On April 12, VisionArc participated in a panel discussion organized by the AIANYC New Practices Committee. The event, entitled Re:Think, Design Thinking Outputs was held at the Center for Architecture and brought together individuals from various design Think-Tank groups to reflect on the following statement:
“Over the past two decades the prevalence of the design practice as ‘Think-Tank’ has become an increasingly common model. Whether this approach is born out of survivalism amid economic crisis or it is a more intentional shift on the part of designers to generate agency in the world as ‘thinkers’ not just ‘makers’, it is clear that the current generation of design practices face an imperative to organize in ways that allow them to address broader issues through a range of outlets including media, technology, visual art, journalism, branding, and politics. For disciplines like architecture, what appears to be at stake is the need to cultivate a more pro-active engagement beyond the immediate boundaries of the profession in order to drive decision making and maintain relevance. If it is true that the traditional practice of building is simply ‘too slow’ to keep up with the pace of change in private enterprise, then how has the design Think-Tank model increased the agility of designers in the marketplace? What are the direct results and residual effects of these strategies? How are design thinking and research methodologies evolving?”
For our part, VisionArc discussed our involvement in a 2011 energy monitoring and conservation initiative that was launched in the immediate aftermate of the March 11th tsunami and earthquake in Japan. This was discussed along with our ongoing work studying the design of urban resources and strategies for risk response in cities ranging from New York to Helsinki to Tokyo.
The roundtable discussion was guided by moderator and partner of Leong Leong Architecture, Christopher Leong. Other panelists included Troy Therrien, Partner at Th-ey and Curator at Experiments in Motion, Columbia University, New York; Adam Greenfield, Founder of Urbanscale; Ken Farmer, DoTank Brooklyn; Georgeen Theodore, Partner at Interboro Partners; and David Benjamin, Principal at The Living.
A video of the discussion can be seen here.