Watch: Approaching Community with Intention

In the most recent Coffee with Cheryl, a webinar presented by KI and IIDA as part of the Community as Strategy program series, a panel of design professionals pondered community building in the time of COVID and what it means to meaningfully engage with community during times of societal unrest. 

Last year’s Community as Strategy program series took IIDA and KI to six U.S. cities where designers and clients discussed the importance of supporting communities through design and described their unique respective community needs. This year’s series looks drastically different—through the use of virtual technology—but the primary thesis remains: maintaining community is vital, and in challenging times, how will design help? 

This iteration of Coffee with Cheryl was moderated by IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, and Deborah Breuning, vice president of A+D marketing at KI, and brought together 16 design professionals to consider our most pressing questions for the future: In a work-from-home world, how can design help maintain community? What will be important designers to communicate within the built environment? How do we continue to engage in community given all we know about the world around us?

Panelists were invited to share their thoughts on ways design can support, reinforce, and engage community, even through times of adversity. This notion of community, given that we are living through the pandemics of both coronavirus and systemic racism, is more important than ever. According to Diana Farmer-Gonzales, IIDA, Assoc. AIA, managing director and principal of Gensler’s Miami office, “We have to be intentional with community and with how we build it.”

Moderated by: 

  • Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and CEO, IIDA
  • Deborah Breuning, vice president of A+D marketing, KI

Panelists:

  • Abby Scott, IIDA, senior interior designer and architectural studio leader, HDR
  • Alexandra Bonner, IIDA, project interior designer, FCArchitects
  • Amy Guhl, interior designer, Neumann Monson Architects 
  • Betsy Vohs, CEO and partner, Studio BV
  • Diana Farmer-Gonzales, IIDA, Assoc. AIA, managing director and principal, Gensler Miami
  • Erika Moody, IIDA, principal, Helix Architecture + Design
  • Fiona Grandowski, principal, Collins Cooper Carusi Architects
  • Gabrielle Bullock, IIDA, FAIA, NOMAC, director of global diversity, principal, Perkins and Will
  • Hillary L’Ecuyer, IIDA, interior design, Hollis + Miller Architects
  • Jane Hallinan, IIDA, interior designer, Perkins Eastman
  • Jon Otis, IIDA, principal and creative director, Object Agency (O|A)
  • Melissa Hanley, IIDA, co-founder, principal, and CEO, Studio Blitz 
  • Ronnie Belizaire, IIDA, corporate real estate manager, Americas, Daimler North America
    Corporation.
  • Sarah Kuchar, owner and creative director, Kuchar Studio
  • Sascha Wagner, FIIDA, AIA, principal and CEO, Huntsman Architectural Group 
  • Natalie Engels, IIDA, design principal, Gensler
  • Viveca Bissonnette FIIDA, principal and vice president, Hollander Design Group

Stay up-to-date on all IIDA webinar and virtual events at www.iida.org.

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