Ted Talk: How architects work with a community #2

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Many talks over the years have left us baffled – and more than a little jealous – as to how they pulled off such an amazing project. Here’s five of the best.

by Helen Arvanitakis
Join host and journalist Elise Hu for thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable

Helen Arvanitakis, Design District Director

Drawing on a wealth of experience gained working as a consultant to creative businesses, as well as time spent managing the design studio at Tom Dixon, Helen is now bringing her talent for enabling creatives to the thinking behind the Design District. Like the rest of the team, Helen is ardent about the district's potential for nurturing strong, productive communities.

‘The Design District is all about community,’ she says. ‘No community, no Design District — just a collection of spaces rented to people.’ Aware that such sentiments are easy to dismiss, Helen stresses the need for this process to be honest and helpful: ‘Not just lip service,’ she vows.

Referring to a tradition of creative industries being reluctant to share — perhaps the fault of a pervasive individualism in arts education — Helen sees enormous value in a place where diverse practices come together and overlap. ‘I feel we never stop learning,’ she enthuses, ‘and who better to learn from, perhaps, than someone who's not in your industry, but rather just on the edge of it, at the periphery. That’s where new and exciting things happen, and that is everything the Design District is about.’

About the Author

Helen Arvanitakis

Design District's Director, Helen, expertise and love for the creative industries comes from running her own consulting business for creative service providers, as well as 10 years spent leading the Tom Dixon design team. It’s Helen’s job — as she puts it — ‘to make sure the vision becomes a reality.’