This is a follow-up on the blog post that I just did this morning on Karim Rashid. You never know where something will take you. My post this morning was sort of like a brain dump of a lot of things I had culminating in my head for a very long time and it was so great to get them out of there. That is precious real estate space that is now available to creating new and exciting things.
I also posted a blog not that long ago about being able to create what you want through the words that you say. Today, I have felt that come eerily true.
I was humming and hawing about what the best use of my time was today. Do I attend a design conference or do I stay home and work on my portfolio? I even talked it over with Phil. My conclusion was that you – generally speaking – don’t create much of anything by sitting at home by yourself. There’s no opportunity for synchronicity or a random chance encounter falling from the sky.
As I sat through a couple of rather boring discussions on products and who makes what better and things that just weren’t that inspiring, I was holding out for a discussion aptly titled “Future Cities: Designing Apartments for an Overcrowded World.” If you read the article that I posted this morning, you’ll know that one of the ideas that has been stewing in my head and that came to the forefront listening to Karim Rashid yesterday is the idea of living in small spaces. The speakers were Yolande Barnes from Savills UK and Chris Boulton from Yoo. As I was listening to them discuss the topic at hand, I thought “Finally, some interesting people with interesting ideas and thoughts.”
They discussed the idea of microapartments and how to deal with mass urbanization. Vancouver even got a mention in the microapartment department. Did you know that it is projected that 70% of people will be living in cities by 2050, which translates to about 6.3 billion people? Young people are moving to the city for work. Emptynesters are moving for enjoyment. Even families are opting for a culture-filled, city life. So where are all these people going to live and how do we make it affordable? I can’t say there is a 3 (or 5 or 10) step approach that will solve the problem. And yet, we’re having the discussion and there are creative minds looking at this from different angles.
I love city living. There’s little need for a car and less time spent commuting (assuming you work in the city – unlike Phil). The grocery store is always convenient. In London and Vancouver, there are lots of green spaces. I understand why there is this movement towards urbanization.
Here are some of the interesting microhousing developments that have been built:
(image via Nido)
(image via Yo! Homes)
This whole discussion aligned so amazingly with what I had already been considering about the world of design. How do we do better, live smaller to live bigger, design more beautifully and do so with a lesser environmental footprint? I felt compelled at the end of the presentation to have a conversation with Chris from Yoo, since I felt so aligned with the talk he had just given and the projects his company was creating. I swallowed my self doubt and anxiety and checked my plethora of reasons of why I shouldn’t do this. It turns out he is a very genuinely nice, approachable guy. He gave me his card and said he would introduce me to the two guys in charge of hiring. I gracefully thanked him, while on the inside, I was screaming with excitement. I decided I had accomplished what I set out to do for the day and headed out, but not before bumping into Chris going into the loo. I think that means something. Not sure what, but definitely something.
When I got home, I entered the URL for Yoo. This is where I start to do a little dance and jump around the room. It turns out I met the CEO for the design firm started by Phillipe Starck and they do amazing projects all over the world. Okay, design nerds – you know what I’m talking about. Phillipe Starck is one of the biggest names in the industry – as a product designer and architect. He’s designed Steve Jobs yacht, hotels all over the world, iconic furniture pieces and the list goes on. He was the first French man to be invited to speak at TED alongside Richard Branson and Bill Clinton. I love TED!
You never know where a conversation will lead you. I am definitely glad I left the house today though. And I’m glad I actually knew nothing about the speakers, because it gave me the chance to judge them based on what they were saying rather than the prestige of their companies. Does it mean that I have a job there? Not necessarily, but you can guarantee I will do everything in my power and will let whatever is meant to happen, happen.