Event highlights

Design is transformative Part 2

16 Aug 2013  •  7 min read  •  Design is transformative (Part 2 of 2)

On 1 Aug at the URA Centre, an international panel of speakers (in Singapore for the Juror’s Session of the President’s Design Award 2013) addressed a full-house public audience, the transformative role of design. In this second of a two-part series, we highlight the significant quotes from the speakers.

Brandon Gien
Chief Executive Director, Good Design Australia

On Australian design
“Our ability is to keep things very, very simple.

On getting cities ‘right’
“We try to look at the role design has within cities. Get cities ‘right’ and hopefully that trickles down and we get the world ‘right’.”

On a playground design
“A fantastic piece of design is a playground developed by Danish company Kompan. The fact is children are sitting on couches playing electronic games and not getting out there and playing in playgrounds. What the company did is to combine built-in electronics games with traditional playground equipment. We watched kids play games, run around and went down slides with flashy lights. It's an excellent example of design with impact.”

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Lisa Switkin
Associate Partner & Managing Director, James Corner Field Operations 

On civic advocacy
“Mayor Giuliani was going to demolish the High Line [in New York]. Two community members Joshua David and Robert Hammond met because they were trying to find a group that would save the High Line and they realised there wasn't one, so they decided to form one themselves. By the time we came on board, every single agency in the city had been convinced that saving the High Line was a good idea. But the reason that they convinced the agencies was because they [David and Hammond] did an economical report that showed that the agencies would actually make more money by re-zone and allow for new developments in the area - than to tear it down.”

On the value of the High Line park, New York 
"It's entrepreneurial on many different levels; and with many stories and meanings for different people - whether for community advocacy, the ecology, an economic generator or the icon that it has become.”

On her favourite section of the High Line 
“This woman started her own cabaret on her fire escape! Every night at 7pm people would come up and she would perform. The idea that the space which has an informality and casualness, inspire people to act and do things they normally wouldn’t.”

On changing perceptions 
"We had a perception problem [with Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island]. How to transform people’s minds and begin to create value on a site that was a dump [or landfill]? One of the unfortunate things was its name: Fresh Kills. We had to remind people that 'kills' is a Dutch word for ‘stream’ or ‘brook’.”


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