Interactive design pioneer Edwin Schlossberg will give a multimedia presentation on several of his signature projects, including the Ellis Island American Family Immigration History Center and the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, in the Klitgord Center Auditorium at New York City College of Technology on Thursday, May 1, at 1pm. The public is invited to this free event.

Schlossberg, who made his mark on interactive design more than 25 years ago when he created the nation's first hands-on learning environment for the Brooklyn Children's Museum, will discuss "Design for Interactive Learning; Design with the Audience in Mind." Author of the groundbreaking book Interactive Excellence: Defining and Developing New Standards for the 21st Century, he will touch on his design philosophy and illustrate how he continues to shape the future of interactive design as head of ESI Design, an internationally renowned and award-winning New York firm specializing in experiential design.

Schlossberg says that he starts the design process by asking himself who the visitors imagine themselves to be. Then he decides what the messages and themes are that the institution wants to share with them. "Too often, museums create exhibits that are exclusive rather than inclusive," he says. "It is the resonance between the audience and the show--all elements of the event--that creates greatness in each."

Long before the concept of interactivity came into vogue, Schlossberg began designing participatory experiences for various institutions. After earning a doctorate in science and literature at Columbia University, he was mentored by inventor-philosopher Buckminster Fuller, who was pioneering interactive concepts in education. He built upon that experience when he was subsequently hired to teach environmental design in Berkeley, CA, which led in 1970 to the career-defining assignment of designing new exhibits at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.

Schlossberg's firm has designed interactive exhibits for many institutions, including the Children's Museum of Los Angeles, the Charlotte Children's Learning Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Sony Wonder Technology Lab in New York City. In addition, Schlossberg is an artist and the author of 11 books.

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