Interested in the intersection of car and building design? Wondering what happens when architects and automotive designers get together to talk about design innovation? Here’s your chance to learn more about what cars and buildings can teach each other and how they can help us push the boundaries of design. We’re extending an exclusive e-vite to Inhabitat readers to join us online at ‘Design with a Conscience’ — a panel discussion between visionary California architects and automotive designers at 12:30 pm pst April 11th, 2013. We’ll be live streaming this discussion on (here), and we’ll focus on how thoughtful, emotionally resonant and sustainable design is improving lives. Featuring notable and visionary minds from both American Institute for Architects (AIA) and Ford Motor Company, this year’s panel discussion will include: Allison Williams of AW ink; Anne Fougeron, Founder of Fougeron Architecture; Ann Hand, CEO of Project Frog; and Freeman Thomas, Director of Strategic Design at Ford Motor Company. Join us live on April 11th to tune into this design discussion — and take part in the conversation by submitting your questions for the speakers below in the comments! We’ll be sending Inhabi-Tees to selected question submitters, so join in!

WHEN: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. pst (3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. est)

WHERE: Link to live webcast here >

Design with a Conscience Panelists

Allison Williams, AW ink, allison williams architect, allison williams aw ink

Allison Williams, FAIA, Architect at AW ink

Allison G. Williams is a principal architect at AW ink. In a career spanning more than 30 years in corporate practice, Williams has designed significant large-scale projects in the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally and internationally. The breadth of her work spans civic, corporate and cultural facilities, places for research and education, mixed-use and high density developments. Williams’ studio design leadership has influenced the work of both Skidmore Owings & Merrill (1980-1997) and Perkins+Will (1997-2012) where with consistent recognition by her professional peers, she evolved to partnership levels. She was a recipient of The Loeb Fellowship at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and received both her Masters of Architecture and Bachelor of Art in the Practice of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. She was elevated to Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1997, and served on Perkins+Will Board of Directors from 2010-2012. She is also a member of the Harvard Design Magazine Practitioners Board and past-Chair of Public Architecture’s Board of Directors.

Anne Fougeron, Anne Fougeron Architects, Fougeron Architects

Anne Fougeron, Founder of Fougeron Architecture

Anne Fougeron, FAIA, is principal of Fougeron Architecture in San Francisco, California. Born of French parents and raised in Paris and New York, she credits her bicultural upbringing as the source of her aesthetic values, which combine a respect for historic precedent with an interest in melding old and new. In 1986 she founded Fougeron Architecture and went on to design award-winning private- and public- sector projects in a decidedly modernist vocabulary. Fougeron has taught architectural design to undergraduate and graduate students at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as the Howard Friedman Visiting Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Architecture from 2003 to 2004.

Ann Hand, Project Frog, Ann Hand architect, green architect, eco architect

Ann Hand, CEO of Project Frog

Ann Hand is the CEO of smart-building startup Project Frog. She didn’t begin her career in a green job. As an executive in training with Mobil, she ran gas stations in inner city Philadelphia, and she went on to spend about 19 years in the oil industry with ExxonMobil, Amoco and BP, where she lead global marketing around “Beyond Petroleum.” Now Hand is in charge of Project Frog, a green-business startup that is serious about shaking up the construction industry. Project Frog aims not only to create better buildings–buildings that are attractive, energy-efficient and pleasant places to work–but also to change the way buildings are made. Its structures are modular construction put together from pre-fab kits of parts, shipped by truck and assembled onsite.

Freeman Thomas, for motors, director of for motors, Design Director of Ford Strategic Concept Group, ford

Freeman Thomas, Director, Strategic Design, Ford Motor Company

Freeman Thomas won his first drawing competition in the first grade — it was a fire truck. Today, Thomas is credited with delivering some of the hottest designs in the automotive industry. “I have been designing my dream cars all my life,” says Thomas. “It’s my passion.” As the Director of Ford’s Strategic Desgin, Thomas runs the advanced design studios in California and Dearborn, Michigan. He also works closely with engineers and product experts to create compelling new production vehicles. Prior to joining Ford in 2005, Thomas was the head of DaimlerChrysler’s Pacifica Advanced Design Center. His 22-year career boasts a hit parade of vehicles including the Chrysler 300 concept, the Audi TT concept and Volkswagen Concept 1 (known today as the New Beetle).

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Cars and buildings: There are many parallels between architecture and automotive design. Both disciplines are based on a human-informed creative process. In each case, people are seeking a comfortable, welcoming and safe space in which to spend a significant amount of time. How does automotive design inform architecture? How does architecture shape the process of automotive design?

Emotional design:
Consumers develop an emotional bond with their purchases – and inhabitants develop an emotional attachment to the spaces they inhabit. Whether designing a building or a car, it is essential to create an emotional connection through a design that is functional and timeless, but also responsible. What processes can we use in our designs to create emotional connections with people?

Sustainability: Consumers want more than something that just looks good – they also want to feel like they are doing the right thing when they make a purchase. How can green building practices help inform sustainability in automotive design? What can we learn in terms of energy-efficiency in automobiles that can help push sustainability in buildings?

Emerging materials: As research evolves, both buildings and cars are showing an increasing focus on using materials that are more robust and environmentally friendly, without having to compromise on style. Both industries are evolving quickly and designers need to keep their fingers on the pulse of that change to stay successful, as material science, energy engineering and smart technologies evolve. What are some of the most exciting new developments in materials, both for architecture and automotive design?

Please join in this discussion by submitting your questions for the speakers in the comments below! We’ll be sending out organic, awesome one-of-a-kind Inhabi-Tees to selected question submitters!