Dr Rosa Schiano-Phan, Reader in Architecture and Environmental Design and Course Leader of the Architecture and Environmental Design MSc, took part in a TEDxUniversityofWestminster ‘Countdown’ event with a talk titled ‘Are we all Environmental Architects?’. It was recently published on the TED website and has received almost 30,000 views.

Screenshot of Dr Rosa Schiano-Phan talking at a virtual TEDx talk

TEDx is a programme of local, self-organised events that invites speakers to spark deep discussion and connection about their own expertise. TEDxUniversityofWestminster’s ‘Countdown’ is a student-led event presented by the University of Westminster’s Environmental Society in collaboration with the Student’s Union and covered by the Westminster News Society. The event marked the launch of a global call to adapt how we tackle the climate crisis and promoting action towards all sustainable efforts. There was an exciting line up of local speakers who brought innovative, sustainable actions to the table along with speakers straight from the TED community.

Countdown took place virtually in October last year and the recordings from the event, which were published in April, have been very well received. In her talk ‘Are we all Environmental Architects?’, Dr Schiano-Phan explored the effect that people can have on reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions in buildings by implementing everyday energy saving strategies and modifying their behaviour.

The talk discusses human adaptiveness as a coping mechanism to be revived, and sensory pleasure, health and wellbeing as motivating factors for bottom up change. With a concluding optimistic message, the talk encourages the audience to take charge of their futures by becoming architects of the immediate and global environment.

Talking about the event and the success of her talk, Dr Schiano-Phan said: “I was delighted to see my TEDx contribution published on the TED website during Earth week in April. The fact that it was so well received by the wider public reassures me of the potential for impact and change that we can all have.

“Taking part in the TEDxUniversityofWestminster event organised by the Westminster Environmental Society was not only an excellent opportunity to join forces with the Countdown movement supported by TED and many in the international community, but also, it gave me the platform to disseminate more widely some pretty fundamental and basic ways in which we can all contribute to the reduction of our collective carbon footprint and motivate each other to be architects of our future!”

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