14th Iterati by Mobot
“ Spinning through the City: The Role of Play in Community Building “
December 5th, 2012
The modern hoop dance movement has blossomed from humble beginnings into an expansive movement, interconnecting communities around the world as a creative dance form, playful object manipulation art, moving meditation, and a community building magnet. What lessons are there for planners within the hoop movement? What is it about these simple plastics circles that catch people’s attention in a bustling city? How are hoopers animating public space in a way that encourages more play, connection, and love in the, often cold, metropolis?
Mobot is an urban planner and policy-wonk by day; circus kitten and hula hoop addict by night. Hoops have become a true extension of her being and have completely transformed how she moves through city spaces and interacts with people she encounters along the way. Mo sees circus and planning as tightly linked and is always looking for fun, new ways to animate public spaces and connect with other urbanites through art and movement. She loves that hooping never ceases to offer countless challenges to her coordination and creative process while, at the same time, providing a meditative space to relax and focus on feeling healthy, strong and beautiful. Through her hoop practice she has been challenged, humbled, and inspired and is continually grateful for the fact that those lessons, while fluid and dynamic, are always there in some form to push her forward.
Mo holds a BComm from the University of Alberta and a MScPlanning from the University of Toronto. She is a practicing transportation planner, a movement facilitator, and founding director of In Flow Festival, Canada’s first immersive hula hoop retreat. She sits on the Board of the Steps Initiative, which supports and promotes public ARTivisim across Canada and is a Director of Cycle Toronto, a member-supported advocacy organization focused on creating safe, complete streets for all. In her free time she lends a hand on the Programming Committee of TEDxToronto.
13th Iterati by Colleen Lashuk and Samir Admo
“Imaginons Saint-Marc: Reinventing a church for the people, by the people “
Imaginons Saint-Marc is a co-design process initiated by two community organisations looking to take their next steps on the site of Saint-Marc church in Rosemont. The organisations envision an inclusive, inspiring and sustainable citizen’s centre with deep roots in the living lab approach. The process of developing the site begins with a co-design ‘residency’, three intensive weeks of participatory activities: ideas - prototyping – consolidation: project proposal. More information about this project at: imaginonsstmarc.org
Colleen Lashuk: Architect, participatory designer, applied anthropologist, fan of the practical and the imaginary, Colleen believes firmly that everyone has a right to beauty in their everyday lives. She has worked in community housing and infrastructure for twelve years, from concept design using participatory methods to construction drawing and site supervision, always convinced that good design is a question of ideas not budget. Colleen has worked with diverse communities from indigenous squatters in Mexico City to the deaf community in Montreal. She is currently part of the Imaginons Saint-Marc multidisciplinary team charged with reinventing a church site using co-design.
Samir Admo: Samir est urbaniste et spécialiste en mise en valeur du patrimoine bâti religieux par sa requalification à des fins communautaires, le tout en recourant aux design et développement participatifs. Samir has organised and animated citizen charrettes and actively pushes innovative approaches to citizen-based neighbourhood development. Samir has worked for many years in the development of community housing and has a deep appreciation of the practical side of urban planning and project financing.
Twelfth Iterati by Ana Brandusescu
“Crowdmap: Avoiding the Dead Ushahidi graveyard!”
Ana is using Crowdmap to conduct applied field research in Lachine, Montreal, with the active collaboration of community partners via Espaces Lachine. An MA student in the Department of Geography at McGill University, she also has degrees in economics and liberal arts. Ana has plunged deep into geekness, having researched and developed geovisualization tools for trauma low-resource settings (Cape Town, SA) within the web 2.0/geoweb context. In her spare time, she enjoys mapping parties, playing with mobile phone apps and open-source technology that supports dialogue among community members about neighbourhood spaces. The University Spaces (Crowdmap) website was created for a graduate course research project on location-based services and more specifically, mobile phones.
Crowdmap’s technical set-up and management is simpler than that of Ushahidi. However, implementing it still requires consideration of the following: cause, consistency, flexibility and adaptability, cost, and uncertainty. In addition, how will participant anonymity and report content be managed? How can you avoid your Crowdmap ending up on the Dead Ushahidi graveyard?
In 2008, the Ushahidi platform was utilized to collect citizen reports on the post-election violence incidents in Kenya. Ever since, it has become the ubiquitous platform for crisis mapping. It provided a simple and effective method of aggregating reports on an interactive map via mobile phones (SMS), emails, Tweets and/or website reports. Ushahidi has since been applied to other critical events, and natural disasters (for example, the Haiti earthquake). Because of its popularity, Ushahidi created Crowdmap, a cloud-based server version of the platform, free of coding skills and web-server knowledge for less tech savvy administrators. Beyond the accessibility of technology, Crowdmap still requires consideration of the following: cause, consistency, flexibility and adaptability, cost, and uncertainty. How will participant anonymity and report content be managed? How can you avoid your Crowdmap ending up on the Dead Ushahidi graveyard?
Eleventh Iterati by Mitch Green
“How Social Networks Shape Our Economic Lives”
When we see the term social network we often think of communication platforms such as facebook or twitter. But, when we consider social networks in a broader context – one in which each facet of the social world is woven together in an institutional fabric – their significance transcends these websites. As a socially embedded system the economy is also constituted of networks. Of particular interest to me is the idea that markets exist as networks – i.e. tied together through inter-industry transactions, supplier – purchaser relations, creditor – debtor relations, and extensive distribution networks. Even more intriguing is the extent to which corporations are themselves linked together in networks of interlocking boards of directors. Examining the boards of directors of the largest US corporations reveals extensive interconnectedness among enterprises both within and across markets. This suggests that our conception of the economy as a highly competitive market system may be misplaced. Rather, the degree of mutual interest implied by the level of interconnectedness between seemingly rival firms requires a paradigm in which we view economic activity as a coordinated, semi-cooperative process. In this sense, the “invisible hand” of the market gives way to the “visible hand” of the modern multi-national corporation; a social actor that engages in long-term planning, operating in an environment in which other corporations are planning. Thus, the economy is essentially centrally planned, albeit privately. If correct, this allows us to ask interesting questions about the nature of democracy in a modern market system.
Mitch Green (@MitchGreenNEP) is a Ph.D. student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He earned his B.S. in Economics from Portland State University in 2010. His research interests include: macroeconomics, institutional and post-Keynesian economics, and social network analysis. Mitch serves as an editor and contributor to an economics blog that weighs in on issues related to the debit and deficits, fraud in the financial sector, and the ongoing Euro crisis - neweconomicperspectives.org.
Tenth Iterati by Celinecelines
CelineCelines is a web-native designer, skilled in many aspects of design: human behavior, interaction design, information architecture, content strategy and visual design. She can make magic happen digitally (in all these web-related roles) and physically (as an event promoter/coordinator). She loves and supports Open culture, Open Web Standards, Creative Commons and the Open web.
Celine was born in Lebanon, grew up in Montreal, studied in Beirut and Paris, and specialized in Inter Media and Cyber Arts in Montreal. She worked in New York and has been involved in promoting Creative Commons in Lebanon and Montreal. Being part of many cultures and a mix-marriage of many languages, she is always an ambassador of story-telling every where she goes. Her artist name is celinecelines because she believes that all of us are many people living in one, and we can do many things, and have many different destinies. She loves people, and is very passionate about freedom and culture. Her goal is to facilitate and give the opportunity for people to cultivate their positive destinies and inspire social innovation and progressive change. Recently launched her fashion line mixing Open Data and Fashion under the brand slowfactory.com. Hence the topic of her talk:
Become your own client… if you want to learn your craft!
Ninth Iterati by Molly Johnson
Molly Johnson is a PhD student in Policy, Planning, and Design at the School of Urban Planning, McGill University. Her research looks at the state of contemporary neighbourhood planning and community development. She has worked for both non-profit community organizations and all levels of government and is committed to community engagement and education through community radio shows, film and lecture events, conference planning, and public art. The title of Molly’s talk is: Cake Ton Plan! a foray into pop-up urbanism.
“Cities around the world have embraced the idea of pop-up urban planning, experimenting with temporary projects as a way to build public support for an idea, circumvent city hall, or iron out the wrinkles in a municipal pipedream.” (Argell, Globe and Mail, 2011).
On a bright cold morning in November 2011, a half dozen Master’s students from McGill’s School of Urban Planning joined Alex Gilliam, founder of Public Workshop, to engage passersby at the Vendome Metro station in Montreal in a bit of a divertissement. Two activities took place in the public space outside the station. One was the construction of a chocolate cake model of the surrounding neighbourhood and the second asked people to complete the sentence “Vendome would be great if….”. Both activities were intended to engage the users of the space in a conversation about the place, while providing a “real life” experience for the students. Would this hand-dirtying approach to civic engagement “create possibility”, as Gilliam suggests? The lessons learned are about planning pedagogy, the value of the outside expert engaging with both local students and residents, and exploring where an activity like this fits in the continuum of “pop-up planning”.
It is a year already since we started iterati. It has been a fun ride, and we are very grateful for all your support and interest. We are looking forward to continue bringing many interesting speakers. For now we are talking a break and work on a special session on design and Urban Planning… More to come in a couple of months. Meanwhile, feel free to explore the presentations from the previous sessions.
Wishing you a great summer!
Eighth Iterati by Tania Jiménez
9th of May, 2012
Tania Jiménez is an independent art director, graphic designer and researcher based in Montreal. For the last 12 years she has been shaping the aesthetics, content, and practical landscape of diverse projects, particularly in editorial design, branding and Web design. As researcher, she is interested in exploring Alterity as a key concept in interpersonal communication. Looking for ways to cross boundaries, Tania continuously questions her role as a designer in society and she decidedly works for significant and engaging projects through which she can make a significant contribution to the community. Her main areas of interest are: people and cultures, gastronomy, story telling, new media, visual arts, travel, anthropology and ethnography.
Tania holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, Mexico, a M.A. in Communications from Université du Québec à Montréal and a Social Innovation specialization from the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Seventh Iterati by IDEO.org fellows: Sarah Lidgus & Salvador Zepeda
15 of March, 2012 @ 6:00 pm (EST)
A rockstar writer who’s equal parts creative, strategic and empathic. Sarah is a writer and strategist from IDEO’s New York studio. Whether it’s print, audio, or film, storytelling has always been core to Sarah’s professional work and personal explorations. Sarah has worked in industries spanning from fashion to financial services, and has crafted stories in collaboration with American Express, Eileen Fisher, and Harvard Business Digital. Since joining IDEO in 2007, Sarah has earned two IDSA awards, and her work has been featured in publications like The Boston Globe, Fast Company and The New York Times.
Salvador joins IDEO.org fresh from completing a double Masters in Public Policy and an M.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University. Prior to Stanford, Salvador worked with Ashoka in Brazil, designing tools to help social entrepreneurs improve their social and financial performance. Previously, Salvador worked for three years at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients in Mexico, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. In addition to his Masters, Salvador holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from ITESM in Mexico.
More information about: IDEO.org
Sixth Iterati by Dawn Danby
16 of February, 2012
Dawn Danby has spent 13 years working across disciplines in sustainable design. Her projects have ranged from a tree-covered pedestrian bridge on the US-Canada border to closed-loop manufacturing strategies and furniture design. At Autodesk, Dawn leads the Sustainability Workshop, which provides free, lightweight videos and resources online to teach young engineers, designers, and architects the principles and practice of sustainable design. Dawn co-authored the bestselling sustainability book Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century. She has given dozens of talks around the world, spoke at TEDGlobal in 2005, and was recognized by Fast Company in 2009 as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. Dawn teaches in the Design Strategy MBA at the California College of Arts and is a board member at Catapult Design. She has an industrial design degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.