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Participant Questionnaires

Your NameMelissa Kinnear
Cohort AssignmentCohort A (Europe + MENA)
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

Academic - educating architecture students in how to design

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

Somebody who can have an impact on the future generation of designers with a focus on regenerative practice. I feel that in my role this is the most significant impact I can make at this stage of my career.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

As sustainable principles have not really managed to change the current trajectory - business as usual model - the principles of regenerative design have become really important for me to try to understand to enable my own practice to evolve and then be able to teach students more effectively about how they might become the next generation of regenerative designers, which is now becoming urgent as far as I can tell.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

To understand my own position within the world - how to really connect with the more than human world and change my own views based on how I’ve been brought up and lived for 50 years, to try to fully engage in truly living in a more holistic way

5. And for professional growth?

To understand how to design through an interbeing lens, to be regenerative and to enable more students and colleagues to embrace regenerative thinking and practice

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have always studied as much as I can about designing sustainably, but recently I read a book called Flourish by Sarah Ichioka and Michael Pawlyn which led me to a book called Designing for Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Wahl. I spent most of last summer researching around these two books and following links and videos to different organisations trying to find out as much as I can about regenerative design. I have been researching resilience frameworks with the intention to develop a resilience baseline of places to enable design projects to become possible transformative proposals, which was the starting point of this journey. This has been the focus of a design studio that I am a co-tutor in for the 2nd year of the Masters in Architecture. I am also a trustee of a small charity called Architecture Sans Frontieres - UK and I was one of the initial team members trying to understand the links between resilience and design. The team have now developed a framework which they are testing in Scotland to support a zero carbon neighbourhood initiative. But I think that resilience is just one part of the story and that regenerative practice is so much more.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

Christopher Day - places of the soul was one of my favourite books when I was studying architecture. As noted above the two key books that are influencing me now are Flourish and Designing for Regenerative Cultures. I really enjoy Daniel Wahl’s podcasts etc. Other than that I have read a great number of books on Commoning, feminism, and participatory democracy, all of which have informed my practice and continue to inspire my teaching methods.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

This is quite hard for me to answer. I don’t really have a philosophy of life other than trying to do as little harm to all life as I can. Through the recent readings I have been doing I have started to reconnect with the ideas of all beings being interconnected, which is the rekindling of what I used to believe many years ago. So there is an emerging philosophy around this, but it is in its infancy at the moment.

Date CreatedJanuary 23, 2023


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