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RECORD’s annual Innovation Conference is under a week away. This year’s theme is “Reimagining The City” and speakers include David Chipperfield, OMA Partner Ellen van Loon, Angela Brooks of Brooks + Scarpa, Christoph Ingenhoven, Carlo Ratti, and Mark Cavagnero. The two-day event will take place online only on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 19-20.

Join the conference’s 17 virtual sessions to earn up to 12.5 continuing education credits. It’s not too late to sign up. Registration is free and open throughout the entire conference. Over 5,000 people tuned in last year, with an audience of thousands of members of the architecture and design communities from around the world. RECORD’s 2020 Innovation Conference was similarly online, due to COVID, and included Jeanne Gang, David Adjaye, and Neri Oxman.

David Chipperfield will open the conference on October 19 with “A Conversation on the Urban Future”. Over his long career, Chipperfield has been closely engaged in cities, from his recently completed Kunsthaus extension in Zürich, Manhattan’s The Bryant condo tower, and revitalizing the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. He will discuss with RECORD Editor-in-Chief Cathleen McGuigan the need to confront issues of equity and the environment, and the role the architect can play in creating more sustainable cities.

After the opening keynote, Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner will present “American Framing,” their exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion at the current Venice Biennale of Architecture that delves into this country’s most common construction system. Carlo Ratti will present “Sensable Cities” about the new ways we live, work, and play – largely due to technology and the Internet. From production to citizen participation, energy, and mobility, the Italian architect and engineer will explore these issues through his projects at the Senseable City Laboratory, the research initiative he directs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Innovation 2021.

Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, Principals of Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, will then discuss their research and design interventions along both sides of the San Diego/Tijuana border. Cruz is an architect, and his partner is a political scientist, and their work includes a scale-able model for refugee housing on the Mexican side, using concrete-and-steel modular framing.

The closing keynote on day one of RECORD’s Innovation Conference will be by Christoph Ingenhoven, Principal and Founder, Ingenhoven Architects. Titled “Sustainability at the Urban Scale,” the German architect will discuss his green buildings, from Marina One in Singapore that is a 4.3 million-square-foot office and residential project with tropical vegetation to Stuttgart’s rail station.

On day two of the conference, the opening keynote will be “Architecture, Culture and the Public Realm” by Ellen van Loon. She will deep dive into OMA’s recent projects like Copenhagen’s BLOX exhibition center, Berlin’s KaDeWe department store, and Paris’ Fondation Galeries Lafayette for contemporary art. Angela Brooks, Principal of Brooks + Scarpa, will present “Dense City: Homes for Social Capital”. Through her advocacy for affordable housing and her firm’s built work, and the NEST toolkit—awarded a $1 million dollar grant to develop flexible modular units—the Los Angeles and Florida-based architect will tell the story of scalable, adaptable solutions that increase density in existing urban neighborhoods. 

Later in the afternoon, Liz Ogbu, Principal and founder of Studio O, and Douglas Burnham, Principal and founder, Envelope A+D, will together lead a conversation about how activations can foster a more inclusive vision for neighborhoods. For “Strategies to Solve Homelessness”, Rosanne Haggerty will present projects from her organization Community Solution, which use data and information, collaborating with government agencies and not-for-profits, to help end homelessness. She was recently awarded a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to expand this work. After Haggerty, Mark Cavagnero will present “Creating Connections on an Urban Campus” about improving the public realm of city life.

The closing keynote of RECORD’s 2021 Innovation Conference on Wednesday, October 20, will be by Rahul Mehrotra, Founder + Principal, RMA Architects, and head of urban design at Harvard’s GSD. Mehrotra’s talk “Architecture and Planning in a Time of FLUX” will focus on understanding the nature of flux—including shifting populations and massive migrations—and the implications for architecture and planning, not only in India, where he practices, but also globally.