Debating Design + Innovation in Times of Crisis

Debating Design + Innovation in Times of Crisis

Tuesday May 15 2012 from 6 - 8 pm
Room 111, Harvard Graduate School of Design
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

A panel discussion followed by reception with:
-Benjamin Aranda (Principal of Aranda\Lasch)
-Nader Tehrani (NADAAA, Head of the Department of Architecture, MIT)
-Ioanna Theocharopoulou (Assistant Professor, Parsons)
-Iasson Tsakonas (Founder and Managing Director at OLIAROS)

Moderated by:
-Spiro Pollalis (Professor, Harvard GSD)

On 2 May 2010, the IMF with the support of the European Union offered Greece a conditional bailout loan accompanied by harsh austerity measures. Followed by four more packages of austerity measures, the bailout enforced a massive reconfiguration of the public sector and the market in Greece: cuts on the public sector, privatizations, sales of government property, tax increases, flexible employment. In a country like Greece, with a slow moving public sector and a deeply corrupted bureaucracy, the proposed changes accelerated both feelings of hope and fear of change, and the crisis immediately prove to be not only economical but also social and political.

This panel will investigate the role of design, innovation, and entrepreneurship during times of socioeconomical crisis. What types of value can design practice create or increase? In which ways does investments and the real estate affect the practice of architecture? Does this change reflect on architectural pedagogy and discourse? When the market is dragged down, is there opportunity for design and innovation? What kind of strategies can designers and entrepreneurs employ and what do these strategies mean for the changing role of architecture in shaping the built environment? Finally, what is the role of innovation, and most importantly what kind of innovation should architects be in a conversation with?

Addressing the viewpoint of the client, the architect, and the society, this panel rethinks through the example of Greece the role of innovation, entrepreneurship, and design in times of economical crisis and social upheavals.