All these issues create a great base for discussion. Prof. Rodrigo Buelvas and QUAD studio invited a number of panelists from all over the world to attend this discussion:
Prof. Rodrigo Buelvas – SCAD from Columbia is a multidisciplinary designer, creative thinker, and educator. With more than 10 years of industry experience adding educator to his profile. Buelvas is passionate about improving the students’ learning experience, collaborating with stakeholders to enhance academic programs and working with industry professionals for interdisciplinary studies, experimental practice, and community partnership
We organized this event to invite different designer from different design traits to spark different avenues in thinking. As a result, we managed to open up many different topics for discussion so many that its too much to summarize, but I managed to capture a few highlights for the design talk;
The Exploding City
Due to employment opportunity, quality of housing and cost of living, more and more people moving into cities. Today over 50% of the world’s population are living in cities that is over 3.5 Billion people to a point where the city does not function properly anymore. At rush hour, we are spending more and more time travelling to work than we use to. Most cities are hitting maximum capacity so what can we do? I think is it time to rethink how the city functions.
Cities are formed by their infrastructure and automobiles form most of our modern cities in the world. Today there is too much traffic on our streets, a reason what it takes us so long to get to work. To change our cities, we have to go back to the fundamentals.
A mixed used city
By combining areas for work, live and play, we can create a more efficient lifestyle. By reducing travelling time to each activity so that you have more time to do what you want to do. Especially in dense cities like Hong Kong and Shenzhen more and more development are mixed used as people truly see its benefits. Office connected to public plazas, retail infused with entertainment and fully connected to your residential apartments.
Multilevel public realm
With the city getting denser, it is imperative to create more outdoor space so that the city can breathe again. David Buffonge explained about Lead8 Harbourloop concept;
infrastructure system to channel all waste to a centralized waste treatment plant where waste can be recycled or gasified. The energy created by this gasification process can be used to power our city. Research has proven that gasification can be used successfully for district cooling.
The consumer and the products
In a large metropolis, people have a hunger for entertainment and an interesting topic for discussion is how shopping and entertainment has changed in the past decade. With the emergence of online shopping, malls around the world are evolving to be more than “just a shop”. 5 years ago, there was no such thing as an experiential designer.
Today brands are moving more and more into experiential designs for their products. So much so that the individual can live the brand by enticing not just all that is visual, but to target what you like and immerse you into the brand by enticing all your 5 senses. The result is the individual will have an unforgettable memory of the brand in their everyday lives.
Shopping malls are now becoming more like experiential epicenters where shops are connected to these experiential nodes focus on a certain individual and what they enjoy.
Remember to be human
An interesting topic brought up by Anil Mistry was the idea of not getting caught up with technology and humans are fundamentally social animals. With the evolution of technology and the internet of all thing, remember that we need to stay human and socially interact with each other rather than being consumed into the digital realm of social media. You have to understand that technology is a tool used as a helping aid. It should not control who you are and what you do. Rob Garrett mentioned how people are so encapsulated by a moment to share with you friends in social media that you forgot to experience this moment yourself and we all do it!
During the hour-long Q&A session, there were a couple of questions that were noteworthy;
Caring for the aging population.
People are living longer and with the increase in the ageing population, how does society cater for them? Most of these people will move into homes where they get taken care of by nurses. It seems a bad way to end our lives. Frankly speaking, our children will grow up having their own lives and living together creates unnecessary friction, but is there any alternative?
There was a lot more that was discussed that evening like automated construction and augmented reality, but I leave all discussions open for future discussion on this topic. The evening ended with a short tour of SCAD HK and a drink at Admiralty.
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