Inspired Design That's On TimeThursday, October 22, 2020
Not even a pandemic could press pause on Design Week JA 2020! The launch of the week-long event took place online yesterday at 10:00 am. For two-and-a-half hours, viewers were engaged by a panel of industry experts who did a smashing job at providing 'edutainment' that was particularly on time to help shift focus on various global crises.
Design Week conceptualiser Novia McDonald-Whyte began with a touching moment dedicated to the Nigerians killed while peacefully protesting — not to protect a lifestyle but rather their very lives.
Seeing 10 people on a panel, virtual or otherwise, would customarily give one pause. However, leave it to Design Week JA 2020 to have an elegant and ordered affair that could teach a thing or two to the US news networks that hosted the presidential debates. Wednesday's panel comprised National Housing Trust Corporate and Public Affairs Manager Dwayne Berbick; National Commercial Bank Mortgage Officer Dera Cassie; ARC Manufacturing Corporate Affairs Manager Novlet Deans; interior designer and H&L Rapid True Value spokesperson Cecile Levee; registered architect and senior projects officer Captain Lorie-Ann McIntosh; Spaces Limited Creative Director Janelle Pantry-Coke; Karen Booker Design Group principal Karen Booker; If Walls Could Talk Managing Director Joelle Smith; international avant-garde textile and fashion designer Jessica Ogden; and interior designer Christine Azan.
Though presenting on different topics, each panellist effortlessly linked to the overarching theme of Inspired Living. The useful tips, discussion on innovation and trends sparked creativity and activated latent design skills within viewers. A detailed recap of each presentation will appear on SO2 in this Sunday's Style Observer.
Though a virtual medium can be static, the Design Week JA 2020 launch webinar was anything but. It was dynamic and welcomed participation from viewers, who came armed with questions. Yes, the NHT answered many, but the other nine panellists also had opportunities to respond to inquiries about home design, building supplies, hiring building professionals, establishing realistic timelines (and aspirations), and how to keep projects on-track and on-budget.
Mindful of the fiscal realities of most families on The Rock, especially as COVID-19 continues to dig its fingers deep, the advice which was doled out appealed to individuals of all socio-economic brackets. Both Karen Booker and Cecile Levee stressed the importance of upcycling and doing small, inexpensive projects to add joy to spaces. A gallon of brightly coloured paint or spraying an old, no antique, what-not or dresser white, for example, can liven up any space without causing a massive dent to the pockets. Since the lines between work and living spaces are now blurred, it makes sense to reclaim some space, so that home can once again be sweet.
Many of us have been home almost full-time for the past seven months. Each day we are greeted by the many projects that we've been able to effectively dodge (or live with) due to heading out to work. It was Churchill who said, “Never waste a good crisis,” and COVID-19 is no different. Our homes are much more than physical structures. They can provide support, spark joy, and allow us to maintain good mental health. Though space may be at a premium with setting up different areas for online classes and Zoom calls, inspired design can ease the pain until our “new normal” becomes just normal again.
Design Week JA 2020 is made possible with the support of the National Housing Trust, National Commercial Bank, ARC Manufacturing Limited, and H&L Rapid True Value.
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