04 February 2009

Culture of Change

ULI Coffee Talk
Presented by: Shaheen Sadeghi, LAB Holdings, LLC
Attended: 01-30-2009

Topic: Culture of Change

Do our kids want to live the same way we do? Will they have the same opportunities?

Creativity is more important that literacy.

All kids are born artists; the problem is trying not to let them grow out of it.

Retail is a formula driven model, ie. Outlet Malls, Big Box Retail, Entertainment/ Lifestyle centers, Mixed (up) Use.

Formulas are not human centric.

Planning...is our current trend of home building’s site plan just glorified shantytowns? Are they a real community?

If we want to change the game, we must understand the culture.

Great products/projects start with culture rather than design.

Kenaf edible clinics –Africa - Cameron Sinclair

Sustainable is not just driving a Prius.

Culture eats demographics for lunch. Good Example: Organic.

Missing culture is expensive.

Culture is about telling a story.

Culture is the glue between Brand, Product, and Consumer. Good Example: Apple.

Mass culture in America is breaking down.

You’re better off looking for new technology rather than investing in the latest generation technology.

We are turning from a mass market to a niche nation. Good Example: Boutique shopping.

Each person is a brand. Good Example: eHarmony.

U.S. makes up 4.5% of the world population but consumes 25% of the world’s goods. Is that sustainable? NO.

We will come out of this recession better…people, culture, economy, spenders, givers, world as a whole.

In the age of overload, emotional connection is the key.

Design with Conscience, is flourishing.

Urban Acupuncture. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim-Bilboa, Spain – it reinvented the region with new businesses, new restaurants, new etc. Tourism.

Mixed use products – the ground floor is where the soul is. Good Example: Golf course communities in the desert - take the golf course away, homes would be empty. Develop the Soul of your project.

Sustainable is making something social.

WHAT’S MISSING??? Find it, explore it, make a business out of it.

Good example: CSA - Community Supported Agriculture - local community organically grown food for the individual consumer.

People want content in their lives.

Shift from passive consumers to active participants.

Your audience (end user) wants to be a co-author/co-designer to your product/project.

Time to get back to grass roots.

Want to get creative – cut a couple zeros off your budget.

Invent by being a user.

The 70’s were about Love (Lennon), 80’s about Greed (Miami Vice), 90’s about Ego (Donald Trump), 2000’s about Cause (Al Gore), 10’s…? We are at the tip of the iceberg with green technology. We need to get back to doing it for Love!

Every company should have a chemistry department. Leaving the baggage behind and bring new and fresh ideas. Look for what people want. (content, community, social culture).

CULTURE - “Commerce without culture and respect for community becomes a soulless and short lived commodity. Our creative endeavors demand a deep rooted examination of the local personality and careful placement of hand selected quality businesses to compliment the existing environment yet excite the senses. Partnerships with local entrepreneurs, artisans, educators, neighbors, and trade organizations are paramount to our success. The incorporation of ‘public space’ for the invigoration and support of local culture begins at the most primary stages of concept and design and becomes our proud trademark”.
Shaheen Sadeghi, LAB Holdings, LLC

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