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April 26, 2020  |  permalink

reSITE Day at Dezeen’s Virtual Design Festival


For the last two years, I’ve had the privilege of curating Prague’s reSITE, one of the best cities- and design conferences around. I’m pleased that five talks and discussions from last year’s edition — reSITE REGENERATE — will air April 27th as a full day of programming during reSITE Day at Dezeen’s Virtual Design Festival.

In the new reality shaped and defined by the coronavirus pandemic, there is renewed urgency to rethink our urban environments and public spaces. reSITE will present the thoughts and work of five sets of guests who met in Prague last fall to share their thoughts on both the rebirth of cities and the generations of people living within. I’m gratified that rather than feeling as if they belonged to the “before,” they are more relevant than ever with cities’ in the pandemic’s grip. Here’s the lineup (all times EDT).

6 AM: Ravi Naidoo on Creating a Better World Through Creativity
In his opening keynote, Ravi Naidoo, founder of Design Indaba, speaks to, and questions the noble purposes of design. He believes that design is an ultimate toolkit to reimagine the 21st century, capable of enhancing democracy, elevating cultural identity, improving the quality of life and being of service to people. Hear how the South African think-tank, do-tank brings about the idea of a better world through creativity by finding uncanny solutions to foster affordable housing, safer cities, and environmental, social and economic change.

8 AM: Marianthi Tatari on Building Human-Centered Smart-Cities
UNStudio’s Marianthi Tatari (above, right) believes technology still can be an ally in humanity’s struggle against the most pressing issues of today. Her talk at reSITE REGENERATE features the projects of smart neighborhoods in which technology plays a key role across all scales in order to create a living environment that is continuously adapting to the needs of its dwellers.

10 AM: Chris Precht on Reconnecting Architecture and Agriculture
Chris Precht believes architecture has always been driven by fictional stories that subsequently have had a detrimental effect on the natural environment. His own projects seek to synthesize the two biggest polluting industries—architecture and agriculture—in order to create a type of sustainable building that would bring the sense of nature back to our cities. He imagines a world where cities are designed to give back space to nature and reconnect our lives back to our sources of vitality.

12 PM: Bianca Wylie on the Power of the Collective
When corporations are beginning to sound a lot like governments, it is a critical time to rebuild, empower and trust our institutions in order to keep the roles straight. Bianca Wylie, “the Jane Jacobs of smart cities,” (above, left) has made waves in the urban design world for speaking out against digital surveillance in public space. She cast a spotlight on the implications of data mining by private companies and the commoditization of the data gathered from citizens in public spaces. According to Bianca, it is specifically city institutions that should be the bulwarks of democratic resistance to hegemonies of both national governments and big corporations.

2 PM: East Meets West with Beatrice Leanza, Jee Liu, Jamie Wallace + Yoko Choy
reSITE invited Yoko Choy, (below left on the screen) the editor of Wallpaper* China, to discuss recent regenerative developments with London-based studio WallaceLiu and curator Beatrice Leanza (below right on the screen). They cover the differences between working in western countries and China and the challenges it brings. How should we build and design for the next generation? And what values are being changed in the process of regeneration? Drawing on the simple premise of our times - that it is not economic to keep on building - this discussion brings together a myriad of perspectives from architects, a curator and a journalist who work on both sides of the world.


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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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