Andrew Zolli

The Big Picture: Building Resilience

At the 2014 Climate, Buildings and Behavior symposium, resilience expert Andrew Zolli gave this keynote talk on the accelerating pace of disruptions in this century, and how the shocks with which we’re increasingly confronted, don’t fit into our normal planning horizons — so we’re constantly surprised.  But that doesn’t lock us into a dystopian future; with disruption also comes opportunity for positive change.  “How do we help people and systems recover, persist or even thrive amid disruption?” he asks. We need systems that can self-reorganize, that are better at sensing emerging disruption. We need systems that encourage cooperation, rather than division. We need systems that, when a failure happens in one component of the system, it doesn’t bring down every other component of the system. Yes, we need to reimagine the built environment but we need to do it in a way that recognizes it as part of a greater system that includes human relationships. Let’s let buildings help build relationships that will allow us to thrive in the face of climate, or other, disruptions. “This would be a design brief for the 21st century.”

Andrew Zolli, Curator, PopTech &  author of Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back