Making Of

Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of


How might we build a network of design professionals, social orgs, students, and academics to foster recognition of the transdisciplinary design practice?


We plan, manage and execute memorable events to connect key stakeholder groups, and actively promote transdisciplinary design by providing cutting-edge workshops feeding into TransD thesis work.


VergeNYC is a 2.5-day design event organized by students at Parsons School of Design, along with design and community partners to promote transdisciplinary design – a mindset and practice that encourages collaboration and to act on society’s most complex problems.

Today’s designers are ready to facilitate social change. At VergeNYC, you’ll find us mixing and matching. Combining voices from the public and private sector, including but definitely not limited to, design, urban planning, sustainability, business and social innovation.

Our goal is to create a space for transdisciplinary collaboration. We believe that this collective impact is much greater, than the sum of its parts.


At VergeNYC, we are fascinated with big questions and bold topics. We discuss, debate, speculate, analyze and seek to act on the most complex issues of our time. 

VergeNYC 2016 focused on Elasticity. Examining this topic through the lens of cities, services and ecosystems, we explored new possibilities for the future of transportation, public spaces and technological networks, as well as services for the disempowered.

VergeNYC 2017 highlighted Invisibility as an opportunity for new strategies to impact our societies. We can utilize transdisciplinary design as acts of seeing, revealing, and creating new perceptions of what currently goes unseen and overseen.


System Insight

The ecosystem of social, design, and academic organizations in New York is longing for innovative, extraordinary knowledge and design talent that bridge the three realms.


Prototype Insight

The complexity and the unique experience design of such an event can lead to remarkable participation rates and immediate job opportunities.


Human Insight

People feel strong gratitude when their conference participation is multilateral and also serves as a contribution to the success of graduating students.

VergeNYC Conference

A conference on transdisciplinary design


with Stephanie Lukito, Andrea Burgueño, Elena Habre, Melika Alipour Leili, Kate Fisher, Winnie Chang, et. al.


ThoughtWorks, Doblin, Zago, International Reycue committee, IBM, Moleskine, DESIS Lab


Innovation Networks, Transdisciplinary Design, Health-Tech, Shared Economy, Migration, Identity Politics, Speculative Design, A.I.


Network Building, Experience Design, Design Thinking, Event Management, Hosting


Event, Branding & CI, Implementation Roadmap, Website

Project Details

Migration Panel: Ezio Manzini, Rachel Lehrer, Lara Penin

During VergeNYC 2017, we had the honor to invite Ezio Manzini and Rachel Lehrer from the International Rescue Committe to a pnael about what Design(ers) can do in the context of the international migration crisis.

© VergeNYC

Invisibility Topic Matrix

After brainstorming the topic for VergeNYC 2017, we created a matrix that helped map out which speakers we would like to invite based on most interesting and relevant topics.

© VergeNYC

Migration Crisis Focus

VergeNYC is known for its detailed curation. Our focus segment on the international migration crisis did include talks by Angela Luna, Ezio Manzini and Rachel Lehrer, then continued with lunch by EatOffbeat, a social venture that employs former refugees resettled to NYC, sponsored by social design firm The finale was Ankita Roy‘s workshop “Invisibility in Migration”.

© VergeNYC

"Migration" Conversation

Ankita Roy led her conversation "Invisibility of Migration – The Untold Narratives". Gathering stories of meaning by analyzing and understanding the emotional value of objects, artefacts and places, she was able to glimpse inside people’s hearts and minds.

© VergeNYC, Sophie Riendeau

"Decisions" Conversation

Winnie Chang and Corey Chao led their conversation "Invisibility in Decisions – Predictive Analytics & Equality". By connecting the lived experiences of our collaborators to research frameworks, they discussed the roles of government and assessed its effectiveness.

© VergeNYC, Sophie Riendeau

Live Visual Recording

Johanna Tysk did the live visual recording during all talks and panels.

© VergeNYC

Conference Kit 2016

Every year, the VergeNYC brand gets an update. In 2016 the laser-cut nametags were used as frames to frame elastic moments for social media images.

© VergeNYC

Orientation Kit 2016

It was crucial to ensure clear orientation vor all conference participants across the various locations with this colorful signage.

© VergeNYC

Conference Kit 2017

For several years, Moleskine became a sponsor of VergeNYC, providing notebooks for all participants and conference contributors.

© VergeNYC

Interactive Pillar (The Yard)

At The Yard NYC, one of our sponsored event locations, we installed a large-scale column asking participants for topics and ideas for next year's converence.

© VergeNYC



Christian Smirnow

Torstr. 24

10119 Berlin, Germany

Impressum DE

Imprint EN

© 2020 Christian Smirnow

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Making Of

Tony Dunne, from Dunne & Raby Design Studio, was one of our special guests talking about speculative design and elastic futures.