Design Justice

December 9, 2019 in Community, Design

City builders often talk about the need for community consultation. Consultation is important as it brings perspectives and feedback from community members. But too often, folks “consult” with a preconceived notion of the outcome or a limited application of what the community has to say. Another approach to involving the community is to co-create. That is, to develop ideas alongside the community.  

John sits down with Brent Brown who leads an urban design practice based around this concept of co-creation.

Brent Brown is an architect, planner and urban designer. He is also the founder of building community workshop, a non-profit community design group based in Dallas, Texas. building community workshop, or bc workshop for short, enriches lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to parts of the cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, bc workshop recognizes it has to understand the social, economic and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.

Women-Led Cities

October 7, 2019 in Community, Design

Too often the people making decisions about our cities look quite a lot like the same — white, male and able-bodied. But if we want equitable cities and communities, we need a far wide range of folks at the table.

John chats with Paty Rios from Happy City about designing inclusive cities for women, by women.

In this episode, Paty and John discuss:

  • Her experiences in architecture school 
  • Some important urban and interior design considerations that are left out when it’s just men at the table
  • How we can make engagement processes more inclusive 


Going Green

July 22, 2019 in Design, Environment

What do we mean when we talk about making buildings greener? It sounds pretty straightforward, but there’s no shortage of systems and terms to navigate –  passive houses, net zero homes or LEED certified buildings, life cycle assessments, energy efficiency and water conservation. And although the technical elements of going green are incredibly important, our guest today suggests that the definition of a green building is personal and individualized. Matt Grace is a green building engineer and the managing Principal at Integral Group in Calgary.