AIA Global Dialogues - Virtual Displacement

Totem is thrilled to take part in Virtual Displacement, the fifth Viral Voices event, hosted by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA-NY Global Dialogues and AIA-NY ENYA (Emerging New York Architects) committees are jointly exploring how digital design practices are now effecting physical changes to both the built and urban environments.

We hope you can join us!

Wine and hors d’oeuvres reception
WHENThursday, March 30th - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

WHERE: Center for Architecture - AIANY, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY

WHAT: Virtual Displacement: Viral Voices 2017

As the digital revolution has become pervasive in its effect on the practice of our everyday lives, counterintuitively, many new processes born in the digital realm are beginning to find needs to become physical and geofixed.  Once ephemeral – occurring only in digital space – now online and new media companies have begun to invest themselves into the design and production of actual retail environments, vehicles, kiosks, and other public interfaces, adding new variables to the built environment and forcing evolution in long-standing conceptions of urban place-making.  What had once been described as the accelerating process by which “all that was solid will melt into air” may also set into motion a countervailing effects by which what “was air now turns back into solid” – as digital practices and firms that once existed only virtually bring their data, media, and products back into the physical world.


  • Anand Babu – Chief Operating Office, Sidewalk Labs
  • Allie Kelly – Executive Director, The Ray
  • Brian Lakamp – Founder & CEO, Totem Power
  • Jeff Maki – Senior Director of Innovation and Strategy, Intersection
  • Luc Wilson – Founder, KPF-UI (Urban Interface)
  • (Moderator) Jessica Leigh Hester: Senior Editor, The Atlantic (+ CityLab)

About Global Dialogues' 2017 Theme
Contemporary global design practice is immersed in a constant state of flux, exchange, and displacement -- the movement of people, resources, geographic designations and boundaries, money, ideas and social / cultural understanding.   These movements are impelled by political or environmental changes, world conflicts, global market and policy shifts, and generational changes in interaction through technology, among other factors.   Within this push and pull, “displacement” evokes simultaneity and reciprocity between two competing conditions, one emerging in influence and one diminishing or being offset.  As architects, we are both an active part of these flows and engaged in negotiating, mitigating, fostering and accommodating them. This year’s Global Dialogues looks at a broad and diverse range of urgent sites for engagement by the global design community through the lens of “Displacement."