July 28, 2023
4 Thinkers Inspiring Optimism in Design
How do we stimulate thriving new infrastructures of mind, body, community, and environment after dwelling in the fraught landscape of the past four years? At this pivotal moment of adaptation post-COVID, Metropolis hosted the second annual Design Optimism conference at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, on the unceded ancestral land of the Ramaytush Ohlone. Convening thinkers in the fields of neuroscience, development, material innovation, and equity, Metropolis editor in chief Avinash Rajagopal noted that Design Optimism explored “centering our design activity in our humanity.”
The conference opened with a keynote address by neuroscientist and author David Eagleman, followed by three workshops led by Blaine Brownell, director, David R. Ravin School of Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Peter Epping, senior managing director, global head of ESG, Hines; and Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, dean of design, Ontario College of Art and Design University. Recordings of all four sessions are available to stream on DesignTV. Responding to the day’s sessions—which ranged from cultivating creativity to decolonization—Rajagopal defined Design Optimism as building healthy communities that are in “virtuous, productive, kind, respectful relationship with each other.”
How Can Designers Spur Creativity?
David Eagleman, neuroscientist and host of the Emmy-nominated series The Brain, explains the value of trying new things.
How Do We Decolonize Design?
Author Dori Tunstall makes an inspiring call to imagine and remake the world to better reflect the cultures of all communities.
How Will ESG Shape the Future of Design?
The global head of ESG for Hines, one of the largest real estate managers in the world, describes one of the firm’s leading models for sustainable urban construction.
How Do Designed Environments Affect Health?
Educator and researcher Blaine Brownell addresses the intersection of disease, climate, and the built environment.
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