October 5, 2013

The event brought 10 speakers to Edmonton from different regions of the country, as well as 99% Invisible podcast producer Roman Mars from America and dozens of video interviews with passionate Edmontonians, to spark an inspiring conversation and to challenge others to think differently about the architecture, space, urban planning, design, art, and health of their cities and other cities in Canada.

Over 1,300 people gathered for the Designing Downtown indoor and outdoor activities. The Pecha Kucha itself was the largest public conversation about design and architecture in Edmonton’s history. It connected 8 cities through live-stream parties to another 300 people across Canada and was watched by another 300 in their homes.

The foyer was activated with lego displays from a MADE lego competition that re-imagined Edmonton 50 years from now, a large lego display of Edmonton, interactive art and media that invited people to sketch their ideas for downtown, a wintercity photo booth, and more.


Johanna Hurme, Occupy

Sophie Mankowski, Architectural Translations: From Memory to Music

Janice Abbott, Atira Women’s Resource Society

Dalton Higgins, Hip Hop World

Curtis Olson, Designing a Creative City

Micheline Clouard, Place & Identity

Simon Taylor, Harsh Optimism

Kamala Todd, Indigenize Our Urban Eyes

Waye Mason, Urban Halifax Rebounding


Johanna Hurme • Occupy

Simon Taylor • Harsh Optimism

Curtis Olsen • Designing a Creative City

Dalton Higgins • Hip Hop World

Kamala Todd • Indigenize Our Urban Eyes

Micheline Clouard • Place & Identity

More Videos coming soon.


Dozens of Edmontonians were interviewed to discuss their perspectives on downtowns. We talked to a ton of people, from hospitality and retail leaders, to designers and architects, to journalists, homelessness experts, and the future mayor of the city.

Pecha Kucha 17 Vignette 1

Pecha Kucha 17 Vignette 2


Thank Yous

This tremendous undertaking took vision, risk, and energy on the part of many, most notably Lisa Baroldi, Brian Murray, Josh Kupsch, and supportive sponsors and, of course, amazing volunteers who did everything from set up to host the event.