Photo by David Andrews.

The Innovation Studio is a partnership between UMD’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AIE) and NOI+F to provide space for design thinkers and musicians to work together to push the margins of what the symphony might become. Each year at NOI+F, the Innovation Studio is a place where NOI+F fellows can develop and test drive new ideas about the classical music experience from the lobby to the stage and beyond.


The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AIE) engages UMD students, faculty, and staff in design and innovation to build their capacities as change makers and creative problem solvers in their field. AIE has partnered with NOI+F since 2017 to provide space for design thinkers and musicians to work together to push the margins of what the symphony might become. Over the years, The Innovation Studio at NOI+F has produced numerous multidisciplinary performance experiments, such as making chamber music feel like a Destiny’s Child Concert, engaging in storytelling through projection and lighting design, and providing meditation space with music by J.S. Bach performed on violin and viola.




Innovation Instigator & Learning Experience Catalyst

Mira is paid to provoke faculty, students and staff into becoming creative problem-solvers. She loves teaching folxs at UMD how to build at low resolution, collaborate radically, let go of being experts and lean on others, and most of all, talk to each other in meaningful ways. In addition to teaching, she designs artifacts to communicate concepts and tools; partners with groups across campus to design new classes, curriculum, and workshops; and prototypes new ways to weave innovation into the cultural thread of the institutions she works in.

Before joining AIE, she was a president of AIGA DC and a President’s Council Chair for AIGA, earned a M.A. in Social Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and served as a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Social Design Fellow. She taught emerging business leaders in the combined MA/MBA in Design Leadership program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for several years, and traveled the world as a Design Coach for the World Bank in an initiative aimed at creating climate innovation centers for local, “green” entrepreneurs using human-centered design methods.

In her non-work hours, Mira knits, sews, plays Zelda, raises butterflies in her garden, drinks bubble tea, and hangs out with her partner and two unhinged rescue dogs, Penny and Wally.



Learning Experience Catalyst

Christina is a maker, explorer, and connector. She spends her days working with students and professionals to build their creative confidence and equip them with design tools for approaching big problems in new ways. She's most excited by bringing together interdisciplinary collaborators and helping them uncover ways to make their work more human-centered. When she isn't teaching or developing curriculum, she can be found facilitating workshops or partnering with groups from the University of Maryland and the public sector to create unique, experiential learning opportunities.

Christina is particularly interested in institutional and structural barriers to innovation and creativity and the ways that human-centered design has the potential to help create more responsive public policy. In her free time she travels as much as possible and is almost always knitting, sewing, reading, or working on a word puzzle.