Cameron Sinclair and Facebook’s Margaret Stewart feature in the third instalment of The World Around symposium

Lynne M. Centeno

Architect Cameron Sinclair and vegan fashion designer Mats Rombaut are joined by Facebook’s director of product design Margaret Stewart in the third part of our Virtual Design Festival collaboration with The World Around for Earth Day.

The World Around’s Earth Day 2020 symposium, which we are broadcasting today as part of Virtual Design Festival, features talks, presentations, films and essays by over twenty visionaries at the forefront of ecological design.

​Jupe flat-packed care units could bolster hospitals in coronavirus pandemic
Cameron Sinclair will present Jupe during the symposium

The third session starts with Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, a charity that aimed to create architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis around the world. Sinclair presents his new project Jupe, flat-pack intensive care units designed to bolster hospitals impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is followed by a conversation between Karen van Godtsenhoven, curator at the Met museum in New York’s Costume Institute, and Mats Rombaut, founder of vegan accessories brand Rombaut (pictured top), who discusses his biodegradable footwear.

Mats Rombaut talks about his brand's biodegradable footwear
Mats Rombaut talks about his brand’s biodegradable footwear

Artist Amanda Williams then discusses disparities in Covid-19 cases in Chicago as an enduring effect of redlining, before landscape designer Walter Hood presents his museum projects and reflects on watching landscapes thrive in the absence of people.

The World Around symposium takes place on the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, which saw 20 million people in the USA demonstrate against the damage human activity causes the natural environment.

It is the second event organised by The World Around, a platform for architecture and design discussions founded last year by Galilee, Diego Marroquin and Alexandra Hodkowski. The online programme replaces a physical conference that The World Around was planning, which had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amanda Williams discusses disparities in COVID-19 cases in Chicago as an enduring effect of redlining
Amanda Williams discusses disparities in COVID-19 cases in Chicago as an enduring effect of redlining

This is the third of three talks sessions that make up the symposium, which is structured around themes titled Rethink, Reimagine and Recreate.

The first session featured discussions with designers including Nelly Ben Hayoun and Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi. The second session included a conversation between curator Aric Chen and designer Thomas Thwaites, alongside short films by Kalyanee Mam and Apichatpong Weerasthakul.

This session will be followed by an interview with collaborative architecture practice Design Earth conducted by curator and writer Carson Chan at 8:00pm, and an exclusive screening of a new short film called The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19 by Andrés Jaque and Ivan Munuera to close the symposium at 9:00pm.

Here’s the schedule for all the content throughout the day:


VDF x The World Around Earth Day 2020 symposium schedule

1:00pm Live interview with The World Around curator Beatrice Galilee

2:00pm Live broadcast of part one of the symposium, titled Rethink

  • Cooking Sections in conversation with Maite Borjabad
  • Nelly Ben Hayoun in conversation with Sepake Angiama
  • Kunlé Adeyemi in conversation with Beatrice Galilee
  • Harriet Harriss in conversation with Timothy Morton

4:00pm Live broadcast of part two of the symposium, titled Reimagine

  • Malika Leiper in conversation with Kalyanee Mam, plus film screening
  • Aric Chen in conversation with Thomas Thwaites
  • Mariana Pestana in conversation with Studio Ossidiana
  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul in conversation with Andrea Lissoni, plus film screening

6:00pm Design Earth interview by Carson Chan

7:00pm Earth Day illustrations by Mona Chalabi

8:00pm Live broadcast of part three of the symposium, titled Recreate

  • Cameron Sinclair talk
  • Amanda Williams talk
  • Karen van Godtsenhoven in conversation with Mats Rombaut
  • Margaret Stewart talk
  • Walter Hood talk

9:30pm Premiere of The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19 short film by Andrés Jaque and Ivan Munuera

All times are UK time.

The full schedule and biographies of all the speakers are available on The World Around’s website.

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