Experiance Tomorrow’s Ideas Today

Architects looking for inspiration or validation of new shifts in architectural process that are taking place around the globe will find the lineup of keynote speakers and seminar topics at IIDEX/ NeoCon Canada 2008 most relevant. Of particular interest to the industry are two keynotes that relate, complement and advance current architectural approaches.

As a champion of the Scandinavian aesthetic of functionality, clarity and beauty, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Partner and Principal Architect of 3XN located in Copenhagen, is this year’s Architecture Keynote Speaker, and will relate his experience of 20 years at one of Europe’s most imaginative architectural practices. It should then come as no surprise that with this degree of experience, accomplishment and lasting impressionable design, there would be a book.

Herforth Nielsen and his team have coined the concept of “life between buildings.” At its core, the concept is about bringing an isolated object– say, a house–into the living world where it needs to connect with the people, the space, the landscape, and the community. The architect then becomes the life force, the creator and the conduit between the object and the end user.

“The architect is the mainstay in the process, and he must be able to listen to the site and to assimilate what it is trying to tell him,” says Herforth Nielsen. “To an increasing degree, it is a question of being sensitive. Architecture is interpretative.”

The 3XN team has developed this philosophy into a working method represented by five simple words, which is also the title of the book: Investigate, Ask, Tell, Draw, Build. The process will come to life through various 3XN projects from around the world.

And if shifting paradigms of are interest, architects would benefit from attending the Environmental Keynote presentation, Dr. Michael Braungart’s “The New Design Paradigm.” As the German chemist behind the influential 2002 bestseller Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, Braungart helped establish a framework for the next Industrial Revolution. Co-authored by American architect William McDonough, the book makes the case that human industry can be transformed through ecologically intelligent design to benefit nature, people and business.

The phrase “eco-effectiveness” is at the heart of his presentation, and speaks to sustainable practices to be driven by human ingenuity. It also holds appeal for a new approach to architectural design– as pressure to use sustainable products increases, but also as humankind starts to pressure designers to be more responsive to space and landscape, and to interaction between structures and the community.

Braungart will share case studies working with world-class brands, and will show how through reinventing manufacturing processes, he is creating an entirely new way of thinking that will impact all design disciplines.

The IIDEX/NeoCon Canada show runs September 25th and 26th at the Direct Energy Centre. The show will focus on innovation and will share products and knowledge with attendees. To learn more about the products, seminars, additional keynotes and special programming for architects, or to register, please visit www.iidexneocon.com.