In March, I traveled to New Orleans for Interiors08, the national ASID conference on design. Attendees celebrated some of the best ideas in design, learned from each other and discussed some of the newest trends in the industry. One event of particular note was the keynote speaker, Jean-Michel Cousteau, who opened the conference.
Not simply because it was sponsored by Tricycle, the keynote was memorable for the beautiful film imagery and the impassioned argument presented by Cousteau for protecting our oceans and waterways and his optimism that much of the damage can yet be undone. An explorer, environmentalist, educator and film producer for the last four decades, Jean-Michel’s presentation was a moving and thought-provoking examination of how small decisions in each person’s home and workplace carry far-reaching effects for our world’s environment.
While making the case for sustaining our ocean habitats, Jean-Michel explained how well intentioned regulation isn’t enough. As fish populations dwindle, “out of desperation, people are harvesting… capturing everything they can find, sustainability isn’t part of the conversation. Education can only happen when one is fed.” The message and the visuals resonated through the duration of the conference.
We were treated to segments of a new IMAX film titled Dolphins and Whales 3D which has already opened in some IMAX theaters and will see wider release through fall. On May 22, Jean-Michel will be in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the opening showing of this movie. After the movie, I’ll be fed, and certainly educated, at a lecture given by Jean-Michel followed by a reception. It will be a unique opportunity to meet someone who has dedicated his life to the idea that change begins with individuals.