Design Explor-edition

Is it an expedition if you don’t travel? Does exploration require you leave home if you’ve packed your curiosity? Investigating the built environment in cities around the world has always been an essential part of our annual Design Expeditions. However, this year was a little different. We had to hit pause on the expedition, but we still hit the gas on the exploration.

As they are every year, our annual Design Expedition (DX) participants are selected for their knowledge on the topic we are exploring. This year was no different. While the coronavirus pandemic prevented our DX 2020 crew from traveling to Chicago as planned, our commitment to bringing wellness into the built environment remained undiminished. Though we couldn’t visit and document the Chicago-based projects on our itinerary, our 2020 Design ‘Exploration’ included lively Zoom discussions about projects like Google’s Chicago headquarters and a Petal certified office renovation for the National Resources Defense Council. Every project was looked at through the lenses of biophilia, sustainability, resilience, and well-being. Two fantastic external presentations—one by Joanna Frank of the Center for Active Design, and one by Gunnar Hubbard, Thornton Thomasetti’s sustainability practice leader—went forward as scheduled. And while we missed seeing these industry leaders in person, the Zoom presentations allowed us to extend the invite to everyone at GBBN.

There will be time for travel again, but we’ll take passion over passports any day.