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Fourth Biennial Design Science Symposium

STEM to STEAM thru Synergy
Bridging Morphology, Biomimicry, Sustainability, and Synergetics

Co-sponsored by:
Synergetics Collaborative Inc. (SNEC)
Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD

Hosted by:
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, Rhode Island

31 January 2014 – 2 February 2014

Design Science Symposium

Confirmed Presenters:
Rosanne Somerson, Interim President, Rhode Island School of Design
Deborah A. Gist, EdD, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Rhode Island Department of Education
Dayna Baumeister, PhD, Biomimic & Co-founder Biomimicry 3.8
Dennis Bartels, Executive Director, San Francisco Exploratorium
Kavita Ramanan, PhD, Mathematician & Professor, Brown University
Lefteris Pavlides, Architect & Professor, Roger Williams University
Chris Zelov, Filmmaker & Project Director, Knossus Project
Richard Bresnahan, Master Ceramicist & Artist in Residence, St. Johns University
Eric Goetz, Marine Transportation Designer & CTO, Goetz Composites
Thomas T. K. Zung, Architect & Design Historian, Buckminster Fuller, Sadao, & Zung

Workshop Facilitators:
George Hart, Bob Sanderson, Lefteris Pavlides, Chris Kitrick, Joseph Clinton, Ed Popko, Dick Esterle, & Gary Doskis

Complete biographies, workshop information, exhibits, housing,
travel, and registration information will follow soon.

STEAM: integrative, interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary studies working together with the result being greater than individual parts (synergy) - The study of a structure's interconnected parts (morphology) leading to inspiration through nature (biomimicry) producing harmony, fulfilling the social, economic and environmental requirements of present and future generations (sustainability) results in cooperation for an enhanced effect (synergetics) and supports interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary study of multiple disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics. For additional information contact: John Belt <>, Peter Dean <>, or CJ Fearnley <>.

News Release

Read the RISD news release about the Fourth Biennial Design Science Symposium on "STEM to STEAM thru Synergy: Bridging Morphology, Biomimicry, Sustainability, and Synergetics".


The Symposium Registration Fee is $295. Please pay with cash or check or money order at the registration desk.
For students, the fee is $60 each.
No charge for RISD students or faculty. No charge for Brown University students.
To register, please follow this link and fill out a registration form.

Download a Preview of the Symposium Schedule

Download our printable Register Today flyer

Information for international participants

Directions to RISD and event locations

Watch Videos from previous Design Science Symposia

Click here to download our Register Today Flyer as a printable PDF

Download a Preview of the Symposium Schedule

The Biennial Design Science Symposia at RISD
Design Science Symposium Logo
The Synergetics Collaborative and The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) have organized Biennial Design Science Symposia at RISD since 2007. These symposia explore the field of Design Science and provide an interactive meeting of makers, thinkers, practitioners and educators. We strive to keep the work of R. Buckminster Fuller current, relevant, and applied. Fuller's design approach as "comprehensive anticipatory design science" combines an emphasis on individual initiative and integrity with whole systems thinking, scientific rigor and faithful reliance on nature's underlying principles. The first event 2007 was on the theme of "Synergetics and Morphology: Explorations into the Shapes of Nature" (click to see a video from that event). In 2009, the theme was "Design Science: Nature's Problem Solving Method". Last time the theme was "Nature, Geometry, and the Symmetry of Space". This year the theme is "STEM to STEAM thru Synergy: Bridging Morphology, Biomimicry, Sustainability, and Synergetics"
About The Organizers
Synergetics Collaborative (SNEC) was founded in 2002 to bring together a diverse group of people with an interest in Buckminster Fuller's Synergetics in face-to-face workshops, symposia, seminars, and other meetings to educate and support research and understanding of the many facets of Synergetics, its methods and principles.
Visit the Synergetics Collaborative on-line.
The Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design uniquely integrates a natural history collection, a lending library of natural specimens and a studio environment. With its growing collection of more than 80,000 natural history objects, books, visual resources, microscopes and a digital work station, the Nature Lab serves as an invaluable research facility for the RISD community. In 2003, The Nature Lab accepted the Arthur Loeb Design Teaching Collection. This hands-on collection of hundreds of three-dimensional polyhedra and two-dimensional patterns inspires students and faculty to examine nature's fundamental responses to design problems.
Visit the Nature Lab online.

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