Micène Fontaine, July 22, 2021

What is the highest and best purpose of design? This is the question I was asked a few months ago when I was nominated to participate in CIDA's Future Vision project - more on that later, and no, my entry was not selected :-)

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, July 8, 2021

In "Now What?", I highlighted the importance of meaning-making in the age of information and knowledge overload. What matters is connecting the dots. Or, as author Rohit Bhargava, puts it, "transforming noise into meaning." This is especially true in an increasingly complex world. Learning and education are (or at least should be) at their core about taking myriad tidbits of knowledge and re-organize them in a way that helps us highlight what matters, how it matters, and how it is all interconnected.

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:Change by Design

Micène Fontaine, July 1, 2021

Humans love stories. That's how we learn, pass on traditions and ancestral knowledge. Stories are - at once - who we've been, are, and will be.

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Micène Fontaine, June 22, 2021

The words we choose tell a story of their own. First, we talked about "global warming," then "climate change." Now the conversation has moved away from "fighting climate change" to "climate adaptation." I think it tells us a lot about where we are. 

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Micène Fontaine, June 15, 2021

The page was blank, except for yellow lines. Did a 3-year old steal my journal? Was it a building, a hippo, or a map to a long-lost treasure I meant to draw a few weeks ago when I last opened this journal? It doesn't stop me, but I can't draw, hence the hesitation about what the lines might have been. I decided it was an elephant. A yellow elephant on my otherwise blank page.

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Micène Fontaine, June 3, 2021

During a podcast interview about the impact of the pandemic on older adults, a mental health professional pointed to the built environment as the first line of defense. Specifically, he pointed to multi-generational buildings. I was surprised.

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Micène Fontaine, May 24, 2021

“I just need you to listen.” Sounds simple, right? Based on the reactions to my last post, it’s not that simple, especially for design professionals who must listen to a variety of stakeholders. Ask Wandile Mthiyane, and you'll learn how he founded the Ubuntu Design Group around this very idea: Listen to Build

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Micène Fontaine, May 20, 2021

Who listens when you need to talk? Who do you call? How do you feel after having talked to them? The fact that most of us know exactly who we would call tells us how important and rare it is. Are you the one others call? Do you consider yourself to be a good listener?

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Micène Fontaine, May 13, 2021

Earth day 2021. 5:30am. The appeal of freshly brewed coffee guides me down to the kitchen. My husband is there, big smile, fully awake, and ready to take on the day. The only words I can utter at that time are always the same: Bonjour mon amour. How did you sleep? The answer usually doesn’t register (he knows I am not awake or listening or ready to have a conversation), but this time, his answer stuck with me as I poured my first cup of coffee: I don’t know. I have not looked at the app yet.

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Micène Fontaine, May 6, 2021

If you've ever coached someone, have partaken in therapy of any kind, or have been around kids, then you know firsthand how powerful questions can be. Especially simple ones such as: Why is that? Or Can you tell me more? Questions can also be irritating (to me at least) because, by sheer design, they force us to get closer and closer to the root cause of a problem and shine the light on what we are really solving for.

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