When Rob Forbes sees parking spaces in San Francisco, he doesn’t always see asphalt and cars. He often sees a blank canvas waiting to become a lush green community gathering space.
“Cities are the bedrock of our culture,” the founder of Design Within Reach explains as a photo of a mini-park, occupying former parking spaces, appears on the LCD screen behind him.
This was the scene at “Designing A Sustainable Future,” a recent Commonwealth Club event held in Levi’s Plaza, where an all-star team of interesting innovators shared their inspiration and creative approaches to building a better future through design, business, architecture, art and science.
Even better, we challenged them to share their ideas in a speedy PechaKucha style format of presentation, where each person is allowed 20 slide images and 20 seconds per image. PechaKucha is Japanese for “chatter,” and the style rewards speed and brevity. Think Twitter, not PowerPoint.
Here are some of our favorite images from the evening:
Paul Jamtgaard, the evening’s emcee, explained the Pecha Kucha format to the crowd. Paul is also the co-founder and host of Pecha Kucha San Francisco and an associate at Group 4 Architecture.
To “green” urban settings, Flora Grubb, the founder of Flora Grubb Gardens, draws her inspiration from nature.
Max Schorr, the co-founder and publisher of Good Magazine, showed the audience how NASCAR is using solar technology in its raceways.
Mark Dwight, the founder and CEO of Rickshaw Bags, illustrated how the pattern of his “Zero Bag” uses every scrap of fabric in its construction – creating zero waste.
Nikki Henderson, the executive director of People’s Grocery, explained how gardens, murals, goats and chickens can transform unloved industrial spaces and drive away crime.
Walter Hood, principal of Hood Design and professor of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley, shared this illustration of a public rain garden outside of a stadium.
Levi Strauss & Co. San Francisco headquarters lobby, site of the event.