Designing for the 5 Senses

Storytelling in an Oversaturated World

A world oversaturated with noise and light and interruption takes an enormous toll on our sensory systems, impoverishing our experience, attention span and empathy for each other. Itamar Kubovy, executive producer of Pilobolus, and Bruce Mau, chief creative of Massive Change Network and winner of the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, talk about the new medium of “live” and unmediated five-senses design as a path to impact and engagement.

Itamar Kubovy

Before joining Pilobolus as its first Executive Director in 2004, Itamar studied philosophy at Yale, ran theaters in Germany and Sweden, directed plays by John Guare, co-directed the 2002 season finale of “The West Wing,” and made a film, “Upheaval,” starring Frances McDormand.

Over the last 10 years, Itamar evolved and executive produces Pilobolus Creative Services, developing movement to communicate brand experience through corporate events around the world. Itamar is also one of the creators of Pilobolus’s Shadowland, the first full evening work of shadow theater of its kind. Highlights of Kubovy’s career with Pilobolus include a TED presentation, a Grammy nomination, an Emmy nomination, appearances on the Academy Awards, Oprah, Ellen, and a commissioned performance for the Queen of England.

In keeping with the Pilobolus’s nonprofit mission, Itamar now focuses his efforts on securing the company’s transition into a sustainable laboratory that convenes creative minds to produce imaginative physical entertainment and live experience to be distributed on diverse platforms. A main initiative of this is the Five Senses Festival: three weeks of world class art, food, technology, and nature – on a field in the Connecticut woods. The Festival is inviting authors, painters, farmers, musicians, chefs, psychologists, roboticists, journalists, entrepreneurs, composers, designers, and the Pilobolus audience - to meet and experience and celebrate beauty and nature - together.

Bruce Mau

World-leading visionary, innovator, designer, and author, Bruce Mau is committed to creative, healthy, ecological and economic abundance.

Informed by 25 years of studio experience in design innovation and collaboration with some of the world’s leading artists, institutions and businesses, Bruce has made the simple commitment to connect his life and work to business, education and human development. As Chief Design Officer for Freeman and Co-Founder and CEO of Massive Change Network, he is committed to developing purposeful projects in education, health, leadership, and security.

Motivated by the certainty that the future demands a new breed of designer, Bruce founded the Institute without Boundaries – an innovative studio-based postgraduate program in collaboration with George Brown College, Toronto. Bruce and his students created the groundbreaking exhibition and best-selling book, Massive Change (Phaidon) — a project that declared, “Massive Change is not about the world of design, it’s about the design of the world.”

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