Design Gallery

Coming Soon: Wisconsin Without Borders: A Global Initiative

June 5 – Aug 25, 2017

Wisconsin Without Borders


As a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 4W Initiative, students and faculty members from the Design Studies program in the School of Human Ecology have partnered with traditional artisans around the world developing coordinated microenterprises projects. Materials and color palettes have been coordinated in order that products are globally interchangeable from one culture to another while still honoring their traditional origins. This exhibition highlights products developed in partnership with artisans in Mexico, Kenya, and India.

In 2014, a group of UW-Madison scholars, students, campus leaders, and philanthropists came together to discuss the inequities facing women both regionally and on a global scale. They discussed the negative influences of poverty, violence, racial injustice, educational barriers, and inadequate access to family planning and health care across the life span.

The discussion culminated in recognizing the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles as a critical issue that compromises the ability of social institutions to make positive change and fully serve the greater community.

The 4W Initiative was born to find the answers. Convened for the entire campus by the School of Human Ecology, the Global Health Institute, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, 4W works across disciplines to address the complex issues at hand. UW-Madison was awarded a UNESCO Chair on Gender, Well-being and a Culture of Peace. It serves as one of Chancellor Blank’s campus priorities.

Utilizing the resources of UW-Madison, the 4W Initiative is making strides in making life better for women and, in doing so, making the world a better place for all!



Design Gallery and Reading Room events are free and open to the public.

Ruth Davis Design Gallery summer hours
Monday – Friday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

How to get to Nancy Nicholas Hall
Parking: Click parking lots on map for real time availability http://map.wisc.edu/

About Design Gallery
The Ruth Davis Design Gallery holds exhibitions that relate to the processes and results of design. Together we encourage research, education and outreach by bringing together the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, the Design Gallery and Ruth Ketterer Harris Library, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs in Design Studies. We are located in the new Nancy Nicholas Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Human Ecology.Completed in June 2012, the LEED-certified Nancy Nicholas Hall supports the School’s mission to improve the quality of human life, through its education, research, creative endeavors, outreach and engagement. This technology-rich environment facilitates webinars, video conferencing, and interactive learning. Its accessibility, café, roof terrace, and other comfortable community spaces welcome visitors and promote interactions among faculty, staff, students, and visitors. An enlarged, climate-controlled Design Gallery and Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection enhance the visibility of creative works from both students and professional artists.

Support Us
All Design Gallery events and exhibitions are free and open to the public, thanks in part to the generous support from the Anonymous Fund. Support our programming through a gift to the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

More questions?
Please call 608-262-8815. You can also email Design Gallery. For the most up to date information, like us on Facebook.