Designing Our Cities

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Join us for a breakfast panel at the Rhode Island State House Library exploring the role design plays in designing our cities, within healthcare, infrastructure, education, and city services.

These events are being recorded and photographed. By attending, you give your consent to be photographed, filmed, taped, and/or recorded.


Leslie Fontana

Rhode Island School of Design

Leslie Fontana received her BFA in 1982 from Carnegie Mellon University and her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from the University of the Arts. She also studied at the Domus Academy in Milan Italy. Through her consulting practice, Leslie designs for a variety of companies, offering product and system solutions. She has received awards from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, The Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Industrial Design Society of America, and the Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching from Rhode Island School of Design, where she is a Professor in the Industrial Design Department. Leslie’s current research is on aging and inclusive design solutions.

Lynde Lutzow

Student at Tufts University School of Medicine

​Lynde Lutzow is a formally trained industrial and interaction designer (Savannah College of Art & Design, BFA 2007) and current fourth year medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is interested is in the intersection of medicine, design, and human behavior. By leveraging her combined interests, she intends to pursue a career as a clinician-innovator who approaches the current state of healthcare delivery not as finite, but as a starting point for which new devices, services, and technologies can be created to ultimately improve the lives of patients and clinicians alike.

Ania Szemiot

City of Providence

Ania Szemiot is a graphic designer and illustrator currently working as the Creative Manager for the City of Providence. Originally starting out in a heavily illustrative field, she has moved into creating and enacting a cohesive branding strategy for the City. Ania worked on the redesign of Providence’s website, supporting the design, project management and conceptualization throughout the process. This has sparked her interest in exploring UX Design, Service Design and the pursuit of efficiency in government services. When she is not redesigning old government forms, Ania spends her time reading on mountains and collecting old books.

Stephanie Zurek

Union Studio Architecture & Community Design

Stephanie is a natural leader with a passion for making positive changes in her community. Her interest in sustainable urban design has driven her to explore challenges of urbanism across the globe. During her decade-long tenure with Union Studio, Stephanie has served as project manager on many of the firm’s most challenging architectural and urban design projects, ranging from the design of a LEED Gold neighborhood in Washington State to a new 24,000 sf library for the Town of Tiverton, Rhode Island.Stephanie is a passionate New Urbanist and served on the board of CNU New England from 2007-2015. Additionally, Stephanie served as the President of AIA Rhode Island from 2015-2016, and was a founding member of Providence’s Architecture for Humanity chapter. She has a volunteered for Big Sisters of Rhode Island, and has served as a board member of the Narragansett Boat Club, and on the Leadership Council of the Amos House. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. Stephanie is currently completing a Master’s Program in Sustainable Urban Development at Oxford University in England.

Ingrid Heilke

MC - Viridian Analytics

Ingrid Heilke is Founder and Consulting CFO at Viridian Analytics and a Profit First Professional. She blends her superpowers in finance, urban planning, and decision science to grow the profits of firms and professionals in the urban planning and design sector. Ingrid is also the host of The Private Side of Public Work podcast, where she uncovers the many-faceted relationship between the public and private sectors.