Who We Are

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Creative States is an arts platform that fosters possibility seekers motivated to chart our way forward from a place of what could be rather than what is. Propelled by the belief that bold change emerges from the creative field, we celebrate artists, designers and architects whose speculative projects aim to generate transformative ideas and new approaches. Through our annual Future Field Prize and programming, we seek to catalyze new dialogues on futures that are generative, enlivening and nourishing.

Creative States highlights imaginative visions that are legible, inviting, intriguing or spectacular as a way to engage people from all backgrounds in collectively defining our future. By collaborating with professionals from diverse fields, we believe that creative practitioners can use the language of the arts to bring new voice to possibilities that move us, inspire us, and make us all feel qualified to explore the very issues we need to address.

"I went from being an artist who makes things to being one who makes things happen."
- Jeremy Deller


About the Founders

Maren Maier

Maren is a design strategist, curator and consultant who works to catalyze bold new creativity across public life. She is inspired by creative encounters that encourage us to probe societal questions in new ways and re-imagine a world where we live together with greater beauty and dignity. In her consulting work, she helps organizations such as The Democracy Collaborative, The Aspen Institute, Autodesk Foundation and ABC Home design and disseminate innovations for thriving futures.

Maren holds a BA with honors in Anthropology and a concentration in Art History from Columbia University, as well as a MPS in Design Management from Pratt Institute. She is currently Human Insight Lead at CoCreative Consulting and serves on the faculty in the Graduate Program of Pratt Institute School of Art. Maren lives in Washington, DC where she enjoys chasing the wind on her bike along the Potomac.

Kimberlie Birks

Kimberlie works as a writer, speaker, curator and consultant across the fields of art, architecture and design. She relishes diving into creative worlds of all kinds and is most energized by work that both engages us with the profound beauty of the world and moves us to seek to enhance it. Her writing can be found in publications such as Domus, Dwell, Azure, Metropolis and Architect’s Newspaper.

Kimberlie holds a BA with honors in the History of Art from Brown University, an MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, and a certificate in art curation from the Sotheby’s Institute. She has gathered diverse field experience consulting with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The New York Times, Frog Design, the Walker Art Center, and as program coordinator for Deepak HomeBase, a conversational platform for renowned author and physician Deepak Chopra. She lives in New York City, will pony up at any street cart selling roasted chestnuts, and dreams of one day having a studio office spacious enough for a rope swing.