By Mario R. Mercado
March 24, 2014

Complaints and their potential to effect change for the better is at the heart of Power of Design 2014, an exhibition and series of talks and panel discussions hosted by the Wolfsonian-Florida International University last weekend in Miami Beach.

Topics ranged from the issues affecting contemporary city life and the solutions promised by enlightened urban planning to the overall effects of the digital age on our lives as well as our minds. Unequivocally for the better? Hmm. In the exhibition “Bummer,” Todd Oldham looks at design that held promise, but didn’t quite deliver.

And air travel, the experience which engenders a mother lode of complaints was addressed by a panel, moderated by author and cultural historian Alastair Gordon, that included Mark Hatfield of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Kevin Doesksen, managing director of customer planning and analysis for American Airlines, Dickie Davis, head of customer service for Miami International Airport, and Nancy Novogrod, editor of Travel + Leisure. Collectively, they have doubtless heard it all, and then some.

Stay tuned for the solutions. (Videos of panel discussion are available on the Power of Design website are available in April).

Mario R. Mercado is arts editor at Travel + Leisure.