In 2009, Eric Chimenti (Associate Professor of Art) and Ron Leland (Real Life Branding), developed a design course that would take communication design students from Chapman University, to London, so that they could gain real experience working on an international design project. They have spent the past four years focused around the London 2012 Olympics, working directly with the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), architects and engineers, studying the branding of the Games as well as the planning and design of the Olympic Park. This year, the Chapman University students completed a design intensive, five week course in London, developing an exhibition on Smart Cities vs Living Cities for Buro Happold. The twenty one students researched and distilled messaging that would encourage open conversations about components of future cities that keep a good sense of community, and humanistic elements in the planning for the future.
The exhibition is to be staged in Buro Happold’s London office, and should be ready for viewing in the autumn. The primary audiences will be Buro Happold’s international staff, as well as clients and visitors to the London offices. In addition, they have developed a web component to encourage contribute to the conversations about Living Cities.
The enthusiasm, perception and creativity of the students has been inspirational and has helped to underscore the importance of an holistic approach to urban planning and design in order to make the most of the undoubted benefits that technology is able to bring to those who live, work and socialise in increasing numbers in our cities. It also reminded us of the importance of good communication across the broad spectrums of demographics we serve and the need to consistently reference the next generations; they that will have even greater challenges to contend with in the future.