Throughout the course of a yearlong collaboration between Altimeter Design Group and the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UN DPPA) Innovation Cell, we enjoyed thought-provoking conversations ranging from pandemic resilience to workplace hierarchy to creative peacemaking. A product of those rich discussions, What is the Shape of Innovation? is a facilitated workshop that pairs uniquely designed objects with language commonly encountered at the UN and asks participants to consider complex concepts—like diplomacy, trust, and security—from a fresh perspective.

To establish a foundation for the workshop, we invited artists and designers to work across various media and create one-of-a-kind objects inspired by word pairings—qualitative attributes paired with the vernacular of the Innovation Cell. What is the texture of resilience, the weight of dialogue, the movement of diplomacy?

*Workshop design thanks to Emily Rothschild, Kate Dannessa, Maria Alexia Platia, Rives Matson