Micène Fontaine, April 15, 2021

I can't say we kids always loved it, but growing up in the Normandy countryside, my dad would often wake us up in the middle of the night to observe the stars or a deer eating his vegetable garden. Walks in the nearby forest were an opportunity for him to share his fascination with how plants can heal or poison you, and that - regardless - each plays a critical role. I’m now glad he woke us up. It instilled in me a deep appreciation for nature's power. 

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, April 8, 2021

The exhibit “Learning from Nature: The Future of Design” was about to open at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) when the pandemic shut everything down. I never made it to the exhibit, but the underlying idea (relearning from nature) is increasingly featured in both trade and mainstream design publications.

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, March 30, 2021

95.84%. That's how much time I've spent indoors today. It is not an outlier. It is typical of a weekday. What about you?

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, March 24, 2021

Shortly after I wrote about abandoning cynicism for stubborn optimism, I landed on a book titled Humankind: A Hopeful History." I clicked, grasping for hope. One of the blurbs printed on the cover, read “In a sea of cynicism, this book is the sturdy, unsinkable lifeboat the world needs.” Another read, “Humankind changes the conversation and lights the path to a brighter future.” Yet, the cynic in me (I know...) quipped, “Good luck with that!”. For one thing, as the author himself points out, “Cynicism is a theory of everything. The cynic is always right.” Try to beat that with stubborn optimism... Let alone try changing the conversation as the second blurb suggests. I could not resist the appeal of an “unsinkable lifeboat” and of “the path to a brighter future.” I bought the book. Now what?

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:Food for Thought and Action

Micène Fontaine, March 16, 2021

I get triggered - a lot (my husband would say I allow things to trigger me, but I digress). That said, being triggered by the 9-word title of an article in a magazine I love (Fast Company) was a first and a new low. The title of the article was “Interior design is a human right, not a luxury.” These 9 words had triggered something in me (not the good kind, the long sigh combined with expletives kind).

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, March 2, 2021

There was nothing I could do. It was liberating.

About a decade ago, after years of testing and probing, doctors could not figure out exactly what was going on. Exploratory surgery was the only option. It did not matter how clinical they tried to make it sound; I knew it meant they would slice me open to see what they could find. I went back to France to spend time with my family, had "what if" conversations with a handful of people, and returned to the US for the scheduled procedure. I had done all I could do. I never felt more at peace with the world.

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:Food for Thought and Action

Micène Fontaine, February 18, 2021

Quick. Think of walkable cities. Ready? Did Houston, TX make the list?

I didn't think so. Houston has plenty of wonderful things to offer, but as a frequent (albeit not recent) visitor, traffic rhythm seems to rule over life in the city - not to mention the sprawling suburbs. Yet, somehow, even in Houston, a version of the 15-minute city (more on that later) is quietly taking shape in the form of the proposed Walkable Places city ordinance. Houston might be the least obvious choice for walkability. Still, its mayor, Sylvester Turner, is far from alone in realizing that "more than ever, our citizens want walkable places that connect to parks and activity centers. Our city needs to grow and develop responsibly and efficiently". Baby steps in Houston but steps in the direction of building more Sustainable Cities and Communities by Design.

Melbourne | Features of a 20-Minute Neighborhood
(Image Credits: State Government of Victoria 2021)

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, January 1, 2021

December. It always feels very messy to me. It's my mental spring cleaning time. I take stock of what matters and of what does not. I create a shortlist of what I want to learn more about, do more about, and be more about. It's more art than science, but it serves as a north star in the upcoming year - personally and professionally. It's about having a destination but not the exact path - the freedom to experiment, make mistakes, and try again until I get there. 

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:Food for Thought and Action

Cindy Grant, November 30, 2020

Licensed Missouri architects are required to complete 24 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every 2 years. 16 of the CEUs must be related to Health Safety & Welfare (HSW) and acquired in structured educational activities.

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:CEUMandatory Continuing Education RequirementsArchitecture Continuing Education RequirementsMissouri Architects Board

Micène Fontaine, November 26, 2020

November. I have been should-ing myself. I’ll explain shortly. For the past week, I’ve been waking up feeling nauseated. As a male, pregnancy is out of the question. So what’s going on?

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:Food for Thought and Action

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