A high school student attended an informal d.talks conversation on “borders” held in a gallery. As others attending this conversation shared personal interpretations of a border and experiences on how borders affected them, he listened intently. Near the end of the discussion, he spoke about the limited transportation options in his neighbourhood. He doesn’t drive and he wanted a walkable neighbourhood. Was this design? He hadn’t realized it was until now, he said. But it certainly makes a difference in his life.
While “borders” wasn’t a topic that sought answers to public transit, the topic precipitated a conversation amongst strangers that was meaningful enough for the student to make a connection with design’s effect upon his life.
d.talks challenges designers to embrace the responsibility for shaping the city with more equity, inclusion, sensitivity, and care for the environment. What economies are linked to design? What barriers might a traditional market focus impose on the city? What did the urban renewal—clearing the land in order to situate this new building—have to do with visions for the city at that time? And, what histories should we know about the land that took place generations before the arrival of settlers?
While we work to celebrate good design, we are focused on design’s agency and its responsibility to listen and learn from others that hold different worldviews than their own. We research critical questions and exhibit and host platforms for public conversation that draw upon multiple perspectives.
Our vision is that creative practitioners—artists, makers, architects and designers—have the tools to respond to the complexity of the built environment with both reflection and critical insight.
And in the process, we envision that the public—particularly those that aren’t designers themselves—feel connected to design in a way that is meaningful for them, and that encourages Calgarians to be more engaged in shaping their neighbourhood and city, together.
Over the past seven years, d.talks has produced:
MAKE A DONATION
The discussion events are produced with a combination of donations, organizational and in-kind support. We rely on individual donations and organizations to support the workshops, pilot projects and research that goes into producing provocative and civic discourse. You can support the artists editing, writing and producing the online publication FOLD. Together these initiatives form a means for convening conversation and a public forum for individuals to connect with their city in a meaningful way. Your donation ensures that d.talks programs are open, free of charge and accessible to all Calgarians. Details on making a donation are here.
BECOME A MEMBER
Do you like to roll up your sleeves and be a part of something larger? Become an Individual Member and join us in building stronger community together. Fuel d.talks conversation in Calgary and make connections with people making stuff happen. Continue the conversation at behind-the-scenes experiences. Individual Memberships start at $100 and can be found here.
Contribute your energy and skills to building conversations that are the fuel of change. Help us to produce an event, research a topic or write a review for FOLD. To inquire about committee openings, please contact us here. You can also subscribe to our free notice of our events.