Cindy Frewen Wuellner: Architect, Futurist, Specialist Cities of the Future
Cities-of-the-future expert Dr. Cindy Frewen Wuellner, FAIA, LEED AP, founded and operated an architecture firm for 20 years before merging it with another design firm in order to shift her focus to the future of cities.
She now consults for cities and organizations on the future of cities and teaches in the Graduate Program in Futures Studies at the University of Houston as an adjunct professor. Frewen Wuellner is currently writing a book on how social technologies are transforming the ways we use, design, and build cities.
She is listed as the most influential architect on the BD Online/Peer Index (London) global scale for architects and social media, number one architecture blogger on Engineering New Record (New York), and her blog posts are regularly read by more than 30,000 people.
Frewen Wuellner frequently speaks to groups in person and online on design futures, the future of cities, creative problem-solving, leadership, and entrepreneurism.
She has spoken at the conferences hosted by the American Institute of Architects, University of Oxford, University of Kansas, Urban Land Institute, National Communication Association, World Futures Society, IBM Smarter Cities, Innovaro, KC Builders Association, Chambers of Commerce, University of Texas, and Copenhagen In 100 Years.
Frewen Wuellner’s architectural and planning projects were recognized for design, sustainability, and community development in civic, education, public housing, and park facilities.
Example projects are the Ilus W. Davis Park, a two-block downtown civic commons that links the Whittaker US Courthouse and Kansas City’s City Hall; Kansas City Downtown Civic Mall Master Plan for 60 blocks of the central business district; Civic Council’s Downtown Corridor Development Strategies, which involved urban planning and economic development for 4,000 acres; Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Facilities Master Plan; Charles E. Whittaker United States Courthouse Interiors; and numerous education facilities and residential developments.
Frewen Wuellner is a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects and a Distinguished Alumna for the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design. Her design work was included in the AIA national traveling exhibit “That Exceptional One,” and her firm was recognized as the first Woman-Owned Business of the Year by National Association of Women Business Owners, Kansas City.
She is the chair of the Association of Professional Futurists, sits on the board of the University of Kansas School of Architecture, is vice president of the Kansas City Design Center, co-founded the Kansas City Architectural Foundation’s Scholarship Fund and served as its president, has served on more than 30 boards and committees, and is a member of numerous architectural, planning, communication, business, and futures organizations.
Lats Latvis, President, National Association of Women Business Owners, San Francisco Chapter
“Dr. Frewen has little herd instinct, and is the architect of an entirely different and fresh approach toward reaching and inspiring people she has never met before, and in this case, all of whom exited her seminar feeling rejuvenated and bonded to one another from that point on. It was a break from the maddening crowd; a gift. We are the beneficiaries of, “The Frewen Influence,” open and willing to consider alternative routes for new business strategies in order to build better organizations.”
Design in the Age of Smart Machines
After a decade of woeful economic conditions, a future golden age is on the horizon. Integrated technologies will make buildings interact with us, even adapt and grow. They’ll be disposable, portable, recyclable, assembled, and temporary with virtual, augmented, and physical layers. How will architect’s roles change and what can we do to be ready and take advantage now? Furthermore, Generation Flux will live in a hybrid reality of ubiquitous computing. How can buildings learn to talk, adapt, and shape future experiences?
Design futures marries futures methods and design thinking in order to materialize speculative future worlds. Futurists are moving beyond traditional tools to create more vivid, lived in, world building scenarios. Rather than just narratives, these stories are told with images, videos, and sounds and in the future tactile and spatial experiences. You will in effect see possible design futures, and participate in shaping the design. In creating multi-sensory, multi-dimensional futures, you can explore more deeply the intentions and implications of future alternatives. Participants will learn the theory, see examples, and practice creating or assembling thumbnail images of futures artifacts to imagine future worlds. Participants will learn what design futures are, how they differ from traditional scenarios and design fictions, how to create design futures, the basics of design futures workshop facilitation, the characteristics of excellent design futures, and examples from videos and illustrations. Plus they will do speedy thumbnail sketches freehand or using prefab elements.