Extreme by Design: Following a New Generation of Innovators

Share this page:
  • linkedin
  • google

February 5th 2013, 7:00 pm — 8:30 pm

Location: Mercy Corps Action Center

What: Extreme by Design a documentary following three graduate students and their designs from idea to fruition. Followed by a Q&A with film producer and co-director, Ralph King, and graduate-student and Iraq War veteran, Seth Norman--one of the three students featured in the film. Sponsored by Design Forum/PDX. Free!

When: 7 pm, Tuesday, February 5.

Where: Mercy Corps Action Center, 28 SW 1st Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97204; 503-896-5747.

RSVP: Please let us know you're coming by emailing us here.

At a time of unprecedented global challenges, the under-30 “millennial” generation has every reason to be fatalistic and disengaged. Yet in fields ranging from public health to education, plenty of millennials are engaged. Call it the empathy revolution.

An hour-long documentary, Extreme By Design, brings this revolution vividly to life by capturing the experience of three Stanford University grad students as they design and build products to solve seemingly intractable problems for the world’s poor. One student’s team must create a breathing device to keep babies in Bangladesh from dying of pneumonia. Another seeks a way to store drinking water for Indonesian villagers. The students apply freewheeling design methods, tapping creativity they didn’t know they had before. Believing that they can and will make a difference, they open their hearts to the despair of poverty. Remarkably, almost magically, their products take shape, and work.

The narrative begins in January 2011—on the first day of a course called Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability—and ends eight months later with one group of students returning to Asia to test their device in the field amid plans to launch a business start-up.

Extreme will air on PBS in prime time nationally in 2013. Producer/Co-Director Ralph King came to filmmaking after being twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize at the Wall Street Journal. Executive Producer/Co-Director Michael Schwarz of Kikim Media has produced dozens of TV documentaries and won every major broadcast journalism award in his 30-year career. Director of Photography Vicente Franco has been nominated for three Oscars.

King is joined by one of the featured graduate students in the film, Seth Norman, in a post-film discussion.

Click here for more information.