By the People: Designing a Better America

October 29, 2018 – April 26, 2019

Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, Chicago IL

Fresh Moves Mobile Markets, Chicago IL
Cynthia E. Smith © Smithsonian Institution

By the People: Designing a Better America focuses on humanitarian design solutions in the modern world, examining how design is addressing social, health, economic and environmental challenges faced by communities throughout the United States.

This exhibition is organized around six themes that embody collaborative approaches designers are taking to resolve complex issues. Included is the Beltline Atlanta Concept, a grassroots effort to save and transform four existing rail lines into a 22-mile green loop, aiming to connect 40 diverse neighborhoods with light rail, street cars, walking trails, bike paths, and parks; and a mobile market that brings fresh produce to a “food desert” in Chicago in order to reduce diet-related health risks. Investigations range in scale from a mobile phone public health initiative for expectant mothers, to sustainable approaches to infrastructure and land-use for the entire city of Detroit.

Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the exhibition includes objects, infographics, and media to illustrate these new design approaches and provoke questions about the dynamic role of design in providing innovative solutions. In Atlanta, support has been provided by the David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Office of the Associate Director of Communication.

Special Curator Tours

Join Louise E. Shaw, Curator, David J. Sencer CDC Museum for a special tour.


April 3rd and 24th

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required; RSVP to

Driver’s license or passport required for entry. Vehicle inspection required. Space is limited to 20 people per tour.