February 28, 2021

Reality x Design

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RealityxDesign conference

Now more than ever our daily lives move through not one but multiple, blended realities, realities which are shaped by our built environments, the tools we use, and the experiences we share. By exploring Reality by Design at HarvardxDesign's (virtual) conference, we will jointly reflect on how design has and will continue to shape the way we see and experience the world. We will engage with designers, artists, thinkers, and leaders who are central to shaping the realities we inhabit.

Some are inventing novel and creative ways to confront the ever more apparent realities of social, spatial, and cultural inequities. Some are providing new ways to change or escape reality through augmented immersive and emotion-driven experiences. Others are working to construct> new realities by re-designing virtual ways to think, live, and work. Our diverse set of panelists will speak to how they are using design to represent and influence the realities we are all living in.



  • Lilli Beard, HBS '21
  • Feiyue Li, HBS '21
  • Koby Moreno, GSD '20

Conference Team

  • Grace Chee, GSD '22
  • Dania Ghuneim, GSD '22
  • Yvonne Fang, GSD '21
  • Jenny Fan, GSD/SEAS '19
  • Jennifer Horowitz, GSD '22
  • Katrina Armistead, GSD/SEAS '22
  • Rhea Jiang, GSD '22
  • Maggie Chen, GSD '22
  • Samara Sone, HBS affiliate
  • Tiange Wang, GSD '21
  • Annie Zhou, HBS '22

Branding and Design

Jenny Fan


Confronting Reality

Our perceptions of reality often dictate our truths, some intentionally erased or difficult to face. What can we learn about ourselves and others by traveling, whether geographically, historically, or dimensionally?

Escaping Reality

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of escaping--we escaped for the sake of fun, for our mental health, and for a dose of artistic inspiration. How much escapism is healthy, and when does escapism become denial?

Constructing Reality

Designers shape the future by constantly reinterpreting and reimagining the present. By construting new forms of reality, what is revealed about our society, and are these findings generative or limiting?