The Art of Praxis

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Praxis \ˈprak-ˌsēz\ (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, translit. praxis) 1: the process by which a theory is enacted, embodied, or realized.

Paulo Freire once stated, “Liberation is a praxis : the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.”

Join Frank Mruk as he engages 3 Rhode Island designers (an Architect, Product Designer, and Graphic Designer) in an intimate discussion about their own specific art of praxis”.

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


Jan Fairbairn

For the past 20 years, Janet Fairbairn has worked as principal of Fairbairn & Company, a graphic design studio that produces a range of print publications, identities, branding and exhibition catalogues. Her work has been shown in numerous juried exhibitions including: AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, AIGA Design of Understanding 2, New York Is Book Country, The International Platform Association and Maine Coast Artists among others. Recent lectures and workshops include: Higher Education Press, Beijing, China; Fourth International Conference on Arts in Society, Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism, Venice, Italy; DesignInquiry, Pass•Port: Identity in the Information Age, Vinalhaven, Maine.

Being a teacher, designer and artist allows Fairbairn to move among many worlds. Her academic and design work contribute to the contemporary dialogue, while her art is mostly inspired by nature—eliciting and transforming memories of the past within contemporary compositions.

Christopher Daly

Christopher Daly became Director of Properties for the Newport Preservation Society in December 2017. A registered architect and expert in historic preservation, he came to the Preservation Society with years of experience working on non-profit, residential and commercial projects. Among his most notable projects were historic renovations at the Redwood Library & Athenaeum, Salve Regina University, the Stanford White Casino Theater at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Bristol-Warren Regional School District. Before that, he worked on many historically significant projects in New York City, including the restoration of the historic dining concourse at Grand Central Station, the restoration of Radio City Music Hall, and the restoration of many brownstones in the historic Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope neighborhoods. He also helped manage the restoration of the historic Kremlin in Kazan, Tatarstan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest Kremlins in Russia, dating back to 1554.

Christopher received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree with highest honors from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture, with a minor in construction management with an emphasis on historic preservation. He also attended the University of Copenhagen International Study Program in Architecture and Urban Design.

Dirk Kramers

Dirk Came to the US to pursue yacht design and engineering in 1974 after finishing studies in mechanical engineering in his native Netherlands and a brief stint at the Royal Huisman yard. He worked for Minneford Yacht Yard in NY, and Ted Hood’s organization in Marblehead, Ma. until 1980. During this time, he worked on many development and engineering projects from Aluminum boat building, to Mast design, development of sail handling systems such as furling systems, and during his tenure at Ted Hood’s was involved in his first America’s cup campaign in 1977.

In 1980 he moved to Rhode Island and started Hall Engineering in Bristol, and became its managing partner. During this time the engineering and design work expanded to the engineering of boat structures in Composites, Wood, and Aluminium. From Maxi Yachts to dinghies, as well as various industrial and architectural projects in During this time, he participated in 3 more America’s cup Campaigns: for the French in ’83, The catamaran defence with Team DC in 1988, and Bill Koch’s America3 campaign in 1992.

In 1994 he left Hall and started to focus more on General structures, and less on Mast design. Since this time SDK Structures, and DKi has been engineering a wide variety of structures. Primarily focused on Yachts, but also on Architectural and industrial projects. The yachting projects have included Maxi yachts, fast Powerboats, Rowing shells, Airplanes, TP52 racers, Multihulls and Foilers.

Since 1994, several more participations in America’s Cup design efforts took place: 1995: The America3 Women’s Team, 2000: Young America for the NYYC; 2003, 2007, and 2010: Chief engineer for the Swiss Alinghi team, 2013: Chief engineer for the Oracle team, and 2017: Head of engineering for the British BAR team.

Some of the current engineering and design projects for SDK, and DKi include: An all-electric foiling motor boat, A new foiling one design class for the Swiss lakes, and more racing and cruising, monohull, multihull and foiling boats.

Frank Mruk

Frank Mruk directs award winning architect Emre Arolat’s, New York Office. He has extensive experience in the application of next-generation competitive advantage design strategies for corporations, cities, and government. He is an frequent strategist and trusted advisor to Wall Street, Hollywood, government, education, and nonprofits. He has led strategy efforts at AIG and Morgan Stanley, and franchise design and identity efforts at the Cendant Corporation. Frank has the unique honor of being the only individual to be awarded a fellowship by both the American Institute of Architects and the Strategic Planning Society. Frank explores and exploits the intersection of design, strategy, and innovation. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, the NY School of Visual Arts, the Parsons School of Design, New York University, the Rhode Island Office of Innovation, and the New York Institute of Technology, where he also served as associate dean for the School of Architecture and Design. He has also been an invited lecturer at universities in England, Chile, Israel, UAE, China, India, and at events around the world including TEDGlobal (Oxford), City Move (Sweden), Sustainable Megacities (Beijing), Humanizing a Metropolis (Mumbai) and Luz 2.0 at the 2014 Burning Man festival in Nevada. He co-authored the “Association for Strategic Planning’s Strategic Planning and Strategic Management Body of Knowledge 2.0”, and the “Architecture of Strategic Innovation Workshops”. He has been interviewed/quoted by “The New York Times,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “Brooklyn Paper,” “New York Newsday,” “Bespoke” magazine, “Entrepreneur” magazine, Beacon Radio, CCTV (China), and National Public Radio. He is a graduate of Pratt Institute and Oxford University. He, his wife Diana, and their feral cat Mia reside in Tiverton, RI.