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Featured Presentation

So much of the real estate industry is extractive, where far-away investors mine the value from properties that line our streets. We are working toward a more generative real estate model, where local people can invest in their own neighborhoods and in that process, create new life and value that benefits their community. The kind of places we want to live in are built and maintained by people who really love them.

 

However, even beloved and successful places are at risk. We all know stories of boom and bust. Buildings, neighborhoods, cities are all put under great stress in times of fast economic change, whether growth or decline. At the local level, the best way we know to protect against the negative impacts of both growth and decline is this: spread the risk and the reward. We need more neighborhood-based small developers creating buildings that can adapt in times of trouble.

 

Scale makes all the difference. The small-scale developer is limited by their size to a certain scope of project. They don’t have the team or the resources for mega-developments; they need to stick with small, simple buildings in a fairly concentrated area so they can easily keep an eye on things. Instead of large apartment blocks or a subdivision of single-family homes, small developers are more likely to build duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, live-work buildings, backyard cottages etc.—perfect for adapting neighborhoods on a lot-by-lot basis.These buildings are too small for a conventional developer whose profits depend on an economy of scale. Small developers depend on economies of resourcefulness and relationships, and that economic model is what makes small developers so adaptable in times of trouble.

 

This country is covered with inspiring precedents of buildings that punch above their weight, giving back to the city through taxes, to the neighborhood through street appeal, and to the owner through a positive cash flow. Across the country, communities are realizing that big developers cannot be induced to come build the neighborhoods they want. No one is coming to save them from the status quo. They’ve got to do it themselves.

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Lean-Integrated Project Delivery: A story of How

BY ZOFIA RYBKOWSKI
@ VOL 11 ON JUN 06, 2017

Zofia discusses methods of group project success.

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What the Viz?

BY WILLIAM JENKS
@ VOL 11 ON JUN 06, 2017

Visualization is a term that seems to pop up every spring around the Brazos Valley. Why do we hear it so often and what does it mean? Many people have a view of a part of the puzzle. Come along on a short journey beyond Webster’s to our creative universe and get all the answers to the question: What the Viz?

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Designing a Future

BY BAILEY MULLENS
@ VOL 11 ON JUN 06, 2017

The Power of decision making 

How technology is changing the Job market for current college students- Thinking in an exponential manner 

Difference between Generation X social interactions and Millennial (Facebook vs. Twitter) 

Lost art of conversation

Nutrition- Genetic testing  

Podcasting/ Self Education- Time to be feeding your brain while doing other activities: Driving, working out, walking to class.

(Power of echoic retention)

Passion meets your skill set

Constant learning 

IQ, EQ, and SQ 

Plans to solve homeless population issues in Austin Texas

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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Importance of Archival Images

BY MICHAEL KELLETT
@ VOL 11 ON JUN 06, 2017

In this presentation, Michael Kellett emphasizes the volatile nature of today’s digital media and the importance of traditional silver-based photographic materials for the long-term storage, archiving and sharing of important images.

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Ice House on Main - Heritage Preservation in Support of Community Development

BY JOSE QUINTANA
@ VOL 10 ON FEB 28, 2017

Jose Quintana discusses AdventGX's heritage preservation model - a process that leverages a community centric mix of entrepreneurship, the arts, and science in support of the development of sustainable heritage preservation. The model is market demand driven along three sustainable development vectors: financial, social and environmental.

This conservative approach to community development uses behavioral and experimental economics to mitigate risks and lower barriers to entry when embarking on new heritage preservation initiatives, not only in underserved urban communities but also in rural settings where heritage based assets are particularly important contributors to quality of life improvements.

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The History of Film as It Pertains to Buster Keaton

BY JENNIFER HARGIS
@ VOL 10 ON FEB 28, 2017

Jennifer Hargis talks about the origins of motion pictures and of Buster Keaton up to WWII, as well as the rise in popularity of both.  She also talks about how film influenced Keaton and Keaton influenced film. 

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The Secret Religion of Americas' Leaders

BY AARON STOCKWELL
@ VOL 10 ON FEB 28, 2017

Aaron Stockwell looks at several well-known men and women from American history, and examines how their religious beliefs influenced their contributions to American progress.

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Hand Drumming Is Fun and Good for You

BY ANNALEA VERCHINSKY
@ VOL 10 ON FEB 28, 2017

Annalea Verchinsky talks about the benefits of hand drumming, which range from pure enjoyment to helping with relaxation, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress.

 
 

About the City's Organizers

  • Carol LaFayette

    Carol LaFayette is Director of the Texas A&M Institute for Applied Creativity, a forum for collaborators across domains and disciplines intent on creating a radiant future. She's an artist who works with scientists to invent unique ways to experience interconnections of flora, fauna, and phenomena in rural areas. She leads the NSF-supported Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts, and Design (SEAD), that has also been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Smithsonian Institution. Her artwork is in collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has exhibited her work worldwide, including LAB '11, Sweden; SIGGRAPH '02, '08 and '09; Zebra Poetry on Film, Berlin; Filmstock, UK; and Solomon Projects, Atlanta. Reviews of her artwork have been published in "BBC Technology News," "Chronicle of Higher Education" and "Wired."

  • Jennifer Robertson

    Coordinator at Institute for Applied Creativity, Texas A&M University; Writer, director, actor, classic film blogger, jewelry designer, nail art addict, mother.

  • Marie Marchand

    Marie works for Advent GX, a Community and Economic Development company in Downtown Bryan. She supports entrepreneurship and innovation. She is from Belgium; she loves traveling, meeting new friends, going for walks and listening to great stories.