Session 08: The Future of our Culture

Date: May 01, 2020
Location: Zoom Virtual Webinar
Led by: Steven Grossenbacher and Rachel N. Redmond
Sponsors: EXP| Engineering, Architecture, Design and Consulting; Page Southerland Page

Downloads: Session 8

This was the final session of the 2019-2020 scholars and second virtual CKLDP session due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This session, entitled The Future of our Culture, was extremely relevant given the current state of the global pandemic. Scholars were able to reassess their personal management inventories, which we were first introduced to in session one; discuss technological and innovative disruptions and advancements to the design culture’s status quo; and explore the ever changing methodologies of internal and external design factors that architects and designers face.

Activity #1 – Learning from Leadership Styles and Self-Assessment – Part 2

The first session was again led by Cable Clarke, President of Clarke Consulting in Washington, DC., which is an international consulting firm, founded in 1994. Each scholar was able to reassess their Life Style Inventory assessment and determine what areas of improvement were realized during that past 8 months. Individual and collectively scholars were able to compare what areas saw dramatic improvement and what areas may have differed from their original assessment. This reassessment allowed the group to focus more on the intricacies and nuances in understanding ourselves and others.   Cable then presented strategies and other techniques for improving and utilizing these characteristics to positively implement change and best practices in one’s industry.

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Activity #2 – Technology Culture: Effects of Technology and Innovation on Design Culture

The second session pivoted from the internal reflection of session #1 to the stark realities of the outside world.  Led by Chris Tisdel of Ruckus Innovation Consulting, the session focused on how innovation shapes our culture and profession.  Chris asked us simply this – if you could enhance a process by the millionth degree – what could be possible?  The question forces the solution making process on its head and frees the designer to think outside of the box.  Chris walked us through his consulting agency and how he works on innovation with design firms across the nation. The session paid special attention to the recent Covid-19 realities.  Scholars were pushed to think of what the current crisis means for our profession in a very thoughtful and engaging way.

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Activity #3 – Urban Culture: Panel Discussion on the Direction of Market Trends, Development and Preserving Urban Fabric

The last session of the day was a panel of experts in the fields of preservation, urban planning, and finance that discussed the hurdles and opportunities that both the culture and profession are facing in the current crisis.  Marnique Heath of STUDIOS Architecture spoke about the outlook of architecture firms in the local DMV context and how capital A architecture would be effected.  Kristen Jeffers, founder and editor-in-chief of the Black Urbanist multimedia platform, spoke about how the community needs to respond in a grassroots, hyper localized effort to the aftermath of this pandemic.  The last speaker, Tyrone Ross Jr., owner and consultant of 401 and Director of Community at Altruist, painted us a picture of the financial ramifications of the pandemic and how this would affect our communities.  While session #2 focused on the “what if”, session #3 focused on reality, as we dove deep into the topics of what a response looks like in our city to this pandemic in the here and now.  This was a very challenging session and somewhat somber, but a necessary topic which all scholars appreciated.

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