Your NameMarianne Lavoie
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Fall-Winter 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I am currently an eco-design trainer and advisor for the cultural sector. I work at a non-profit organization and primarily collaborate with theatres, festivals, and museums as an additional member of their creative teams. I teach eco-design classes at a few local theater schools, helping students adapt scenography practices to align with the climate crisis context. I also instruct on building eco-responsible practices and fostering community engagement.

Furthermore, I am a full-time graduate student in Environmental Design at UQAM University, with a focus on Regenerative Design for my master's thesis.

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

I see my role in this world as providing hope to others, inspiring them by discovering and sharing creative solutions, and motivating through effective communication. My natural inclination towards optimism and thinking outside the box is something I aim to share and hope will continue to inspire and influence those around me.

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

I've always been a natural connector, bridging people, concepts, and opportunities. This quality excites me about the prospect of delving into projects that focus on recognizing the master pattern of place and listening to its inherent potential.

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

-Striving to become a better listener and fully embracing the idea that judgment stands in opposition to curiosity. I aim to maintain a constant sense of curiosity.
- Cultivating a deeper sense of kinship with all human beings and other living creatures.
- Recognizing the profound truth that diverse perspectives on a single issue are all valid and, together, contribute to a more intricate and just understanding of the topic.

5. And for professional growth?

- I aspire to engage in interdisciplinary work with biologists and scientists and collaborate with designers from diverse fields, and gaining to self-confidence to do so.
- My goal is to focus on projects that fully align with regenerative development and regenerative design, rather than generic sustainable initiatives. So projects and teams where regenerative values are at the chore of the work.

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

I transitioned from being a concerned citizen and designer to actively seeking to transform my own practice, eventually becoming an eco-design expert in the cultural sector. However, I've come to realize that traditional eco-design often falls short of my aspirations for a better world. It frequently revolves around 'less bad' alternatives and eco-efficiency, whereas my aim is to work in coevolution with more than human beings, to engage in codesign with communities, all guided by an ecocentric approach.
My master's degree represents a personal journey to discover new practical frameworks and creative solutions for the current context. I feel on a daily basis that I am resolute in refusing to work in a way that doesn't lead toward a genuine transition. My choices, both past and present, have consistently aligned with a global vision of the world and a profound sense of purpose. I am grateful for the unwavering guidance of this sense of purpose throughout my journey, leading me to where I am today.

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

Environmental design, biology, landscape design, indigenous wisdom, systems thinking, and biomimicry have all been significant sources of information and inspiration for me.
To name just a few outstanding thinkers that have inspired me: Robin Wall Kimmerer, Bill Reed, Tanja Beer, Hunter Cardinal and Suzanne Simard.

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

I'm a firm believer that there is no such thing as human vs. nature; we are inherently part of nature, and we need to relearn how to be actively engaged with it. I believe that humans have a positive ecological service role to play within ecosystems, such as stewards. The imbalanced world we inhabit is a consequence of a disconnection, not only from the environment but also from ourselves. Therefore, the cognitive dissonance that exists in both admiring 'untouched' nature in 'preserved from human interaction' parks and in exploiting and owning natural resources is a fundamental issue among many, that comes from this disconnection.
I dream of a world where cities make space for more than human beings, a world where knowledge and education emphasize the resilience and strength that coevolution with the natural world offers us.

Date CreatedOctober 16, 2023