An Interview with Kurt Ward

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Romit RajKurt Ward is Senior Design Director at Philips Healthcare. He is a Keynote Speaker at EPIC2022.

Describe your keynote in less than 10 words.

Mankind's irrational rationality and its impact on health and the environment.

Without giving too much away, can you give us a bit of provocation or inspiration to anticipate your talk?

What if we designed buildings that mimicked organic structures? Why does sterilizing our environments create more disease? What if health care became life care?

Why did you say ‘yes’ to delivering a keynote to the EPIC community?

We cannot continue to apply our current and past thinking to solve our modern problems. We must probe and explore new futures with relevant ethnographies in order to create a resilient ecosystem.

The theme of the conference is ‘resilience’. What does this concept mean to you…and what does it NOT mean?

The ability to expand and contract according to context and need over time. It must address the entire ecosystem over decades and it cannot only be applied to one intervention or application on its own.

Among the things you have done in your role at Philips is curate the Philips Museum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Can you tell us more about how this experience relates to resilience?

Designing a museum is essentially storytelling. Philips has had a great history of being responsible not only to shareholders, but to society. How that thinking has evolved over the years helps to illustrate that in order to become more sustainable and resilient we have to expand our view of how we look at people, society and the planet.

What book/article/podcast would you recommend as we get ready to tackle ‘resilience’ at EPIC2022 in October?

The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision.

What are you looking forward to at EPIC2022?

New thoughts and triggers that will expand my way of seeing the world.

 

About EPIC2022
EPIC2022 explores resilience, the ability to learn, adapt and evolve with adversity and changing conditions. Who should flex, resist, or adapt? What should be restored, abandoned, or reinvented? Resilience highlights the systemic, interconnected nature of disruption and survival—how organizations, products, services, communities, and our own work can be designed to learn, adapt and evolve.