Open Space: Design and Diversity in Challenging Social Contexts
Open Space is a practice that fosters collective activity to help release inherent creativity and leadership amongst a group of people. As part of Design + Diversity, this Open Space gathering by social innovator, De Nichols, invites participants to engage social challenges that they care about as designers as it establishes a marketplace of inquiry, reflection, and connection for collective brainstorming and action.
Through multidisciplinary creative practice, De Nichols mobilizes global changemakers to activate ideas that address civic and social challenges within their communities. She is the Social Practice Design Principal of Civic Creatives, an agency that develops interactive experiences, tools, and artistic initiatives to help communities facing youth disparities, social division, food injustice, and civic disengagement. As an artist, her projects such as the Mirror Casket (2014, collected by the Smithsonian Institute in 2016), United Story (2013-15), FoodSpark, and Sticky Note to Self utilize art as public interventions to help audiences reflect and respond to systemic and social inequities facing women, LGBTQ+ communities, youth, and people of color. She is a Citizen Artist Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and Artist Fellow of the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, MO. She additionally serves the national Fight 4 a Future anti-gun violence Leadership Council of Generation Progress (Center for American Progress) and the Board of Directors of Forward through Ferguson and Brazen St. Louis.