John Cary

Architect, Author

Dignifying Design

October 26 | 10:30 | Tower Theatre

Almost nothing influences the quality of our lives more than the design of our homes, our schools, our workplaces, and our public spaces. Environmental psychologists have long described this influence as “place identity” — the foremost building blocks of our sense of self are the spaces in which we live, work, and play. The design also has a unique ability to dignify or reflect back to people the value of their lives. Despite all this, design is often taken for granted; most people don’t realize that they deserve better, or that better is even possible. Drawing on examples from around the world, author John Cary’s keynote showcases buildings that dignify illustrated by stories of their actual inhabitants and users.

MASHUP : Giant Jenga Design Wisdom

October 26 | 5:00 | 120 minutes | Velvet

Add your design wisdom to shape our future while showing off your Jenga skills.

Where I'll Be

October 26 | 10:30 Dignifying Design

An architect by training, John Cary has devoted his career to expanding the practice of design for the public good. He is the author of Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone and his writing on design, philanthropy, and fatherhood has appeared in the New York Times, on CNN.com, and in numerous other publications. John works as a philanthropic advisor to an array of foundations and nonprofits around the world, and he frequently curates and hosts events for TED, the Aspen Institute, and other entities. For seven years, John served as executive director of the nonprofit Public Architecture, building the largest pro bono design program in the world, pledging tens of millions of dollars in donated services annually. John is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, a resident of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and a three-time commencement speaker, among other honors. John lives in a cohousing community in Oakland, California, with his wife, author Courtney E. Martin, and their two daughters.