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DesignCurrency InspirationApril

Design Currency – Sustainable Cities Panel and Oscar Pena

Design Currency – Sustainable Cities Panel

Some of my notes and my thinking in italics…

Cameron Sinclair (Architecture for Humanity)

  • More of our species live in cities than outside; 19 cities will have 20M people in the 21st century.
  • 4B people emerging middle class.
  • When they have a few extra cents: education, health care and improve living standards.
  • 1 in 7 live in formal slums/refugee camps; in 30 years that will be 1 in 3.
  • “Design is the ultimate renewable resource”.
  • Need to go to the decision makers (e.g. World Economic Forum).
  • Have to educate the decision makers at the top as well as when they’re grown (love this dual pronged approach; need to get this humanistic thinking in leadership programs as well as C-suite sessions).

Peter Busby (architect)

  • White paper with 10 ideas for Vancouver.
  • By 2030 a tonne of carbon will cost six times what it does now.
  • Vancouver is currently 6 tonnes CO2 per person/year.
  • Looking at moving from sustainable buildings to whole systems (think at the community scale; district energy systems).
  • Ways for buildings to feed off of the bad building beside it.
  • Doing the new Van Dusen building.

Bruce Haden (architect)

  • Vancouver is a little high on ourselves.
  • Humanity has not demonstrated the DNA to solve social change challenges.
  • Vancouver lost many aspects of the visceral necessary for the long term.

Suggestions sparked from colleagues in conversation after this panel:

Let My People Go Surfing

TEDx Vancouver – District 9


Oscar Pena – Philips Design (Senior Creative Director for Lighting)

  • Oversees design initiatives; what is technologically possible with what is humanly preferable.
  • How design shapes us (project ambient experience – MRI and kids; 25% need to be sedated).
  • Importance of the translator (translator is one who really listens) (and I’d add one who asks great questions and then listens).
  • Translators connect people with objects, ideas with business.
  • Great translators shape change, often with small steps.
  • Non-linear approach to innovation (three horizons approach: create viable options, build emerging business, extend and defend core business).
  • Light pole that harnesses solar energy by day. (This was very cool. Check out the screen picture.)
  • 1.6B people unable to connect to regular electrical supply.
  • Experience cycle/possible touchpoints (done with pictures; shows happy/sad face).
  • Designers have these kinds of tools – can’t hide them!
  • More about the thinking; less the doing (still understand the doing).
  • How can measurements connect us to the resources we use? We’ve lost connect with our size and what we consume.

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