Micène Fontaine, June 22, 2022

Monroe, LA. Population 47,702. That is not where I pictured myself - ever. Yet, in 2020, when it became obvious that my 85- and 87-year-old in-laws needed extra support, we moved. We bought a house, and they moved in with us while the detached garage was being rebuilt into their own space. Preserving their sense of independence was paramount. That meant accessibility, visitability, and safety were at the top of our list.

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, May 24, 2022

From architecture to anatomy, art, and science, we each stand to learn something from Leonardo da Vinci but perhaps more so for architects and designers whose work it is to help us chart a path forward through “uncertain” times. 

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, May 19, 2022

As I drove home from a high school graduation yesterday afternoon, the words of the last speaker lingered. Nothing in his speech was about him, it was a heartfelt thank you to the circles of teachers, school administrators, friends, family, and communities that had been there and worked together - knowingly or not - to help him achieve this milestone.

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, April 27, 2022

Pick up any design or architecture trade publication, and splashed across its pages, you'll find Newton's Third Law on full display: Local versus global, change versus back to "normal," nature-based solutions versus grey infrastructure, yesterday versus tomorrow, and on and on the pendulum swings.

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, March 8, 2022

"Perception is reality." This quote reminds us that there is always a gap between our perception and others'. And, in design, that matters a great deal. It's helpful to remember. Yet, it's also incomplete. We know that our perception is shaped through the lens of who we are, our past experiences, etc. Hence, my perception is my reality; your perception is your reality; their perception is their reality, etc. 

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:Design Arts SeminarsChange by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesCo-Design

Micène Fontaine, March 1, 2022

Think about "sticky notes," what comes to mind?

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:Design Arts SeminarsChange by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesCo-Design

Micène Fontaine, February 24, 2022

:Design Arts SeminarsChange by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesCo-Design

Micène Fontaine, January 28, 2022

At DAS, we're looking forward to the AIA's Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) online screening of the film "Child of Apartheid" featuring Wandile Mthiyane, who is one of 25 presenters in our Change by Design series ("Listen to Build" / Recorded live May 2021). ENYA hosts the virtual screening on  Monday, January 31.  

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, December 2, 2021

I wasn’t sure which button to click, “Go Back” or “Send Message.”

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:Food for Thought and Action

Micène Fontaine, November 9, 2021

What does a digital currency have to do with mining and volcanoes? I couldn’t think of a link between Bitcoins and the Pacific Ring of Fire. In my mind, there was none. With a vague understanding of how cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and volcanoes work, I started reading the NPR article titled “El Salvador Plans To Use Electricity Generated From Volcanoes To Mine Bitcoin.I was reminded that “it requires massive amounts of electricity to power the computers that generate the invisible currency.” To solve this, in June 2021, El Salvador’s President advocated for the use of geothermal energy “for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos.”

To me, this was the ultimate - and potentially most absurd - example of the interconnectedness of it all. We’ve all heard about the butterfly effect, ecosystems, systems thinking, design thinking, etc. Whatever you call it, it roughly boils down to a simple fact: It’s all systemic. Everything is connected: The built environment, all life forms (including ours), the natural environment here on earth, the sun that keeps it all going, and - apparently - the metaverse as well…

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:Connect the Dots
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