TEDxEmilyCarrU 2019 Talks Published

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By Guest Entry | filed in Design, Students, Campus Life, Media Release

Posted on August 26, 2019 | Updated February 05, 2020, 10:54AM

Themed "Greater Than You," TEDxEmilyCarrU 2019 dove deep into the student community this year to feature some of their brightest and least expected ideas on the TEDx stage.

Themed "Greater Than You," TEDxEmilyCarrU 2019 dove deep into the student community this year to feature around a dozen of their brightest and least expected ideas on the TEDx stage. Included are a few local leaders and performers on topics from how street dance is changing Vancity to how thinking like a jigsaw puzzler can change the world.

Watch the talks on or the official TEDx Talks Youtube channel, the highlights from the event experience, and the event's opening themed animation.

About the speakers and performers:

Janani Ramesh (What we overlook about change): When was the last time you welcomed change with open arms; without feeling like it might bring you down or cripple you? By reliving her multicultural experiences in India, the Netherlands, China and Canada, Janani reminds us how to treat these new, unexpected life changes as our dear friend. Janani Ramesh is an interaction design student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Having lived in India, the Netherlands and China over the past 21 years, Janani puts a lot of care and effort into understanding multicultural contexts and how they shape us. She takes pride in incorporating her cultural background in her writing and designing practice. With the ability to speak 5 languages—English, Tamil, Hindi, Dutch and Mandarin—she empathizes with those who feel the need to express themselves through the power of language, whether it be through speech or gestures.

Pochun Chen (How much money we burn per year in Taiwan): Pochun Chen details a surprising part of Taiwanese culture, and how it can help us rethink our relationship with the environment. PoChun Chen is a Taiwanese independent filmmaker, photographer, and film student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her works include narrative short films, experimental, and fashion filmmaking for European and local brands. Aside from narrative filmmaking, she has an interest in environmental preservation, waste reduction, recycling, and human activity, and how to link artistic practices with an environmentally-conscious mindset. With the belief that media is the strongest and most influential means to educate, she hopes that through her practice, she can spread the goal of caring for the environment through film and photography.

Alan Shapiro (Why you use more water than you think): Have you ever wondered how much water it takes to produce a single almond? Spoiler alert - it’s higher than you think. Science communicator Alan Shapiro explores your water footprint - the invisible water behind everything you eat and buy - and offers some advice for living a water-conscious lifestyle. Alan Shapiro is a Vancouver-based environmental professional and science communicator with a particular interest in engaging the public and policymakers on water issues. He is co-founder and director of Science Slam Canada – a Canada-wide non-profit organization focused on science communication and outreach. Alan also teaches geography at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, serves on the Youth Advisory Board for Waterlution, and consults on a range of water resources projects. Alan holds a MSc in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and a BSc in Environmental Earth Science from the University of Alberta.

Claudia Hopkins (You can be a service designer in your community): Claudia Hopkins reveals how design can be not only what is typically visible to the eye. Through compelling examples that have begun to transform local communities, she offers simple steps for how anyone can participate. Claudia Hopkins is an Interaction Design student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her design interests span from inclusive design to designing for public service. Within her practice, she is dedicated to user research. She has worked in many areas across health care as a designer, communicator, and as a clinical researcher.

Emma Chin (Learning for the learning disabled): Emma Chin breaks down how academic teaching and conventional evaluation hinders vital communication between learning disabled students and their teachers, and identifies a gateway to overcoming these challenges. Emma Chin is currently a Design student at Emily Carr University. Since embarking on an education in Art, she realized that there are many different ways to quantify learning. The belief that learning can be assessed in many different ways is an extension of her personal experience as a child in Montessori school. Emma is passionate in finding ways that can help every kind of learner to succeed.

Nidhi Hira (Think like a puzzler): Have you ever observed that sometimes, the solutions to our biggest problems might lie in something very insignificant, maybe a jigsaw puzzle? With a unique point of view, Nidhi Hira, an observant puzzler, explains how thinking about problems like a jigsaw puzzle and solving them with the same steps may make the process easier. She attempts to bring a new perspective to your way of thinking. Nidhi Hira is a foundation year student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Driven by the passion and interest in the creative field, she aspires to be an industrial designer. She was born and raised in the diversely cultural environment of India and completed her high school in the International Baccalaureate curriculum. With the ability to look and analyze things with a different perspective, she is always looking for new ways and practical solutions to different problems.

Thomas Girard (How to feel at home in the airport): Thomas takes us on a personal journey through the gritty streets of Mumbai and edible diversions of Barcelona, a travel immersion that serendipitously reminds us of the single thing missing in his adventures -- the familiar. Thomas Girard is a Continuing Studies Instructor at his alma mater, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, with a unique cultural perspective. Having lived and worked in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Vancouver and London, he is a person of many places. A 5x Emerging Scholar Award recipient, he speaks, receives awards and sits on panel discussions around the world. Once employed as a Staff User Experience Designer at Lenovo Innovation Design Center User Experience Center in Haidian District, Beijing, his days are often spent thinking about where he’ll be tomorrow as he designs possibilities for our future selves.

Robin Stethem featuring Eric Cheung (Museum of Other Realities): Featuring an interactive dance performance by Eric Cheung from OURO Collective, Robin Stethem showcases his team's latest virtual reality work which he believes can transform the way people interact. Robin Stethem is cofounder of the Museum of Other Realities, a virtual reality art gallery. Robin graduated from Emily Carr in 2016 and worked as an industrial designer before pursuing his current project, exploring new ways for people to socialize and interact with information.

Prakriti Mukhopadhyay (Design for virtual nations): As the virtual space increasingly becomes a part of our ‘real-life’ existence, Prakriti reminds us to be mindful of not creating global villages, but instead building culturally rich ‘Virtual Nations’. Prakriti Mukhopadhyay is a service designer pursuing her MDes at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, British Columbia) Born and raised in India, Mukhopadhyay graduated with a degree in fashion and worked in the e- commerce industry for 6 years. During her time there, in 2014, India felt the full-boom of electronic commerce. Mukhopadhyay found herself asking which side of technology did her work reside? One that organizes information for its own short-term benefits or one that liberates. Back in design school, her work, now questions social acceptance and affordances in design and their implications in the face of globalization. Her research interest lies in designing a platform for geographically displaced immigrants to network and share culturally relevant knowledge to better integrate into society. Mukhopadhyay is presently co-designing this platform in collaboration with PICS, Surrey.

Char Loro (How street dance culture builds community): Have you ever witnessed a street or club dance battle before? Beyond the portrayals of Hollywood surrounding this rich culture, Char Loro, a community builder and event producer in the local Vancouver street and club dance scene, dispels stereotypes and shares what's been emerging from the underground. Char Loro is a creative producer, curator and master of ceremonies for live music and street dance events, immersive art experiences, as well as video production. She joined the Vancouver Street Dance Association in 2017 as their Community Facilitator - building bridges and creating collaboration opportunities between the street dance community and various organizations such as the Vancouver Mural Festival, Public Disco, Granville Island, the Downtown/Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Associations, Vancouver Craft Beer Week, and Vancouver Civic Theatres. She has also been working with community builders in the street-dance community in Seattle and Portland to strengthen the Pacific Northwest region. Char is very passionate about bringing people together to activate urban public spaces and create accessible platforms for street dancers and music artists to share their artistry with the general public.

Chloe Kwok (Why tattoos should not be taboo): Discussing tattoos is no easy task from child-to-parent. Through personal experiences, Chloe heartens open mindedness, and hopes to break the taboo associated with tattooing. In her storytelling, she encourages inclusivity and empathy to create a middle ground for all individuals seeking to come to terms with this medium. Chloe Kwok is an Illustration student attending Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Exploring one of many mediums of Illustration, she opens the audience to the world of tattooing. Being a client of tattoo artists has inspired her to promote open mindedness to the subject, and break the taboo of mark making on skin. Drawing from experience, she exposes the positives and negatives of bearing visible tattoos as a taiwanese born Canadian. Chloe heartens mindfulness to the effect tattooing has had on Asian culture, encouraging the positive the art can bring in the future.

Shrushti Kulkarni (Senior citizen technology is progressing): Delving deep into experiences seniors have had with technology, Shrushti shows a bright future ahead as designers come together. Srushti Kulkarni is an Industrial Designer currently pursuing her MDes at the Emily Carr University of Art+Design with a particular interest in healthcare design. Having worked in India, on designing an emergency watch for senior citizens for two years, she has always been intrigued by the manner in which smart technology is persistently helping the older adult in advancing at the same pace as the evolution of technology.

Angela Fama (How talking about death can make you happy): Do you want to be more comfortable when thinking about death? By being more open to exploring what we can know about death while we’re living, we can come closer to peace, ourselves and globally. Interdisciplinary artist Angela Fama suggests how we can do this, individually and together, by breaking out of the normative structures that surround narratives on death. After a near–fatal car accident, interdisciplinary artist Angela Fama has focussed her praxis on seeking unity through breaking down barriers surrounding “sticky” subjects. Recently, curiosity drove her to ask: What Is Love, a project in which she drove across North America in an RV/pop-up photo studio, individually interviewing over 300 passers-by. This investigation of love took her curiosity again to her greatest fear: death. Love and death are so interconnected it’s hard to see how love can exist without the presence of death so... Fama took it upon herself to start investigating the sticky subject of death and surprisingly, she found more joy and serenity in that quest than expected.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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