FIU Miami Creative City Initiative
The Creative City

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mural by artist Maya Hayuk, Photo credit: Raphael Cruyt

About “The Creative City”

The Creative City

December 3, 2015

“The Creative City” will bring together distinguished icons in art, architecture, design, fashion, and music for an intimate discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing top cities across the world. In an increasingly spiky world, how do we maintain the soul of our cities? How do artists and creators keep creating and how does the city inspire them?


Spring 2016

Miami is at a tipping point. With its air and sea ports, its bustling downtown, and arts-fueled urban transformation, the city is on the verge of becoming a truly great global city.

Great global cities are cities of ideas as well as commerce. They are nodes in the global idea network―they shape their own narrative, and they create a new narrative for the world. Spring 2015, a grand colloquium of city builders, doers, and thinkers, will deepen, expand, and help disseminate Miami’s intellectual and creative endowment. It is a critical step toward leveraging and accelerating its transformation.


Cities are perhaps the greatest expression of human civilization. We come together in cities, to live and to work, to play and to create.

They are the cauldrons of diversity and difference and have long captured the imagination of urbanists, designers, artists and cultural curators. However as we “return back to the city,” some places are becoming increasingly unaffordable to the creative class and only playgrounds for the wealthy minority.

CREATE events bring together distinguished icons in art, architecture, city building, design, politics, fashion, music and the culinary arts for a discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing creative cities across the world. In an increasingly spiky world, how do we maintain the soul of our cities?


FIU Miami Creative City Initiative

The Creative City
Thursday, December 3, 2015
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Miami Beach Urban Studios

3:00–3:05 p.m. / Opening Remarks and Welcome

Cities have been the fonts of creativity since the dawn of civilization. The clustering of creative, diverse people is what drives advances in arts, culture and innovation. Why are cities so essential to human creativity and innovation? How do we ensure our cities are open for creatives of all walks of life?
Mark Rosenberg— President, Florida International University  / @FIU

3:05–3:25 p.m. / Why the Creative City

The big myth is that creativity is the province of individual geniuses. In fact, it’s a social process and cities offer us the platform for our ideas to combine and recombine together. Does creativity flow from our cities? Described as an ‘intellectual Rock Star,” cities expert, and Co-Founder of The Atlantic’s City Lab, Richard Florida will explain why cities are the economic driver of innovation and creativity.
Richard Florida — Director, Martin Prosperity Institute / @richard_florida

3:25–3:55 p.m. / Cities: Creativity Incubators

Cities are the cauldrons of diversity and difference. They have long captured the imagination of urbanists, designers, artists and cultural curators. For many, their city is their creative inspiration: inspiring new works of art, generating new approaches to design and creating innovative technologies. Are cities truly the ultimate creative incubator? How do they inspire new creation? Grammy Award winning musician Nelly Furtado has sold over 40 million records around the world; best-selling author and Huffington Post and Fast Company contributor, Rana Florida will talk to Furtado about how cities inspire her creativity.

Moderator: Rana Florida – CEO, Creative Class Group/ @ranaflorida
Nelly Furtado – Grammy Award-Winning Musician/ @nellyfurtado

3:55–4:20 p.m. / Architecture and the Creative City

Creative workers want to live in authentic communities. Architecture and design that is tied intrinsically to its community helps to create a sense of place that is unique and appealing, while highlighting a community’s soul, history, and uniqueness. What roles do architecture and design play in communicating city identity? How do design and built environment foster creativity and innovation? From the St. Regis and Four Seasons hotels to Barneys and Bergdorfs, Glenn Pushelberg is a contemporary designer who has received international honors for his contributions to design excellence. He will join FIU’s John Stuart, a New York Prize winner, for a conversation about the future of design in our cities.

Moderator: John Stuart – Professor and Associate Dean, FIU College of Architecture + The Arts / @jstuartFIUMBUS
Glenn Pushelberg – Internationally-Recognized Designer /@YABUPUSHELBERG
Zaha Hadid  – World Renowned Architect / @ZHA_News

4:20–4:50 p.m. / Challenges to the Creative City

Cities are back – growing and reviving. But they face deep challenges. Some are becoming increasingly unaffordable to the creative class and only playgrounds for the wealthy minority. What are the implications for creativity and innovation?  American popular culture artist Kenny Scharf debuted on The Simpsons.  Since then, he has been commissioned for special projects for Mercedes, Absolut, Kiehl’s and Barbie. His colorful and vibrant works can be found in top museums and galleries around the world, from the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York to the Sogetsu Art Museum, Tokyo.  Onstage with Jerome Sans, “a cultural agitator who has pioneered new ways to approach and discuss contemporary art” and co-founder of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, these two will talk to Richard Florida about unconventional ways to recapture the souls of our cities.

Moderator: Richard Florida – Director, Martin Prosperity Institute/ @richard_florida
Jérôme Sans – Global Curator /@jeromesans
Kenny Scharf – Artist / @kennyscharf

4:50–5:00 p.m. / Closing: Urbanism For All

Cities are our greatest inventions. How do we ensure equitable, inclusive urbanism for all? What’s the path forward? Urbanist Richard Florida will share his thoughts on a path forward and award-winning educator and FIU Dean Brian Schriner will discuss insights on how Miami can move its creative agenda forward.

Richard Florida – Director, Martin Prosperity Institute/ @richard_florida
Brian Schriner – Dean, FIU College of Architecture + The Arts / @briandschriner

 Reception to Follow

Exhibitions currently on view at the FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios:

Alastair Gordon Exhibition
Robert Motherwell, Pierre Chareau
The Quonset House of 1947
In collaboration with FIU faculty and students

Oculi Sound Chamber Dwelling
Architect Simon Koumijian III
In collaboration with other designers and students at FIU


Nelly Furtado – Grammy Award-Winning Musician / @nellyfurtado

Grammy Award-winning musician Nelly Kim Furtado, is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold 20 million albums worldwide and more than 20 million singles, bringing her total sales to over 40 million records around the world. Furtado first gained fame with her debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, which spawned two successful singles, “I’m Like a Bird” and “Turn Off the Light“. “I’m Like A Bird” won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. In 2003, Furtado released Folklore, which produced three international singles: “Powerless (Say What You Want)“, “Try“, and “Força“.

Three years later, she released Loose, a worldwide commercial success with 10 million copies sold. The album spawned two number-one hits: “Promiscuous” and “Say It Right.” After a three-year break, she released her first full-length Spanish album, Mi Plan, and Furtado received a Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. In 2012, Furtado’s fourth English-language studio album, The Spirit Indestructible, was released.

Furtado’s work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including a Grammy Award, 10 Juno Awards, three MuchMusic Video Awards and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Furtado was awarded “Commander of the Order of Prince Henry” on February 28, 2014, in Toronto by Aníbal Cavaco Silva, the President of Portugal.

Glenn Pushelberg – Internationally-Recognized Designer / @YABUPUSHELBERG

Glenn Pushelberg’s innate ability to make critical decisions has not only shaped his career but has also created a positive ripple effect in successive events. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Glenn initially debated between studying fine arts and hospitality but passed on both for their impracticality and location respectively. Instead, he decided on a degree in Interior Design. A decision that would furnish him with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Ryerson University. A decision that also lead him to meet George Yabu, his partner in business and in life.

Now one half of Yabu Pushelberg, Glenn, with George, has redefined design in the built space for over 30 years. Today, Glenn’s decisions have a stronger ripple effect and are making waves. Serving as Yabu Pushelberg’s conduit between the client and the design team, Glenn manages new and existing relationships from a communications and business perspective. He also oversees project development from inception to completion, providing strategic consult along the way. Glenn’s talents and passion for aesthetically driven design has helped the company create distinctive spatial experiences for some of the world’s leading innovators of hotel groups, retail, and restaurants in over 15 countries including: Ian Schrager, Daniel Boulud, Barney’s, and Lane Crawford.

Glenn and George’s unique ability to create narrative driven environments does not go unnoticed. Their work has named them as the one of the “101 People You Must Meet in 2011” by Town & Country magazine and as Designers of the Year by Contract Magazine. They have both inducted in Interior Design magazine’s “Hall of Fame”, received a “Platinum Circle Award”, and have had the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence in Restaurant Design bestowed upon them. Most recently Glenn was recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honors. This year, he and George will be honored at Fashion Group International’s Star Awards and at Canada’s Design Exchange for their work in the Interior Design industry.

Zaha Hadid – World Renowned Architect / @ZHA_News

Zaha Hadid, founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (considered the Nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her projects builds on over thirty years of exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design.

Hadid taught at the AA School until 1987 and has since held numerous chairs and guest professorships at universities around the world including Columbia, Harvard and Yale. She is currently a professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

The MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome, the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games, and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku are built manifestos of Hadid’s quest for complex, fluid space. Previous seminal buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and the Guangzhou Opera House in China have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts.

Zaha Hadid Architects recently completed the Investcorp Building for Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College and is currently working on a diversity of projects worldwide including the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Sleuk Rith Institute in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and 520 West 28th Street in New York. Zaha Hadid Architects’ portfolio also includes cultural, corporate, academic, sporting and infrastructure projects across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, in addition to national institutions such as the Central Bank of Iraq and the Grand Theatre de Rabat.

Zaha Hadid’s work of the past 30 years was the subject of critically-acclaimed exhibitions at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2006, London’s Design Museum in 2007, the Palazzo della Ragione, Padua, Italy in 2009, the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2011, the DAC Copenhagen in 2013 and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg in 2015. Her recently completed projects include the Messner Mountain Museum Corones (2015), Oxford University’s Middle East Centre (2015), Sky SOHO in Shanghai (2014), Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2014), Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul (2014), Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013), Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London (2013), Library & Learning Centre in Vienna (2013), Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum in Michigan (2012), Galaxy SOHO in Beijing (2012), Pierresvives Library and Archive in Montpellier (2012), CMA CGM Head Office Tower in Marseille (2011), London Aquatics Centre (2011), Riverside Museum in Glasgow (2011), Guangzhou Opera House (2010), Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi (2010) and MAXXI Museum in Rome (2010).

Hadid’s outstanding contribution to the architectural profession continues to be acknowledged by the world’s most respected institutions including the Forbes List of the ‘World’s Most Powerful Women’ and the Japan Art Association presenting her with the ‘Praemium Imperiale’. In 2010 and 2011, her designs were awarded the Stirling Prize, one of architecture’s highest accolades, by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Other awards include UNESCO naming Hadid as an ‘Artist for Peace’, the Republic of France honouring Hadid with the ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’, TIME magazine included her in their list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Jérôme Sans – Global Curator / @jeromesans

Curator, art critic, artistic director and director of institutions, Jérôme Sans is internationally renown for pioneering new ways to approach and discuss contemporary art. He was the co-founder and co-director of the acclaimed Palais de Tokyo in Paris (France) from 1999 to 2006. Then director of programs at the BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead (UK). From 2008 to 2012, he was former the director of the ground-breaking Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (China). From 2006 until 2012 he was Global cultural curator for Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and, from 2012 to 2014 creative director and editor-in-chief of the French cultural magazine L’Officiel Art.

Jérôme Sans has curated numerous major exhibitions around the world, including the Taipei Biennial (2000), the Lyon Biennial (2005), and the Nuit Blanche in Paris (2006)…

He has been nominated recently as co-artistic director of the Grand Paris Express network, one of the most important urban development projects in Europe,. He is also co-founder of Perfect Crossovers Ltd., a Beijing-based consultancy for specific cultural projects between China and the rest of the world.

Kenny Scharf – Artist / @kennyscharf

Kenny Scharf is best known for his exuberant iconography, however his work also contains underlying themes that reflect his ongoing commitment to social and environmental concerns. For Scharf, the embrace of fun is an act of defiance, his considered use of unconventional materials, bright color palette, and playful shapes a protest against restrictive cultural conditions. Scharf transforms the mundane while referencing his longstanding themes of anxiety in the nuclear age and the effects of pollution. Scharf’s sculptural and painterly assemblages feature surfaces that are embedded with defunct objects, fragments of toys, ads, and other miscellanea collected over the years. Frozen in various states of visual erosion, the surfaces both find inspiration from, and are commentary on the detritus of contemporary American culture.  

Kenny Scharf (b.1958) lives and works in Los Angeles. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented three exhibitions featuring Scharf’s work to date: Barberadise (2009), Hodgepodge (2012), and Pop Renaissance (2013). In 2009, a comprehensive catalog of his work was authored by art historian Richard Marshall. Along with the artist’s recent participation in Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Scharf was also featured in the group exhibition Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Other events include a recent collaboration with the Orange County Museum of Art in celebration of the exhibition The Avant-Garde Collection and participation in the Pulcherrimae Strade initiative in Pordenone, Italy. The artist’s work has been shown at the Venice Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1, and the Whitney Biennale, and is in the collections of major museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Photo: Eric Minh Swensen

In Conversation With

Mark B. Rosenberg  –  President, FIU @FIU

Mark B. Rosenberg is president of Florida International University. A public institution of higher education, FIU is the face of the country’s future in higher education demographics: it is a majority-minority institution that leads the country in the production of minority degrees in the sciences and engineering.

Dr. Rosenberg has served as the fifth president of FIU since August 2009. A political scientist specializing in Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg is the first FIU faculty member to ascend to the university’s presidency.

Under his leadership as president, FIU has increased enrollment to almost 54,000 students, improved graduation rates by nearly 10% and hired over 500 new faculty. As President, Dr. Rosenberg has provided leadership to grow the institution’s budget, improve student graduation and retention rates, expand internships for enrolled students, and coordinate FIU’s emergence as a leading producer of graduates in priority national and state areas focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The university has been named as a Carnegie Engaged institution, and has developed path-breaking partnerships with the Miami Dade County Public Schools, JP Morgan Chase, Florida Power & Light and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Research expenditures have grown by nearly 30% to nearly $125 million, and over sixty new student advisers and counselors have been hired for a restructured and expanded student graduation initiative.

From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Rosenberg served as the Founding Chancellor for the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida, which includes all of Florida’s public universities – over 325,000 students and an all-accounts budget of nearly $9 billion. As chancellor, Dr. Rosenberg led the system’s strategic development and financial planning and policy initiatives, working closely with Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Charlie Crist and the state legislature to secure support for SUS priorities. During this era, major new strides were made in research support for the system, over $1 billion was provided for new facility construction, and a new SUS strategic plan was developed and approved.

Prior to becoming chancellor, Dr. Rosenberg was integrally involved in the expansion and development of FIU into a major public research university. As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1998 to 2005, Dr. Rosenberg spearheaded the establishment of a law school in 2002 and a medical school in 2006. Under his leadership, FIU increased enrollment, implemented major campus construction projects, and was invited to join the select national honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Rosenberg was also instrumental in moving FIU into the top tier of Carnegie Foundation research universities.

Dr. Rosenberg’s academic career began at FIU in 1976 as an assistant professor of political science. In 1979, he founded the FIU Latin American and Caribbean Center, which today is one of the nation’s premier federally-supported research and teaching centers focusing on the region. Dr. Rosenberg subsequently served as the Founding Dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Vice Provost for International Studies. He has also been a Visiting Distinguished Research Professor at The Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a Visiting Professor at the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico.

Dr. Rosenberg earned a B.A. in 1971 from Miami University of Ohio and a Ph.D. in Political Science with a graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976. He has written or co-edited seven books and numerous scholarly articles in leading journals. His latest book, The United States and Central America: Geopolitical Realities and Regional Fragility (2007), is a Harvard University project co-authored with Luis Guillermo Solis of Costa Rica. Governmental and media organizations have frequently sought Dr. Rosenberg’s expertise on Latin America. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has testified before Congress numerous times, and has served as a consultant to the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Firmly committed to national and community service, Dr. Rosenberg is an appointee to the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) study commission focusing on Barriers and Opportunities in Completing Two- and Four-Year STEM Degrees; is Co-Chair of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) STEM Task Force; sits on the board for National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME); and serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) where he is Co-Chair of the Student Performance Strand.

Within the community, Dr. Rosenberg is the Chair-Elect of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC), one of Florida’s leading business associations. He also chairs the Academic Leaders Council (ALC) for the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development organization. Dr. Rosenberg has been active in a variety of other civic organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Miami and United Way.

Dr. Rosenberg is a first-generation college graduate whose two children, Ben and Ginelle, are graduates of FIU. He and his wife of over 40 years, Rosalie, are members of Temple Menorah in Miami Beach.

Brian Schriner  –  Dean of FIU | College of Architecture + The Arts

Brian Schriner has over 25 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. In 2011 he was appointed Dean of the College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida.

Brian’s strategic vision, outlined in CARTA 2020, affirms his belief that the challenges we face in the 21st century (educational, economic, political, social, health, and environmental) require innovative, trans-disciplinary solutions and can best be addressed by removing artificial barriers separating academic disciplines. Given FIU’s majority-minority student population and Miami’s growing “creative class,” Brian believes FIU and the College of Architecture + The Arts are uniquely situated to lead the national conversation in higher education, especially in the successful integration of arts and design education into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

In 4 years, Brian has strategically grown CARTA from 1,200 students to more than 2,700 students and from 70 full-time faculty members to over 100 full-time faculty members. He has also raised over $10M in philanthropy and auxiliary revenues to support the College’s mission and he has more than doubled the College’s annual revenues. Under Brian’s leadership – along with the students’ entrepreneurial and innovative spirit and the faculty members’ enthusiasm and expertise – the College’s academic programs have ascended to national prominence behind a united mission to deploy the power of architecture + the arts to create, innovate, and inspire solutions to local challenges with national and global impacts.

In support of that engaged mission, Brian expanded the College to Miami Beach by launching CARTA | Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) in the iconic 420 Building on Lincoln Road. MBUS is now home to CARTA’s Innovation Lab and to over 100 students in design, visual arts, and the performing arts. At MBUS the faculty and students work collaboratively with members of the community, using Miami Beach as their “living laboratory” to address real-world challenges, such as sea level rise and the successful entry into the knowledge-based creative economy.

This past year Brian signed an MOU with the Bauhaus-Dessau, establishing FIU as the Bauhaus’ first and exclusive academic partner in the United States. CARTA will soon open the FIU-Bauhaus Miami, a contemporary arts and design think-tank, that will transcend traditional disciplines and be an international leader in critical thinking in the contemporary discourse in art, design, and architecture. The agreement is a testimony to Brian’s trans-disciplinary educational philosophy and his commitment to establish CARTA as the nation’s preeminent College of Architecture + The Arts.

In addition to his work as Dean, Brian is an accomplished speaker and author, having published five books and numerous scholarly articles. He is also a past recipient of FIU’s prestigious Teaching Incentive Award, has been named Instructor of the Year, and has twice been named to FIU’s College of Business Administration’s Circle of Excellence For Teaching.

Richard Florida  –  Director, Martin Prosperity Institute, University of Toronto, Clinical Research Professor, New York University, Co-Founder and Editor-At-Large, The Atlantic City Lab

The Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of theCreative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide, Richard Florida is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The Economist. Esquire has included him on its annual list of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Fast Company dubbed him an “intellectual rock star.” MIT Technology Review recently named him one of the world’s most influential thinkers. GDI also named him one of the world’s global thought leaders of 2013 and the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) recently named him 100 of the most followed scientists. He is also a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Creative Economy, World Economic Forum.

Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class (“one of the best business books of all time”—800-CEO-READ), and is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as Editor-at-Large for Atlantic Cities, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs. Florida appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts and is a regular contributor to the op ed pages of major newspapers and magazines. TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world.

Florida previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University

To find out more about Richard as a speaker, email

John Stuart – Professor and Associate Dean, FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

John is a registered architect and principal of John Stuart Architecture with research interests focused on architectural design, its contexts, and its impact. He is currently a 2007-08 New York Prize Fellow at the Van Alen Institute. During his residency at the institute he will develop “TimeZone,” a built project intended to empower communication between diverse people in public spaces in an effort to address global poverty and the “digital divide.”

In addition to his design work, Stuart has written Paul Scheerbart, The Gray Cloth, Paul Scheerbart’s Novel on Glass Architecture (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2001); Ely Jacques Kahn, Architect: Beaux-Arts to Modernism in New York (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006) with Jewel Stern, and edited The Journal of Architectural Education: Gender and Architecture (ACSA, 2002). His most recent book, The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy and Community Building, 1933–1940 (Gainesville: The University Press of Florida, 2008) was co-edited with political scientist and FIU professor John Stack.

Professor Stuart’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study of the Fine Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Science Foundation, and a Wolfsonian Research Fellowship. He won the 2004 Miami American Institute of Architects Award for Design Excellence for his project “Time Zone,” the chapter’s highest award.

His designs are part of the permanent collection of the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. In 2003 he was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and has served as a guest critic on design reviews at Cornell, Harvard, Yale, RISD, University of Michigan, University of Florida, University of Miami, and FAU, among others.

Stuart has undergraduate degrees in classics and applied mathematics from Brown University, a graduate degree in classical archaeology from Princeton University, and completed his professional architecture degree at Columbia University.

He currently serves as chair of the FIU Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Building and the Environment and is a member of the FIU President’s Climate Commitment Task Force.

Rana Florida, CEO Creative Class Group and contributor for The Huffington Post and Fast Company

As Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Class Group, Rana Florida manages new business development, marketing, consulting, research and global operations serving such diverse clients as BMW, Converse, IBM, Cirque du Soleil, Audi, Zappos, and Johnson & Johnson – to name just a few. She brings to this leadership role more than two decades of experience in corporate strategy, communications, and marketing, having directed global strategic communications for HMSHost, the world’s largest airport developer, as well as having executed marketing initiatives for such premier brands as Disney and Starbucks and events experience working with The Atlantic, The Aspen Institute and The Knight Foundation.

Well known as a writer on business and leadership – for Fast Company, and the Huffington Post – Rana has also served as a guest business analyst on The Today Show. and MSNBC’s, The Cycle, has been a Fox News contributor for several years, and has been featured in the Business section of The New York Times and in interviews for The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, CNN, The Globe and Mail and other major media outlets.

Her one-on-one high profile interviews have covered notables – from President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama to tennis great Andre Agassi and NBA owner (and TV star) Mark Cuban, from chefs Jeans-George Vongerichten and  Mario Batali to singer Nelly Furtado and fashion designer Tory Burch, from the United Nations Director of Girl Up to world renowned architects Peter Marino andZaha Hadid – and many more.

The thought-provoking chronicler of Creative Spaces for HGTV and the Huffington Post, highlighting public and private spaces that epitomize creativity, innovation, and design, Rana is particularly interested in the public-private intersection, and today serves as Director of the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative, a collaboration demonstrating how creativity, culture, and design can drive a regional economy.

She is also involved in philanthropic work.  A former board member for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a co-chair for the Design-Exchange, and ambassador for Girls E Mentoring, she lent her expertise to the Boards of the Airports Council International in Washington, D.C., the Council for International Visitors, the The Founders Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and theIsabella Blow Foundation Committee, which supports aspiring art and fashion students.  As CEO of the Creative Class Group, she worked with UN Habitat, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). She is currently an advisory board member for the online retailer  She also serves as juror for the Marketing Magazine Awards in Design.

Rana holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a MBA in marketing and management.

Her book, Upgrade, Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary (McGraw Hill, 2013) was a ‘Business Best Seller’.


Contact Us

Media Inquiries: contact Steven Pedigo at 617-785-0807 or
Sponsorship Opportunities: contact Rana Florida at

For all other inquires, please email