Our built environments are rapidly becoming increasingly “quantified,” prompting us to question the balance of the roles of various stakeholders in urban development. Whose needs are considered, and by whom? Here, Francesca Birks points toward some examples of how we can best innovate and integrate technologies into our communities in ways that serve and respond to all parties involved, not just the needs or desires of some.
Francesca is an Associate at the NYC offices of Arup, an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants, and technical specialists. She is a strategist and certified facilitator with a background in media and advertising who brings her understanding of ethnography, storytelling, and strategic planning to everything she does. As the Americas Leader of Foresight + Research + Innovation, she is responsible for delivering projects that promote strategic foresight and innovation in the design development process, including authoring the Drivers of Change Demographics card set and developing the future of hospitality and education programs. Francesca works collaboratively with a variety of clients to envision the future of their organizations and to develop a design process that fully integrates that vision and the views of their stakeholders. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Doggerel, Arup’s online magazine, focused on innovation in the built environment.