Inspired by Eames: A Conversation with Bay Area Innovators

Saturday, January 26, 2019, 2–3:30 pm
Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 2:00pm

Through their furniture, films, photographs, and innovations, Charles and Ray Eames influenced the world of design and inspired future generations of creative thinkers. Join us for a special panel discussion examining how their legacy has influenced Bay Area-based artists, designers, dancers, and innovators, moderated by Helen Maria Nugent, Dean of Design at California College of the Arts. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in a thoughtful conversation with some of the Bay Area’s most inspiring innovators in the creative community. Learn what inspires them, how they prototype ideas, and their visions for the future of their work. Get a sneak peek on OMCA’s YouTube page with a special series of interviews.

Advance tickets recommended due to limited space. Members are encouraged to purchase their free tickets online in advance. Program ticket includes gallery admission.

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Kristin Damrow
Since 2010, Kristin Damrow & Company (KDC) has showcased 15 original dance performances across the Bay Area, intertwining the worlds of dance and design. In January 2018, KDC premiered EAMES, based on the lives of Charles and Ray Eames. The company’s next dance, Impact, explores Brutalism in architecture and will premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts January 2019. Artistic Director Kristin Damrow grew up on a rural farm in Wisconsin before studying in Chicago where she earned a B.A. in Dance from Columbia College. Since moving to San Francisco in 2010, she has been commissioned by SAFE House Arts’ Summer Performance Festival and the DIRT Festival in San Francisco. She is also a resident artist at Iowa State University, and has taught master classes in dance at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia College Chicago, Gibney Dance, and the University of San Francisco.




Liz Ogbu
A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on social and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. From designing shelters for immigrant day laborers in the U.S. to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans, Liz has a long history of working with/in communities in need to leverage the power of design to catalyze deep social impact. She is founder and principal of Studio O, a multidisciplinary design and innovation firm that works at the intersection of racial and spatial justice.

Her projects have been featured in museum exhibitions and profiled in publications globally. Her honors include IDEO.org Global Fellow, TEDWomen Speaker, and one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100. She earned architecture degrees from Wellesley College and Harvard University.



Bryn Imagire
Bryn Imagire joined Pixar Animation Studios in June 1996 as a digital painter on “A Bug’s Life”. She worked in the art department as a designer on “Monsters Inc.” and “Cars 2”. She then went on to work as Shading Art Director on “Toy Story 2”,  “The Good Dinosaur”, and the Academy Award-winning features “The Incredibles”, “Up” and “Coco”.  Imagire finished working on Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2”, as Shading Art Director and Costume Designer, and is currently working with Pete Docter on Pixar’s 2020 summer feature.

After participating in drawing and painting classes as part of a high school summer program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Imagire decided at an early age that she wanted to pursue a creative career. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Imagire attended the American River College for two years and then the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in Illustration.  She currently resides in Oakland, California. 



Elger Oberwelz
As an Executive Design Director at IDEO Palo Alto, Elger Oberwelz leads by getting his hands dirty, working side-by-side with his group of world-class industrial designers.

Elger believes in elevating the human experience through the power of beauty and relentlessly pursuing craft excellence. Driven by this passion to leverage design to improve just about anything, his mission is to push all teams -- and clients -- to their creative edge.

For more than 15 years, Elger has created award-winning products and well-loved experiences across a diverse range of industries -- everything from cars to consumer electronics, toys, architectural lighting, furniture, and more. Thoughtful aesthetics, integrity, and intuitive usability underlie the heart of these designs. International clients include Volkswagen, Fender, Steelcase, Medtronic and Balanced Body.




Helen Maria Nugent
Professor Helen Maria Nugent is the Dean of Design at California College of the Arts.  She has over 25 years of leadership experience in progressive art and design education, and prior to joining CCA she was the founding Chair of the Designed Objects programs, and Director of the First Year Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).  From 2013-2016 Helen Maria was a Master teacher for the National Young Arts Foundation and helped the organization establish design-arts as an award category for the US Presidential Scholarships. 

She is also a partner in Haelo Design, a research-oriented studio that pursues speculative projects at the intersection of art and design. Some new drawings are currently on show at 68projects in Berlin through May 2019. She was born in Scotland and earned a BFA with honors in Environmental Art and a Master of Design from the Glasgow School of Art. 




The World of Charles and Ray Eames is curated and organized by Barbican, London, and produced in collaboration with the Eames Office.

The Oakland Museum of California presentation is made possible by




Paint for the exhibition is generously provided by Farrow & Ball.