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Through design, George Slavik's goal is to help people make sense of where they are and where they could go. His current research explores the intersections and interactions between architecture, culture, and community participation. Does architecture affect the way we act? What agency do we have within cultural structures? What do more inclusive forms of participation look like? How might an individual contribute in collective spaces? He is interested in how architectures manipulate participation, particularly in invisible and intangible ways. In the future, might this area of exploration lead to the creation of new participatory architectures—architectures that invite participation from those who typically do not get a voice? The goal is to think about and create environments that encourage and rely on diverse experiences and perspectives.
These areas of curiosity have been influenced and guided by his professional work experience. While at McSweeney’s Publishing, George Slavik learned to place content in the primary position, using design to support the power of its communication. He saw how the combination of form and content became greater as a whole when they supported one another seamlessly. At the architecture firm Gensler, George began thinking about the designed form in a new way, as he analyzed the ability of the built environment to tell different types of stories. He saw how architecture and design could come to together to communicate with those that entered the space, influencing the way people feel or act. During his time at Embarcadero Partners, a strategy-consulting firm, George explored how companies struggle to rebuild their internal cultures during times of change. Embarcadero Partners built multidisciplinary teams to solve complex problems for the leaders of Fortune 500 companies. This experience taught him the strength, and complexity, of collaborative work—an application of design in a less tangible role.
George Slavik draws inspiration from connecting seemingly unrelated fields. It is through the discovery of analogs and commonalities that creative breakthroughs are made. Building bridges between experiences, combining common experiences, and repurposing experiences and applying them unexpectedly frames the world in a new way.
View George's contributions to the DiPi project.