Narrative Practice: The 5th Annual Urban Design Storytelling Symposium
Jon Bowermaster, Nellie Hermann and Ayesha Williams in conversation with Cassim Shepard.
As media and design increasingly converge, this symposium asks how narrative strategies — of novelists, journalists, filmmakers, and activists — reflect design methodologies, from performing site analysis to evaluating success.
Jon Bowermaster is a writer, filmmaker and adventurer and is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. One of the Society’s ‘Ocean Heroes,’ his first assignment for National Geographic Magazine was documenting a 3,741 mile crossing of Antarctica by dogsled. Bowermaster has written eleven books and produced/directed more than thirty documentary films. His feature documentaries include Dear President Obama, Antarctica, on the Edge, After the Spill and Ghost Fleet.
His National Geographic-sponsored Oceans 8 project took him and his teams around the world by sea kayak over the course of ten years (1999-2008), bringing backstories from the Aleutian Islands to French Polynesia, Gabon to Tasmania, and more, reporting on how the planet’s one ocean and its various coastlines are faring in today’s busy world. He lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is the President of the One Ocean Media Foundation and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. For the past several years, Jon and his One Ocean Media Foundation / Oceans 8 Films team have focused on a series of short films about the environmental risks to, and hopes for the Hudson River Valley, the birthplace of the American environmental movement. Bowermaster is a Visiting Lecturer at Bard College, in the Environment and Urban Studies Department; tune into his weekly radio show/podcast, ‘The Green Radio Hour with Jon Bowermaster, at radiokingston.org.
Nellie Hermann, Creative Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, is a graduate of Brown University and the M.F.A. program at Columbia University. She has published two novels, The Cure for Grief and The Season of Migration, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Her non-fiction has appeared in an anthology about siblings, Freud’s Blindspot (Free Press: 2010), as well as in Academic Medicine. She has been an invited resident to numerous artist residencies such as The Millay Colony, The UCross Foundation, and The Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts. Over the last ten years she has taught fiction and narrative medicine to undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and clinicians of all sorts, and has given conference addresses in Iowa, California, Seoul, Korea, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2016 NEA Literature fellowship and was recently awarded a 2017 Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library.
Ayesha Williams is the Deputy Director of the Laundromat Project. She is an art professional with over a decade of experience working with visual artists, presenting programs, and generating funding for both commercial galleries and nonprofit institutions. From 2010-2016, Ayesha managed Visual Arts at Lincoln Center, a comprehensive program that provides visual art offerings and experiences to Lincoln Center’s audiences and supporters. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Ayesha was the Director of Kent Gallery. In addition to her professional experience, Ayesha is on the boards of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and The Possibility Project. She also served as a Steering Committee member of the UN Women’s Conference 2016. Ayesha received her Master’s degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Free and open to the public.
Organized by the Urban Design program at Columbia GSAPP.