Traveling Design Open Mic: "Regeneration" Takes the Stage

Traveling Design Open Mic: "Regeneration" Takes the Stage

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Jul 01, 2011
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It was standing room only at Architecture for Humanity's Design Open Mic at the Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles last weekend. Six presentations were chosen from a long line up of submissions that spoke to the theme of "Regeneration." The topics were wide and varied, as you can read in the summaries and presentations included below.

Presenters had only seven minutes to share their ideas throughout the hour so the pace was fast, and the audience remained rapt.

We want to thank Dwell for hosting us at the conference and the six finalists who spoke passionately about their ideas to help communities regenerate following disasters - both natural and man-made - through the power of design.

Stay tuned for our next traveling Design Open Mic at the Center for Architecture in New York City on October 22, 2011. We will be posting a call for submissions in late summer.

Tina Hovsepian - Cardborigami | Instant Spaces

Cardorigami Inc.
North Hollywood, CA

Tina Hovsepian, a designer and philanthropist, graduated from the University of Southern California with her Bachelor of Architecture in 2009. She currently designs contemporary, sustainable, LEED rated, homes in Santa Monica for Duvivier Architects.

In 2007, Tina designed and build a prototype of a temporary shelter made of folded cardboard, Cardborigami, as a synthesis of her interests architectural studies and humanitarian causes, especially the plight of the homeless on Downtown's infamous Skid Row. Cardborigami is an immediate disaster relief shelter that can be distributed through various philanthropic, governmental and religious organizations to the urban homeless population as well as to disaster relief victims in need of temporary housing.

Micki Krimmel - Neighborhood Goods Project

Founder & CEO
Los Angeles, CA

Micki Krimmel is the founder of She has also founded the interactive department at Participant Media; led the social media efforts for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth; ran the community department at; and has provided product and social media consulting for numerous startups and media companies. Micki is a long time contributor to and co-authored the award winning book, Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century. is a community where you can save money and resources by sharing goods and skills with your neighbors. Through an online platform, individuals can connect with others who need what they have and have what they need.

Peter Lang - Design for Survival Workshops

Associate Professor
Department of Architecture
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Peter Lang holds a Bachelor in Architecture from Syracuse University (1980) and a Ph.D. in history and urban studies from NYU (2000). A Fulbright Fellow, Peter is Associate Professor with the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University in College Station. In both his research and contemporary practice, Peter investigates how the living environment is constructed through an evolving architectural practice.

The survival workshops that he organized aim at achieving rapid yet sustainable results by assembling objects or shelters from the immediate local environment using whatever materials could be found readily available. These workshops serve as models for emergency on-site relief efforts geared to kick start local recovery.

Jeffrey Olinger, Assoc. AIA. - T-Wall Housing Project

Co-Founder and Principal
New World Design
Cambridge, MA

Jeffrey Olinger is an architectural designer based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a founding principal of New World Design, Jeffrey has overseen all of New Design’s projects and is committed to the sustainable redevelopment of Iraq and other conflict zones. Jeffrey holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design.

The T-Wall, a freestanding precat concrete panel with a footing cast into the base, is used to create barricades around secure military zones. As the withdrawal from Iraq continues, and these walls become unnecessary, The T-Wall Housing Project aims at re-appropriating T-Wall materials to address the country's housing shortage. This project has the potential to transform one of the most omnipresent symbols of the occupation into physical spaces of hope and rebirth for the people of Iraq.

Gavin Studer, B.Arch - The Mossy Foot Project

Santa Barbara, CA

Gavin Studer has recently completed his architectural thesis in collaboration with The Mossy Foot Project which aimed at addressing the geochemical disease known as Podoconiosis. Fueled by the sole intention of soul healing through a multi-faceted phasing plan he pushed to pioneer architecturally distinct structures, consequently creating a tangible catalyst for the ultimate curing of this tragically preventable disease.

The philosophy is a simple plan implemented through education, rehabilitation, and the art of place-making. This holistic approach would improve health care, mental well-being of the patients while bringing volunteer health workers into the field.

For the presentation, please see the attachments below

Tom De Blasis - Gamechanger Bucket

Global Design Director
Portland, OR

As Global Design Director for Nike Football (Soccer), Tom De Blasis has marveled at the power that a simple object like a soccer ball can have in every corner of the world, from High Street in London to the favelas in Brasil. For the past four years he has been leading the effort to fully integrate the principles of sustainability into Nike’s entire global soccer ball production.

Tom’s latest creation is called The Gamechanger Bucket, an initiative that provides access to both clean water and sport in disaster areas and developing communities in need around the world. The Gamechanger Bucket is a kit including a soccer ball and a water filter, providing clean water for 100 people for at least 5 years and stopping the spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases.

For the presentation, please see the attachments below

Photos by Barry Schwartz