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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Events Guide: 4 Days: Sustained by Design ‘unconference’


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Beginning tonight, international leaders in social innovation, the green economy, public participation, and sustainable design will be in Halifax to do more than just one-off presentations. They will submerse themselves in the Halifax community to explore how participatory design can help this lively region in its transition to sustainability.

Visiting innovators include headliner John Thackara, global lecturer and design critic, Peter MacLeod of MASS LBP – experts in reinventing public engagement, and Uffe Elbaek founder of Danish Kaospilot School that creates positive societal change through professional and personal growth. Thackara describes his role in Halifax as a “Hubble Telescope turned backwards – the idea being that it often takes an outsider to help grassroots people and groups, who are the acorns of a sustainable future, become better known or visible in their own backyard.”


WEDNESDAY, Oct 21 :: 7pm :: Carbonstok
Dragon’s Lair

Wouldn’t it be great if more of the things we need were designed and produced locally? This evening will showcase pitches from local people and their ideas for products/services that add to a green economy (creating profit while enhancing our quality of life in NS). Let’s see how Jane Wright and her fellow dragons Marc St-Onge, president of Ascenta Health, Uffe Elbaek of Denmark’s Kaos Pilots and Gordon Stevens from the Uncommon Group spend their ‘greenbacks’.

THURSDAY, Oct 22 :: 7pm :: the Hub

Connect into the global world of big ideas. Come hear engaging views on the critical topic ‘Global Perspectives, Local Learning’ by Uffe Elbaek (Kaos Pilots, Denmark), Peter MacLeod, (Principal, MASS LBP) and Joan MacArthur-Blair (President, NSCC). It will make for a fantastic kick-off to the Halifax series of TEDx. This event takes place at The Hub, 1673 Barrington or join us at Garrison Brewery to watch it live-streamed while you relax and sip some local, micro-brewed ale – Garrison is a barrier-free venue.

FRIDAY, Oct 23 :: 7pm :: Garrison Brewery
Pecha Kucha Night 3

Halifax’s 3rd PechaKucha night will feature an all-star line-up delivering commentary on Forward Thinking using 20 images x 20 seconds – the greatest format ever for powerpoint presentations. Included in PK3 will be the results of the 4 Days “Design a Better Life in Halifax” charrette. $8.oo cover.

SATURDAY, Oct 24 :: 1pm :: Hollis + Morris St
Street Festival

John Thackara’s unique keynote address will share thoughts Sustainable Living by Design while helping Halifax pay homage to a building whose cultural significance reaches far beyond its architectural form. As another piece of Halifax’s urban landscape transforms we will celebrate a storied site with… well, stories and music and maybe a BBQ. Return to your bachelor pad days but bring your kids this time!

4 Days is an annual event, in Halifax and other places, organized by Halifax-based Breakhouse Inc., a multidisciplinary design firm that provides brand design to local and national clients, the Hub and Envision Halifax.

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photo by Hugh Pouliot