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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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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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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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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Micène Fontaine, August 18, 2021

1976: I was about one year old when I first played with brightly colored wooden shapes. Chances are you were about the same age when you had a similar experience. I imagine I tried stacking these blocks on the back of the family pet or the shag rug before realizing that a stable surface works best - though far less fun to a toddler. There is a lot of learning embedded in this simple game. Lesson 1: Stacking works best on a stable foundation.

Images: (Left) pticelov/shutterstock.com (Right) SunnyLife Jumbling Tower
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Micène Fontaine, August 12, 2021

Did you get a chance to think about it? In my last blog post, I left you with this question: What is the highest and best purpose of design? This is a question I was asked a few months ago. Many of us were asked to answer it. I'll share my answer in a moment, but more importantly, below is what stood out for me in Ian Rolston's answer:

"We are the gatekeepers of good, articulated in the environments we create. In the elements we place that tell stories to honour the past, acknowledge our present and celebrate the potential of tomorrow. We designers orchestrate interactions that enhance moments of connection and establish shared values that make life – that make living better. [...] We are problem solvers, storytellers and agents of change that can design the world as it should be." - Ian Rolston, NCIDQ, IDC, LEED GA, ARIDO, Lead Decanthropist, Decanthropy, Toronto

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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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