to Empathic Design (Sponsored by WiD)

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Go to the Workshops page and search WE11 

WEW2 | Women in Design Award of Excellence Ceremony & Luncheon

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

The Women in Design Award of Excellence honors individuals who exhibit exceptional achievement in person, process, product and position in design for the built environment in the New England area. During this luncheon, we present the award to this year’s winners and hear from them about design, the design community, and the path that made them the truly special individuals we are honoring. Join us for this truly inspiring celebration.

WE27 | Inclusivity in Courthouse Design (Sponsored by WiD)

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Go to the Workshops page and search WE27 

WEW3 | Women in Design Happy Hour

5:00 pm - 6:00 am

Join us as we wrap up the symposium with a Happy Hour on the show floor. Network with your colleagues, enjoy a cocktail, and discuss the ways you see Empathetic Design responding to the needs of all people. At the happy hour we will have a donation box and information available about Rosie’s Place, a charity that WiD supports annually. Rosie’s Place is a women's shelter in Boston that provides a safe and nurturing environment where poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives. Join us and help support this worthy cause and great organization. The Happy Hour is free and open to all with access to the Expo floor. Cash bar.