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

Micène Fontaine, October 28, 2021

Giant salvinia. I had no idea what it was, but the “alert” posted on the website of the nearby state park dampened my excitement about renting a weekend cabin. Yet, I decided to follow my own advice and stay curious (that, and I really wanted to get away). So, I read on only to find out that the lake was undergoing a scheduled drawdown so they could remove the giant invader in question (an aquatic fern that had found its way far from its native Brasil). 

Water levels were down on the lake, and giant salvinia was being removed. I booked two nights anyway, but I was wondering how one goes about draining a lake? And, what do they do with the giant salvinia? 

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:Change by DesignSustainable Cities and CommunitiesRegenerative Materials

Cindy Grant, September 27, 2021

Do you remember your first cell phone? Mine was a Motorola Razor: a simple flip phone that was state-of-the-art in 2006. As technology improved, it quickly became obsolete. It now sits in a junk drawer with a dozen other electronic devices that I have no use for, don’t know what to do with, and yet can’t seem to part from. Does that sound familiar?

Velimir Zeland/Shutterstock

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:Change by Designurban miningResponsible Consumption and Production

Micène Fontaine, August 25, 2021

Why has a railing captivated the attention of thousands of people over the past couple of weeks? What does the picture evoke for you?

Images: Braille engraved railing at Castel Sant’Elmo Image twitter.com/thegallowboob
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:Change by Design
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