Three questions to Toshiko Mori

By Remi

Toshiko Mori Dassault Systemes Board Administration architecture design award

I met Toshiko right after her introduction to the board of administration of Dassault Systèmes. She held a conference here at the Vélizy Campus the same day and I thought you’d like to hear her thoughts on Design and its near future…

You’re now member of the board of administration of Dassault Systèmes, congratulations! It’s a first of a kind for you… how does it feel?

That’s true yes! I served in non-profit boards in the past, mainly focused on arts and architecture. I’m currently part of the board “Architecture for Humanity”, advising them on design excellence quality.

So this is my first time in a corporate board.  It’s a very humbling experience, I’m learning a lot and I hope I’ll be able to contribute.

During your presentation this morning you talked a lot about how Architecture and Design will have evolved by 2050. Can you give us the three key points that will embody this revolution?

One of our major issues right now is food. We call it energy, water and food crisis as they’re interdependent on each other.  What’s underlying is the uneven distribution of population and the rapid urbanization problems. How to provide these people with food, water and energy? It’s not so much about water scarcity but how to make it available according to the population density.

So my three items would be: jobs, water and food. We already have a job shortage which triggers instability in the developing world. In Middle East and Northern Africa, young people don’t find jobs and thus rebel. It’s as simple as that and unfortunately it will not happen in 2050 – it’s already happening.

So, if you build something, it automatically brings in jobs. Then, if it attracts attention, it will also bring in tourists, which means income. So designers have to make sure that whatever they do, they make the best design, so that people notice it and want to come. Second step is to think about the opportunities your design has created for next generations, whether it is in terms of job growth, making buildings, designing a city, etc.

Native Americans say that for every act you do, you have to think about its impact seven generations down the road. So if you always think that way in design, it really is a sustainable practice but it’s also a much more global thinking.

Does this revolution in the way you think as an architect lead to a revolution in the way students learn architecture? Do we need renewed teaching models?

Definitely. We tend to think of teaching in architecture and design as a building or a product: it’s an object-based teaching. But now we’ve got to teach students the context as well.

For example, if we’re talking about a building, what’s surrounding it? Which city or town are we dealing with? What’s its relationship to nature? What’s its overall location? What about the geopolitics? How does it relate in terms of global issues?

The world we’re living in is very complex and consequences can affect much larger parameters. I’ve been teaching a course called Global re-Design Project for the last two years. I’m also about to teach another course centered on Global Risks and Management, i.e. how can design have a built-in resilient system so that buildings can withstand natural catastrophes for example.

The way you think about contextual issues, away from designing objects, is to know the parameters of different possibilities for both negative things (from terrorist attacks to tsunamis, earthquakes and so on) and good opportunities (bringing educational opportunities and healthcare to the children in Africa).

The key is to turn the teaching model into something highly contextual: have larger parameters, be accessible and inclusive.

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Any thought that pops up in your mind? I had a thousand ones when I interviewed her! :)

Cheers,

Rémi

3 questions to Ayse Birsel

By Remi

ayse birsel seck dassault systèmes design in life strate college system systemes systeme catia delmia solidworks enovia simulia 3dvia exalead draftsight swym 3dswym CAD CAM PLM 2.0 De/Re deconstruction reconstruction innovation problem solve issueI recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Ayse Brisel, who runs Birsel+Seck design studio. She’s going to be part of a 3DS event soon (Design in Life) so I thought it’d be nice to introduce her and her concepts!

Can you tell me about your design concept: Deconstruction & Reconstruction?

Often Designers are asked about how they think and it’s a challenge to explain the process of design. In the last two years, I tried to articulate my process and Deconstruction & Reconstruction (De/Re) is the result of that.

We are all shaped by our preconceptions. Objects, situations and reality come to us prepackaged as a coherent whole. De/Re is about breaking our preconceptions to free our minds to imagine an array of new hypothesis.

One of my favorite examples of De/Re thinking outside of my work is the Dyson Air Multiplier. It pulls apart the conventional idea of a fan to eliminate its most fundamental part, the blade, and reconstructs a new hypothesis around how to blow air without it. It breaks the status quo to remind you of what you were trying to solve in the first place, which in Dyson’s case was moving air, freeing you to think about new and hopefully better ways of doing it.

I’ve read a lot that you look at your life as a design project… Can you tell me more about that?

When I was articulating De/Re as a process, I thought that it would be interesting to see if this process could be applied to designing one’s life. I like to think of life as our most important project and yet most of us think that we don’t have much control over our lives.

So my point is: ok we can’t control everything, but we can start imagining and designing the kind of life we’d like. So I started a series of workshops called “Design the Life You Love”, to teach people, non-designers as well as designers, to think about life with imagination and originality.

One part of this process is asking people to look at what the Dominant, Subdominant and Subordinate parts of their life are. Another way of saying this is, what is central to your life, what supports that center and what completes it.

Since there are only three parts, it forces people to look at what matters for them in their lives and the hierarchy between them (say, family, friends and work). If you want to have more, you need to resolve dichotomies to figure out how you can get more value within these constraints. Just like a design problem!

Often, people at my workshops are at a point in their life where they want to change something but they don’t know exactly what. So this helps shifting their point of view, and even if they don’t act on it, they learn to think about life differently, creatively, using design tools.

What future do you see for the design industry?

These days, my thinking is that we’re problem solvers, as well as team players. We’re really good at dichotomy resolution, bringing opposing ideas together to create new meaning and value.

So my point is that the design industry will increasingly help people to design their lives and address world problems. There are so many issues (poverty, women rights, democracy, etc.) where our creative thinking can definitely come up with 1+1=3 kinds of solutions, in collaboration with other people and disciplines.

And that’s why I like Deconstruction & Reconstruction; it’s a systematic and learned process around solving problems, but without loosing the whole intuitive and imaginary part of design.

 

Pretty interesting right? I was personally thrilled by De/Re… it’s quite a problem solving method! What do you think?

Cheers,

Rémi

P.S.: I’ll be live blogging and tweeting at the event next week so stay tuned! :)

Let’s Go Design Project #2

By Matthew

Check Out the Multi-Sport Practice Cage!

After months of research and design, Jeremy Luchini and the Let’s Go Design team are ready to unveil the final design and prototype of the multi-sport practice cage. Rather than building a full-size prototype, the team decided to use the 3D printers in the SolidWorks audience to build a 1/12 scale model.

You may also want to visit the Post3D website to take a virtual tour of the cage.

So, what do you think?

Best,

Matt



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