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Minnie’s Study Tour Part 4: Art, design, and accessible smart cities in New York

Minnie in New YorkThe fourth stop in Minnie’s study tour was in the Big Apple! Joined at this stage by our General Manager Megan Barclay, both painted the town yellow, connecting with leadership alumni, designers, thought leaders and decision makers in one of the world’s busiest cities.

The Sheffield connections continued in New York when Minnie and Megan met with Professor Keith Wilson, Professor of Sculpture, and Director of the Centre of Humanities at the City University of New York. Profressor Wilson is a colleague of Paul Chamberlain and Claire Craig from Sheffield Hallam University, who also creates programmes encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to subjects. He expressed interest in collaborating with Be, and have us advise them on their new centre of innovation in New York!

They then met with Cara McCarthy and Yvonne Gomez, Curators for the Access Plus Ability Exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian New York City, where they visited with Be. Leader Keke Brown. Minnie says the exhibition was “a world leading example of how accessible and inclusive design is transforming the world around us, both for those of us with access needs, the aging population and wider society in general.” They are also keen to bring the exhibition to New Zealand!

Minnie and Megan also met with Victor Calise, Commissioner at the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, New York City. Victor and his team have created a citywide programme of work to make New York City the most accessible city in the United States. His strategy includes, employment, capital works, innovation, the arts and design and he regularly consults with high-level stakeholders regarding accessibility. After this meeting and expressing interest to collaborate with councils and governments in New Zealand, Commissioner Victor then agreed to travel to Auckland to speak at the 3rd annual Universal Design Conference in September!