Designboost will this year celebrate the city: how shall we make it live long and well? A city where people prosper develops well economically and culturally. The success overtakes sometimes the wellbeing and when the city starts to consume its own and the environment’s resources, it becomes unsustainable. Now five new speakers are confirmed; designer Michael Young, trend forecaster Cay Bond, architect Anders Wilhelmsson, zen buddhist Sante Poromaa and horticulturalist Lisa White.

Designboost took place for the first time in October of last year in Malmö in southern Sweden and became an immediate success due to the new concept: to boost new thinking rather than to aim at problem solving. Last year’s theme was broad: sustainable design and if the debates initially focused on ‘what others ought to do’, they concluded with ‘what we can do’. Designboost is about sharing knowledge on an international level and the aim is to start new processes within design by inviting theorists and practitioners to pose different and challenging questions.
This year the theme is the sustainable city or ‘Long Live the City’.
“Several of the experts we have been talking to in preparation for this year’s Designboost point to the importance of every city making the best of its inherent capacity to improve sustainability”, says Peer Eriksson, one of Designboost’s two founders. “General models for how cities ought to work with the complex notion of sustainability, has often proved to be unsuccessful.”
“Of course, there must be clear and well founded policies as well as explicit rules, but apart from these, all cities have to work on its own terms”, adds Peer.
All speakers, or ‘Boosters’, will present and discuss ideas and practical examples referring to cities in certain situations, a specific city or type of city. The presentations will not only concern the built environment, infrastructure and places to meet and find recreation but also how businesses and other organisations are acting with the city and its dwellers in mind.
“It has become obvious that all so called models for sustainable development, which do not regard humans ways of being but merely how we live, are not working very well, argues David Carlson, the other founder.  “Our lifestyle is constantly changing and what was a truth yesterday is a lie today. What our home means to us is one good example. That is why we have engaged Ilse Crawford, the almost legendary former editor in chief for ELLE Deco in the UK. She was first, not only to understand but to put simple words on the fact that people only care for their environment if they feel it is adapted to them and their needs. Ilse is today a successful consultant and her work is based on her belief that wellbeing generally emanates from the environment we call our home. She argues further that all environmental concern, in small or in large, must regard the human senses and not merely our rationality.
Lifestyle guru Ilse Crawford, designer Ilkka Suppanen and architect Bjarke Ingels has been announced as speakers before.
Designboost is held in Malmö between October 15 and 17. The first day is dedicated to workshops (Boost Chats) in Malmö’s amazing Calatrava building, the Turning Torso for a specially invited international group of academics, designers and business people. The second day will see more than 25 speakers present their ideas and experiences and also pose challenging questions (Boost Talks) at Malmö University College (Malmö Högskola). The third and last day offers an architectural tour and sees also the opening of this year’s thematic exhibition. The Boost Talks and the Boost Show are open to the public, the former only after registering.


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