Bring Your Whole Self (B.Y.W.S).... This was the theme and topic of discussion at a Metropolis Magazine Think Tank I recently attended in San Francisco. Hosted by Rapt Studio, the Think Tank brought together five diverse panelists who shared their thoughts on this very statement with designers. The crux of the conversation -- these panelists believe that human connection is and should be at the heart of every design solution. “Bring your whole self to whatever you’re doing, whether it’s to work, life, or design itself.”
It’s easy as a designer, manufacturer, sales rep or any one of the titles in our industry to get bogged down in the day-to-day of design, product, selling, installation, etc. I left this Think Tank discussion feeling energized. It served as a reminder that as a person, as a brand and as an organization to be as true to ourselves as possible – to be real and authentic.
This wasn’t the only thought provoking Think Tank I attended while in San Francisco. Metropolis Magazine hosted three unique panels across two days. The first was held at Perkins Eastman where panelists talked specifically to guests about Participatory Design. The panel consisted of architects, urban and civic planners and community organizers who explained the challenges of consensus-building, creating public spaces that bring together diverse groups of people and how placemaking strategies can support the mission of a city and its people.
That same day we also ventured to Perkins + Will to have another open discussion, this time about the unique situation San Francisco finds itself in as a city. Tech is at the heart of the city and opportunity is unlimited but other trends like the lack of affordable housing, traffic congestion and stagnant economic and social mobility are challenges urban planners must face daily. Panelists reviewed how design can positively impact these challenges. They are tasked with adopting holistic approaches to how we live, work, commute and address opportunity for change through design.
We wrapped up the Think Tanks at Rapt Studio and the discussion of “Bring Your Whole Self”. All three conversations were extremely different but there was a common thread – an emphasis on how design can dramatically affect our lives, both personally and professionally.
As a manufacturer, KI provides furniture solutions. That may seem basic but furniture is a piece of this larger conversation going on within our industry as well as at a community level. Furniture creates space. Space is where human connection occurs. We’re in it with these designers and it’s vitally important that we also be a part of and embrace opportunities to design solutions that support any and all of the conversations taking place not only in the San Francisco design community but across the nation.
The definition of a Think Tank is a “body of experts providing advice and ideas on specific political and economic problems.” While this was certainly the case, the Think Tanks facilitated two days of innovative conversation, collaboration and connection. I want to thank Metropolis for hosting these important discussions that undoubtedly will continue to push our industry forward.
Metropolis will continue to host similar Think Tanks across the country in 2018. KI will be sponsoring the next discussion in New York city on February 28 - March 1. If you’d like to learn more about the Metropolis Think Tanks, click here.