As the Producer-in-Residence and Fellow in the Center for Design and Material Culture I intend to use my decades of experience as an award-winning journalist to bring objects to life and invite listeners to join in on the conversation. When there is an object at the heart of a story, the prospect of an intimate, transformative experience becomes possible. For me, that’s the human in Human Ecology. It’s the connections we make when we share what is meaningful.
As a journalist for WBEZ: Chicago Public Media, I covered a wide variety of subjects dictated by current events. As the creator, curator, and producer of Radio Chipstone, I am free to choose my subject matter. However, each radio episode is between six and eight minutes long. The editing process always leaves lovely tendrils of conversations unheard. And now in my role as a Producer and Fellow the access to resources offered by the Center will allow me to take root and go deeper into the subject matter. Publications and access to events will be fertile ground for finding subject matter. Collaborating with staff, scholars, and students will allow me to introduce the voices behind the exhibitions and research coming out of the Center, the Design Studies department, and the whole school.
My goal is to continue to produce short-form interviews for WORT Community Radio. Through the Center, I will be able to identify and have access to funding to produce a podcast to air on Center sites and media outlets such as iTunes. Right now, nonprofits are facing higher demands as funding decreases, while searching for new ways to deliver services. Consumers are adapting to goods and services being delivered in nontraditional ways. While both are daunting, there is hope . Via a podcast and through the lens of material culture, we can go behind the scenes of current exhibits, discuss research projects, and put voices to projects sponsored by the Center and the School of Human Ecology.
Looking back at this letter, I can’t help but notice the number of ‘I’ statements jumping off the stage. Strange because this project is not about me. It’s about collaborating with a multidisciplinary collaborative team and Center Affiliates and students to create a platform for us to share our love of Material Culture.