Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Philip Johnson - Programme Director at Locate East Sussex
William Knight - Director at The Renew Consultancy
Martha McNaughton - Founder at May Communications
Anna Meyer - Head of Communications at PriestmanGoode
Phil Nutley - Head of Experience Design at CCD Design & Ergonomics
Loïc Sattler - Experience Design Director / DesignOps at Futurice
Mark Bergin 00:00
Hi, everybody, welcome to the 26th Design Exec Club Town Hall. I'm joined here by a group of experts in the European and UK market. And we're going be talking about the new possible; some six months ago, I began a proposition that we should be able to get beyond COVID. And to me, the Beyond COVID event was when we saw that the virus was here. And it was earmarked to be a pandemic, that we should have then been planning for what that meant in over a six month, 12 months or two year period. We're now past that six-month mark, and we should be able to look back at the not what was destroyed, but what the new possibilities were, and what's come around. And so that's what we're going to be talking about today. And then we're also going to be focusing on what might be those new possibilities as we go 12 months ahead. I'm first going to throw over to Anna. And at PriestmanGoode, you've been finding that there have been changes, particularly around collaboration. How would you describe the new possible that you've been seeing and exploring as a studio?
Anna Meyer 01:03
I think collaboration is definitely a big one for us. I mean, we've always worked closely with other suppliers and clients and people along the supply chain. But the way in which we do so is different, and the timelines have gotten much quicker for that, because where previously we would have had to be in the same space. And, you know, everybody works in different countries or different cities, and you need to find time for everybody to meet up physically. Now, you're just able to jump on a call. And so it's made things much easier. In some respects, I think it's also given us an opportunity to think about the things that matter for us as a studio, the things that we want to focus on. There has been, obviously I think, one of the biggest issues, in terms of what design is going to have to solve with the pandemic, I think is the increased use of plastics and the massive amounts of waste that has been created in PPE instead of single-use plastics as a result of dealing with the pandemic. But despite all that, I think what's been really encouraging is that you know, before that there was real momentum in the sustainability conversation. And, that actually hasn't gone and all the conversations we have with clients are still very much focused on finding more sustainable solutions. And I think that's encouraging. I think it shows that it's down to a few things. I think there's much greater consumer demand for more sustainable practices from businesses. There's also more pressure, I think, from governments, particularly those who might have helped financially for some companies, you know, in the travel sector, for instance, which have helped companies stay afloat through the pandemic. But those financial contributions have come with ties surrounding green recovery. And I think those are all things that are really positive; that hasn't kind of gone by the wayside, and that people haven't gone, oh actually, we have to focus exclusively on hygiene now. I think there's very much we know that this is an immediate problem that we have to deal with, but we can't lose sight of the bigger picture.
Mark Bergin 03:53
And I think you're right there, that you know, the pace and the speed that people are doing things has changed. And I know with some of the other Town Halls, we've had people talking particularly with the Chinese tea ceremony for their clients in China. That the architects who are finding that projects, we're now moving on at the pace of the projects need, not necessarily the ceremonial waypoints that were in there. And, we can talk about that as a Chinese ceremony, but the same thing happened where it was, we need to present some papers to a board and it's a two-month delay because it's summer holidays and those sorts of things. So we seem to have worked out how to get on with things, you know, the list of jobs to be done is understood and we're getting on with them because it's urgent. And I think it's, in business whenever you can get from something being nice to urgent or nice to important, that's the trick. And COVID seems to have done that with a lot of our thinking in here. Martha. I want to go across to you and have a talk because, in our pre conversation, you talked about reach and the type of markets that you're working with now that you weren't, didn't have the same amount of access to in January. But come March because of the pandemic and the change modalities that you actually did have that.
Martha McNaughton 05:19
Yeah, I think it's definitely a kind of positive outcome of this all, is that it was then I sort of reached before obviously being sort of living in a digital age for a while now. And, you know, we've all been working globally and traveling a lot for work. But I think when we're stuck at a kitchen table, a desk homebound and have been for the last few months, it suddenly made it so much easier to do that networking and have those conversations with people in other markets and actually discover business opportunities that before would have taken a much longer time to do and to get on a plane and travel somewhere, you have to be an event, whatever it might be that timeframe for the business would have taken a much longer time. And now it's much more instant. And yeah, I think that the opportunities resulted from that. So you know, I'm based in London, I predominantly saw myself working in London in a sort of a local market. And I'm now working with designers and brands from as far as sort of Canada and the US through into sort of other markets in Europe. And I think that just goes to show that so much is possible from being sort of stuck in one place. And actually, it doesn't limit what you do workwise, it actually almost opens up more doors and more opportunities than we have before. So the positives I'm seeing as a result of this, and where that might go, it's quite exciting really.
Mark Bergin 06:40
Yeah, and I think that's very interesting that the idea that you can now get access to people, you know, we've got the same interface barrier, whether we're actually across the hallway in a corporate office, or whether we're actually you know, across the road, or where, as long as we're prepared to travel time zones, we can actually go do that. I think actually, the difference in the time zones between where I am at the moment and where the rest of you are, is somewhere between 9 to 10 hours. So you know, so as long as we're prepared to actually be up early or up late, that timezone side is no longer a barrier there. Loic, I want to have a chat with you because you know, as experts in how do you actually create innovation and transformation, you've found that the idea of immersive technology is actually taking a great step, you know, it's almost a few years innovation has happened very, very quickly.
Loic Sattler 07:36
Exactly, yeah. Because of the situation, we need to mimic the get-together and approach reality as much as we can. So immersive tech and services are extremely trending nowadays. And if you look at the metrics, the metrics are booming. Now the market is very ready. And we've also seen that the game market is really using immersive tech now. Now it has to go mass market and the market is ready. It's just a question of when are the big players getting fully in. Also the all the 3d engines are extremely mature now you can run 3d engines on the web, very simply. And so we're already.
Mark Bergin 08:20
And it's interesting, where, you know, we've had companies like Oculus and HTC Vive, who have actually had their 3d goggles available for us. And some early adopters went and bought them and was like, okay, I'm looking through Tanzania, and I can move my head in 360, it didn't make a lot of sense. Now we're seeing those devices that are in people's homes, and they're being used for, I'm looking into a visualization of a new cabinet interior; I'm looking at a new visualization of how this particular piece of heavy equipment that I'm going to use and my factory, how does it work and what does it look like? So, we're seeing a lot of those changes that are happening very quickly there. And it's almost like we had all of the building blocks, we just didn't have the scenario to go use it. So it's very interesting. And I think one of the projects that we're seeing coming into the London Design Awards, is the British entry in America's Cup, and that vessel there is purely made in simulations, augmented reality, virtual reality. None of it's been traditionally designed and tested. So, you know, this era is really coming around where it's not just in proof of concept, but it's also in does it have performance and delivery in there. Philip Johnson, I want to go across to you because, you know, we were talking in the pre conversation around some of the ways that people are working, but also you had some very interesting stats of particularly around some legal firms who were looking at what it costs to go house somebody in one of their desks. It was a phenomenal number that you were speaking about.
Philip Johnson 09:58
Yeah, I mean, what I was talking about really is that businesses of all types I think, are going to have to reevaluate how they're going to operate in the future in terms of office space working from home. And this hybrid model of a couple of days in the office, for three or four days a week at home. And the specific example I gave was of a law firm in central London, that actually, for the first time, was forced to do a little bit of arithmetic about the cost of each desk space. And they worked out that it was 23,000 pounds a year that they were paying to house each one of their employees. Clearly, that's an awful lot of money. And interestingly, I think the other thing that is going to feed into that equation is the broadband and mobile coverage as well. Because it's all very well, in saying that every one of these employees can work from home. But unless you're in a city center, in the UK, you don't have access to the superfast broadband or 5G. You don't have great access to mobile telephone coverage. And so all of these factors are going to, I think, start to play together to define how our work is going to be conducted in the future. And I think it's a fascinating set of different criteria that are going to come into play. There are bound to be plenty of others that we're unaware of, at the moment.
Mark Bergin 11:42
And you know, if you think of it, we all used to actually, accept very readily that there was a traffic jam if we had to drive our car. And now we find that we're having data jams, where there's everyone's trying to get on the same pipe. And there's, it's not that things are jammed up, it is that not enough data can get through. You know, they're very similar resource constraint issues that we've got there. And, you know, understanding how that works and doing peak load, I had an example where we did one of the Town Halls in New York, and because everyone was working from home, I was asked, could I move it back an hour so it wasn't at the peak time when all the people would come home and the kids were watching streaming - it was a bit later on the day. I found it fascinating that people had worked out what was the half-hour that was hell, and let's make it a half-hour after the hell half hour. And I think we understand those things. And so, understanding how to balance resources, what the actual cost is to go put somebody in, and those legal firms have probably got people in most of them in about a four to six square metre space for the office. So there's not a lot and so it's a very expensive four to six minutes. How do they actually begin to say, well, let's actually have a jamboree mode where, you know, we've got a facility where everybody can come in once or twice a month, but otherwise, they're partially loading the building? And the rest of the time, either that they're working in satellite co-working spaces, or they're working from home. It's going to be a very different topology. And that also changes things such as the way that transport systems work. I was talking in Hong Kong with Andrew Mead. And Andrew, who's the chief architect there, was saying, except for the lines that they've shut down or had lower cartage on, basically, the Hong Kong underground system is working at the same capacity. So they've got the Disneyland line which is shut, and the airport which has very little traffic, but otherwise, the network's operating at capacity. But people are at slightly different times. And so that's quite interesting to see that they've still got the same number of patronage on the trains, but they know some of their circulation is different. And that circulation difference produces different demands in there. And I wonder Phil with the work that you do particularly around transport and urban spaces, are you seeing briefs coming in to say how can you go redesign some of those facilities as to take care of that new possibility of people moving differently?
Phil Nutley 14:26
Yeah, a hundred percent. I think there's been in particular in the UK, less pressure on some of those systems. And sorry, I was just I was loving that comment around the data rush hour. And I thought that was just excellent. It's the same with obviously the trains. You know, people are not getting on a train. I live in Brighton and used to commute, you know, regularly into central London. You know, we're not having to do that now. So that's created less pressure on the system Monday to Friday. But we're also seeing then at the weekends, there's this new pressure like you're talking about this data rush hour. People working out when they can access the best zoom calls in different time zones because the kids are watching Netflix or whatever. We're seeing the same on our systems here, there's less pressure, but there are new pressures that are happening. People are using the rail, for more domestic tourism, for example, or short weekends and breaks away. I wanted to just touch upon also, you know, this idea of how people are accessing, you know, old ways of thinking, so access to networks, access to each other, which we've had collaboration. But also new tools and technologies that they're having the ability to fast forward that pace. So particularly in rail at the minute where we're working on one project, the ability to rethink innovation, access new technology, and kind of work together to find the right talent, that pace of innovation has happened, because there's less pressure on that system. And it's almost like everything has fast-forwarded, you know, probably three to five years because that release of pressure has allowed the new to happen. You know, even Philip talking to, you know, we've got less distraction, we're not having to go into London, to then have these conversations. You know, the access is almost instant. You know, granted, we need the right level of data and not jump on a rush-hour with it. But I think that's also been the access to talent, the pace of innovation, and also the willingness for people because there's less pressure on certain systems to go right, what's the art of the possible.
Mark Bergin 16:40
And there was a, I find this the most unusual quote. It's from Scott Galloway out of NYU, in the US. And it's a quote from Lenin was about the idea that in Russia, there were decades when nothing happened. And there were other weeks or months where an entire decade of innovation and revolution took place which was what we saw in Iraq, with the Russian Revolution. Not much happening for a long, long time, then all of a sudden, night and day change. And I think that's what we've seen happen here, the decades and days, particularly around digital companies, with this being recorded on zoom. And zoom is one of those companies that was looking for a need. And when the pandemic came around that need was all of a sudden, a decade's worth of need came in overnight, and they had the right product to go answer it. And I think we're seeing that also with the market caps for companies like Apple and Microsoft and Amazon, that they've had a decade worth of growth happen in days, you know, less than 100 days. But that occurred. And then the same thing is happening for people in the entertainment industry and also in hospitality, that it's, it's not usual for a hospitality venue or an entertainment act, to last for a decade. And unfortunately, they've been just getting absolutely hammered. They don't have any capacity to earn, and they've had to go and really begin to consider what is life other than live performance for many of them? Because I know in Australia, there's been very little support. I think the same thing in the UK, that live performances haven't been receiving the same type of support that other industries have. So you know, we know that there are people who were having to dramatically go and reconfigure their life, and work out what's in it. But then there are the people who have done it incredibly well and have worked out what that next step is, what that new possible is. And I suppose that's the important thing is that we're encouraging people to explore and adventure into the new possible not just be stuck with what was decayed and what's gone away. Will Knight, I want to go and actually ask you because you've got this project, which is actually about helping the team in Sunderland to actually go and accelerate into the future. Is this the moment where the decades and days happen, that it's the right time for Sunderland to be saying that the world comes and visit us or at least the people in the UK on the trains?
William Knight 19:14
Yeah, it's an interesting question. I think the notion of timing. I mean, like many things in life timing is kind of critical. I think in the case of Sunderland, which is fairly specific for lots of reasons, they had established a vision and a plan in advance of the conditions under which we're currently operating. We've had to shift quite a lot of the kind of communications and marketing around the public element. But just today, they are publishing a master plan for the center of the city and that will be a transformative project. I think what they're probably seeing and what we're working as consultants on this enormous project, is to strike this, to just go for it. You know, there's nothing really restricting. And I think some of that stuff, that cross-cutting, kind of almost ceremonial, but perhaps not in the same way as that kind of Chinese tea drinking. But you know, they really wanted to get people to visit the site, to breathe the air in Sunderland, to see the kind of promotion of the development site, or there's going to great physical aspects of what they're communicating. The reality is no city can do that at the moment, that no one's traveling around. The digital offer is in a really good place. They've got a good team of people around them pushing and I think it's a real moment for them. And particularly around things like skills and training, where obviously there is money being invested for sectors such as construction and to transform into advanced manufacturing. And those areas are really interesting for a city like that. So yeah, you know, I think it's limiting. But at the same time, I think there are new possibilities that Sunderland's pursuing, which is great.
Mark Bergin 21:05
I think one of the things I'm observing that's happening is that, if you go back to January, the idea of multinational corporations running the agenda of how the world worked, and here are our products, here's our offering, this is what we're scaling, this is what new looks like. And then you get to March and all of a sudden, you've got nation-states or even provincial states, are now saying, we're going shut the economy down, we're going to make sure public health takes priority. And it's been done very much in these small silos. And there's not much articulation between them. I think, even if we looked at Loic, what you've got in Berlin, and then what we've got in London in this call, there's a dramatic difference in the language and the public health responses. And if you did need to travel between the two, there's a lot of confusion about what's acceptable and what isn't acceptable. And so, I can see that we've got a need to go and work out how to bring some of the pattern languages in there. And probably the big breakthrough in architecture was a book that was published called The Pattern of Life. And what it did was it actually meant that windows were made the same size and doors were made the same size, because it sped up the construction industry. Where if we're going to return and we're going to return in the next two years, we need to work out how to get that articulation and to get that common platform there. Because at the moment, we're a little bit stuck, we're according a prevention context, not a thrive and rebuild context. And I think that's the new possible - how do we return back into that? Anna, are you seeing because you're talking particularly about the environmental side? Are you seeing people who are actually coming up with a quantum change in the way that recycling or using biological agents to turn around and actually deal with waste? Is that coming through?
Anna Meyer 23:02
I think, to an extent, yes. I think there's a lot of innovation happening from emerging designers. And I mean, wanting to pick up on Will's point, I think one of the things that we're seeing is that, whereas before, you might have a small number of companies or a kind of small number of agents looking, the sort of more progressive clients say, looking for design and innovation to push the agenda. Whereas, the majority of companies might sort of continuing with business as usual. I think what we're seeing now is everyone is looking for innovation and design thinking. So I think for our industry, it's a real-time of opportunity. It's obviously a very challenging time, but there's so much appetite for new ideas about how we can do things differently. I think that's really interesting for us. And that applies when you look at environmental solutions. So, whereas before, you might have seen, you know, there might be a small London based designer who's created a plastic alternative, and they might start talking with a couple of retailers in London or in the UK, and that would sort of be the extent of the project. Now, you'll have massive corporations looking at that single designer who's working from their kitchen table. So it's, I think we probably still have some way to go in terms of mass adoption and mass manufacture of the kind of alternative materials but it is happening. The demand is there, and I think because of the time that we're in, the timescale for adoption will be much quicker. And in the same way that actually, you know, I think one of the things we talked a lot about initially in lockdown is, you know that there was sort of this idea that we're going to, around Europe in particular, you know, you have parents working around the 15 minutes city. And Amsterdam and Copenhagen looking to completely pedestrianized the cities. Those were ideas that were already in the works. And the timescales for that happening before might have been 10 years. But actually, with lockdown people realize that actually, you can implement change overnight, because we had to, and it worked. And so, those changes that were previously a sort of 10 - 15-year plan to reconfigure this the city, is going to be much shorter.
Mark Bergin 25:59
Yes, and I'll go and even look at the way Driven x Design. You know, we had a strategic plan that actually took us out to 2022. So at the end of 2019, I'd already mapped out to what 2022 would look like. And when this year happened, it was actually that we brought what we were going to be doing in 2021 into March 20. And it was actually we accelerated a year. If we didn't have that plan, and we hadn't thought that through, we wouldn't have been able to do that quickly. And I think Loic when we're talking about the idea of immersive technology, you know, when we're looking at the way that we're accelerating, and we're doing things, if those underlying plans weren't there, we couldn't have got there. So I wonder, are we going to run out of that burst innovation that's there? Or is it innovation? Or is it acceleration? How do we come through and actually make sure of course, we know how to go and finesse it and turn it into a more refined product. But are we innovating? Or are we accelerating?
Loic Sattler 27:10
I am a big fan of what Anna said. I think Corona is a real accelerator of change. And you know, the economy in the world, in general, is extremely fragile. And people get that. And you know, some people are even more looking for meaning and what they get and what they do, and exactly the footprint that they do on the planet. So, you know, we now have new processes. We go for remote, we have remote design processes, remote training, and we are at the forefront of those processes, right, here in this group, remote digital transformation, you know, everything. We just figured out that we can do remote impact. We can have an impact, you know, where we are. And this is obviously not going to change, and innovation is going to happen that way? Sure.
Mark Bergin 28:04
I think one of the things that are always the killer of innovation, is the idea that people who were stuck in yesterday, in the old context, are holding back the new context. And so if we've got that momentum in the acceleration, then there's an opportunity to slingshot through to a whole bunch of innovation as well because people have, they've seen that it hasn't destroyed everything. They're seeing that it's actually helped them. And then they get the confidence that next might be more attractive than the past. So that's going to be an interesting phase over the next six to 12 months to see the people who normally don't go through a lot of innovation. Do they turn around and actually begin to sponsor that in there? Either Phil or Philip, do you see people who are actually beginning to imagine what's going on there about what that next step is? They're saying okay, we've recovered but can you help me out with what's next? Or are we yet to get to those conversations?
Philip Johnson 29:04
Well, I was actually just waiting for Phil to answer but ...
Mark Bergin 29:08
You're so polite the English. I love you guys.
Phil Nutley 29:12
I think the person with a longer name, to answer first.
Philip Johnson 29:18
I think it is interesting the impact that it is going to have. Although, I would actually caution against this, this wholesale move towards doing things in a new way and everybody wholly embracing the new at the expense of what wasn't so bad in the past. So, I do think there is some caution. And as previously mentioned as well, I think the provision of the infrastructure that enables this to happen is also going to be fairly key to allowing it to happen. And so, you know, it could redefine where great innovation happens, based on, you know, who has the first 5G or who has the, you know, the best coverage. And I think those aspects too, will be great drivers for the different regional developments. I think we're already seeing certain elements of that in the UK, you know perhaps as concern or fear about the future of being based right in the heart of cities increases. And you know, that people see a more Brighton based existences as being preferable to commuting and spending time in, the big centers of population.
Mark Bergin 30:42
And, Anna I think you've spent a lot of time around the demographics or the different market segments that are there. But we know that technology and innovation, it isn't necessarily democratic, that one group gets it first and another group gets it very late. And so that you wind up them with a stretch that happens in society. Do you think that this is that we're, while we're making these changes, that we're able to take a lot of people forward together? Are we increasing that stretch?
Anna Meyer 31:15
I think it's something we need to be really mindful of. And I think it's something that, you know, even at the beginning of lockdowns, you saw there were real difficulties between - so say you had families who were all at home, so the parents are working from home, and the kids have to study at home and say, you might have a family of four and one laptop. So who loses? So does the person who needs to work to support the family then not work? Or do the children who need an education then not have access to that education? I think it's a really complex question. And I think we've been looking at one of the ways that we might rethink how we use our cities. I mean, Philip, you were talking before about what happens to those spaces in cities. If they're only used part of the time, is there a way in which we can create spaces that have digital access and facilities for those who might not have them at home, either, because there's no sort of broadband infrastructure where they live, or because they might not have the means to have, you know, one laptop per person in the household. I think these are things that are really important going forward because I think it could easily be something that creates a bigger divide between those who have the means to stay at home and stay connected, and those who do not. I think, particularly, education for me is a really big one. And if you're not, you know, so many universities now are working remotely with online classes. I think that's a question that needs answering. And I think we need to find solutions where you know, whether it is adapting spaces in cities that become redundant, in a way, because they're not being used as regularly. But that's certainly for me one of the priorities.
Mark Bergin 33:32
Yeah. And I think one of the hallmarks of government policies is that even if money is announced that it's often quite slow that money getting into the right hands. I know with a couple of policies here with the Australian Government where they've announced, you know, it's a rescue package, or it's an assistance package. But they've only been able to deliver less than half of the money that was promised. And so that means that if the quantum was that they needed 100 units or something, and they've only delivered 50 well, 50% of the people didn't get what was needed. And that's in a known case, let alone for those scenarios. And Martha, I thought, I think you were reflecting about the idea that this is what libraries have been doing about stitching the digital divide together. But the quantum that we've got now is, it isn't a couple of children who could be using the facility, the library, to help them because they don't have a machine at home. It's they need it all the time to do their schooling. They needed all the time. You know, we've entered a very different era, haven't we? And we need to work out how do we scale up there.
Martha McNaughton 34:44
Yeah, I think, it sort of only occurred to me just as Anna was saying just now, but it seems so valid. I think libraries have sort of been a bit of a cornerstone for communities for decades now. And obviously we've seen a lot of composing and government cuts meaning they're just not accessible in the way they used to be. And yet, in this year of all years, where actually accessing information is more important than ever. And if you don't have access to say laptops, mobile phones at home, limited resources, what is it in the community and society that's going to allow people to still have access to that information and continue their learning? And, you know, again, I think my question or idea is, what is the sort of library in 2020? What is it that people can go to and still continue to have access but in a more democratic, yeah sort of, mindset, I guess.
Mark Bergin 35:34
I'll tell you, it's a project which is coming into the Government Design Awards, and it's a library in Australia. And the CEO of the library, she realized that she had somewhere around about 7,000 regular library customers who were in an age demographic that they probably weren't digitally connected. And the library had a lot of services, whether it was books that were able to be loaned or other assets they could have got access to. And so she had a large number of staff who were no longer serving customers handing out books because of lockdowns. So she got them on the telephone, and she got all of the staff to ring all of their customers, and onboard them to their digital platforms. And you go, this is crazy. But so she had the resources of manpower. She also had the idea that the library was about connecting people to information. And she reached out to the people who were disconnected and made sure that they were connected. And it was an astounding result, because she stitched together a community. And I think that some of the important things that we we need to see happen, right across the planet is how we're stitching together communities. Because there's one thing to survive a disaster, the other one is, how do you thrive. And the thrive is when you actually rebuild those bonds in the community that have been broken. And that's going to take a while for us. Will that's some of the work that you're doing in Sunderland is actually around rebuilding and stitching a community together. Is that something that you're picking up playbooks and knowledge from other people and then documenting it and sharing it yourself? What's going on in that area?
William Knight 37:23
Yeah, I mean, listen, I think, in many ways, it's undoing bad design that was put into city centers. You know, as the motorcar became much more prevalent and out of city centers for shopping and retail leisure, were put into place, Sunderland, unfortunately, was very hollowed out in the 80s and 90s. And a residential community is forecast to double in the next 10 years. Obviously, it's an interesting time to be kind of looking at those numbers, given that cities are under increasing pressure to be able to absorb all of our needs be it technology space to build communities. So yes, I mean, listen, there is a playbook because, you know, the the regeneration and kind of master planning community that obviously access everything from construction, through to architects through to, you know, landscape design, all of these things have been played into that project. And I think obviously, that the intention for cities such as Sunderland is to project. You know our program is called, Future Living Expo. It's intended to see what those requirements will be for those communities, those families, those individuals. And there are really three main themes around that. One is technology and access to that and how it helps consolidate communities through things like sharing economies. The second is obviously sustainability. How can we reduce the carbon impact of building homes, living in homes? And the third part of it is around advanced manufacturing. How can we actually construct much better homes? How can we make them perform better in terms of energy preservation, access, longevity, quality of materials. You know, all of those things are incredibly important to build great homes. So yeah, this huge as far as I'm just skimming over the surface of it. But yeah, there's a lot of playbooks that will come together. Very hopeful.
Mark Bergin 39:25
And I'll go back there to the environmental side that Anna brought up before. You know, if we go think about just homebuilding, we know that there's eight times more waste if it's constructed on site than if it's actually built off site and delivered and assembled. You know, that, to me is just like, there should be a government mandate. You're in the construction industry, but you're now working in a facility that has low waste coming out of it rather than working on site as we were 100 years ago. Because we know that there's just this massive environmental impact there. Those sorts of things we know, but somehow we can't get a spotlight to actually illuminate them for people. And so Anna, I think the work that PriestmanGoode have done at the Design Museum, and I forget the name of your exhibition about the future of food in flight food, what was it called?
Anna Meyer 40:19
It was called Get on Board, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or Reduce, Reuse, Rethink.
Mark Bergin 40:27
I'm not surprised I forgot it's name. It's not really a jingle is it? But it was a big idea. So, and I think that the idea of, we need to have ways to shine a spotlight and say, here's what the new possible is, how do we actually get you to have the courage to go from what you're currently doing into something that has the social equity values, the environmental values and the economic values that we want to have so that we're thriving in the future? I think that's my big message. Now, I'm going to do a wrap up round with anybody. Put your hand up if there's something that you bursting to say, because I am respectful of your time and everyone else's. Okay, so I've got a couple here. So Philip, I'm going to ask you. What's the point that you're going to help us as we go do a wrap up here.
Philip Johnson 41:17
It's not really a design specific point. But I think the other aspect about all that we're learning and continue to learn, and we'll have to learn in the future, we have to remember that it applies to everybody in society, as well as those who are able to enjoy the advantages of working from home to those who may be stuck in a small flat, sharing the one computer, if they have access to it. We need to think much more about other people as well.
Mark Bergin 41:47
Absolutely. And you know, that idea of social equity, if we can't bring everybody along, you know, if we get the accordion, and we stretch it too far, eventually it breaks. So we need to make sure that we're bringing both the front end of that accordion and the back end of the accordion long together. Because there's a lot of people doing it tough. Anna you had a point.
Anna Meyer 42:08
Yeah, I think I was also going to add that, obviously, there are lots of challenges that we're facing at the moment. And I think sometimes it can be difficult to work out where to even begin and when there's so much to tackle. But, for anyone who might not know or just wants reminding, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is a really, really brilliant roadmap of the key issues that we face around the world and specific areas that need addressing. And it's a really great point, you know, you were talking before about innovation versus acceleration. I think that's actually a really good place to start to look at that and to see right, which of these areas do we tackle? And, you know, just start small and go from there.
Mark Bergin 43:06
No, that's fantastic. And, Phil, I think you've got a bit of a North Star moment for us, to help us reflect here in a very positive light.
Phil Nutley 43:15
Yeah, just listening to everyone is so nice. It was great to be on these. But I think you know, innovation is probably just a way of us all reflecting how we feel that we, you know, we need a North Star. We need somewhere to kind of move forward, you know, because in a year when we've kind of been told to stay at home, you know, it gives us a focus, it's a way of us looking forward and going, you know, I want to achieve something. Otherwise, you feel like you've just been stuck indoors for half a year. It's a kind of byword for come on, let's do something, let's move things forward.
Mark Bergin 43:49
And I think that, to me, has been a really big thing that there have been many things that we haven't been able to go do in the last six months. But I've also seen so many astounding changes that people have made that have helped to go get us to that new possible. Look, I'm really always humbled to go have the attention and the minds of our panelists. Thank you for helping me with the 26th Town Hall. The 27th, which we're going to do in a week's time is actually in the US, which is a whole different set of issues that they've got there. Can you imagine getting people's attention just before the second Trump presidential election race and you go, that's, that's a very interesting scenario to be in. So please tune in for that one. Everybody. Thank you very much for your time. And as always, I'm humbled. Awesome. We'll call that a wrap. Well, done. So, thank you. And what was really good was It was great to have the feedback via the chat by everybody there. But you know, Anna, I think you took the lead there about the environment and sustainability, which you always do. I think that's fantastic.
Anna Meyer 45:06
The ever broken record by now...
Mark Bergin 45:08
No, no actually. So there are some people who are one trick ponies and they actually just bring up the same thing. You've got a very broad vocabulary there, and that's great. And then talking about and particularly Philip, so thank you so much for coming and joining us. The idea about bringing everybody along, and that there's a difference between, you know, just the front end of that market, and people who are at the back end. Because we know if we don't do that we then wind up with other societal issues that we then have to go fix in 10, 20 or 30 years, which is kind of what Will's work's involved in, in Sunderland there, that we know that there were some errors that didn't bring everybody along during the 80s. And so there's a lot of repair and uplift, that's been done. Thank you, everybody. Loic, hopefully the Berlin lockdown doesn't get more severe. And for all of you, whether it's in, what's it called? Tiers? Is that Martha the word that you use before? Let's hope you're not all lost in tiers. I'm on day 97 of our lockdown. By the weekend I go a day 100 and I think it's on day 101 they tell us some measly change to the lockdown. I think we're all in this together and let's just keep smiling. Yeah? Thank you so much for your time everybody.