Metropolis Forums

July 14TH, 4:00PM–5:00PM EDT

The Pandemic is a Portal: The Outdoors

Presented in partnership with Landscape Forms

Social distancing has disrupted one of the strongest trends in design—the prioritization of common areas and public spaces. Recent research has shown strong connections between outdoor space and human wellbeing. Meanwhile, the smart cities movement has opened up new possibilities for our streets, plazas, and parks. As we look past COVID-19 and towards the reopening of our cities, how can we leverage design and technology to ensure the vitality of outdoor and public spaces?

Sponsored By

Landscape Forms

logo JULY 14TH, 4:00PM–5:00PM EDT The Pandemic is a Portal: The Outdoors



773.avinash Rajagopal Headshot Credit Nicholas Calcott

Avi Rajagopal

Editor in Chief

Avinash Rajagopal is the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine. He is an expert on product and interior design in the digital age, as a historian of contemporary design as well as a frequent speaker at key industry events. He is the author of Hacking Design (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2013). and has contributed to numerous volumes on architecture and design, including Adhocracy (Istanbul Design Biennial, 2012), Making Africa (Vitra Design Museum, 2015) and Atlas of Furniture Design (Vitra Design Museum, forthcoming). He has lectured on design history and writing at the School of Visual Arts, New York; the University of Texas at Austin; and the National Institute of Design, India.


Kinder Baumgardner

Kinder Baumgardner

Managing Principal, Houston

Kinder Baumgardner is the managing principal of SWA’s Houston studio. Over the span of 30 years, Mr. Baumgardner has actively traveled the globe seeking out regional flavors to create places that are culturally and ecologically resonant. His collaborative mindset and awareness of the effect of historical and contemporary culture is the foundation for his design work. While much of his work is focused on the urban design of cities, Mr. Baumgardner cherishes his projects that provide the opportunity to explore the regional cultures and landscapes that define who we are and how we live.

Kirt Martin

Kirt Martin

Chief Creative Officer

Kirt Martin is a multiple award-winning industrial designer who prior to joining Landscape Forms served as an executive for 17 years at Steelcase Inc. As Landscape Forms Chief Creative Officer, Kirt has played an important role in the company’s robust growth, market expansion, and introduction of groundbreaking products. His work is informed by the conviction that experience of outdoor space promotes social and civic engagement, human health and well-being. He is committed to the creative convergence of design and business, leveraging the power of design to build the business and drive growth.

Roberto Rovira

Roberto Rovira

Chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design

Roberto Rovira is Chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at FIU, and Principal of Studio Roberto Rovira. Roberto has received recognition for his work as an educator and professional by prominent organizations like the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Architectural League, the American Institute of Architects, and others. Fast Company magazine recently selected his EcoAtlas Project as a World Changing Idea finalist and he was recognized with an Emerging Voice award by the Architectural League in New York, one of the most coveted awards in North American Architecture. Roberto has been lead designer in national and international projects and his work ranges from environmental installations and competitions, to art commissions and landscape architectural projects.

Sara Warber

Sara Warber, MD

Clinical Professor Emerita of Family Medicine
University of Michigan

Sara Warber, MD, Clinical Professor Emerita of Family Medicine at University of Michigan,is adreamer and a clinician-scholar whose research focuses on the effects of nature-based programs and other holisticinterventionson human well-being. Examples include the health benefits of camps, retreats and national outdoor group walking programs in the US and the UK.She wasthe co-founder of the University of MichiganIntegrative Medicine programas well asco-founder of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research.Shehas authored numerous articles and chapters about integrative medicine therapies, processes of healing,and environmental values.She is an Honorary Professor at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter, UK, where she completed a Fulbright Scholarship. She was recently selected as a Scholarby The Institute for Integrative Healthwhich has led to the Dreams/Mutual Reawakeningproject. Sara enjoys coaxing all kinds of life-enhancing dreams and possibilities into reality, from the mundane to the sublime. She relaxes and recharges by being near, on, or in the water.