Idears and Beers

Collaboration and community building through thought leadership.

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Idears and Beers · Idears and Beers
Brad Leibin
05 May 2022 News, Research, All

Marvel’s commitment to the communities in which we live and work is at the core of our mission.  But these communities, the challenges they face, as well as their opportunities, are complex and ever-changing. For this reason, we have found it to be enormously valuable for staff to have the space to discuss the broader context of our project work. Idears and Beers, our monthly gathering to discuss weighty topics in a low risk setting, is a space for this conversation.  It is a chance for staff at all levels to share perspectives and learn from each other’s professional as well as life experiences.   

Idears and Beers occurs at the end of the workday on the first Tuesday of each month. Each session has a specific topic of significance to our project work. Articles about the topic are shared the week prior and a brief presentation on the topic is given at the beginning of the session. The discussions thus far have been lively!  

The first Idears and Beers was held in March on the topic of Housing and Affordability. That conversation focused on the challenges of creating community in multifamily housing as well as the design strategies we have seen that are successful in that regard. The second session was held in early April on the topic of Public Realm. That conversation dealt with the question of what it means to create public realm that is truly public. We uncovered varying opinions among staff about the transformation of our streetscapes during COVID to more pedestrian-oriented uses. We speculated on other approaches to streetscape conversion that would result in a more equitable distribution of public open space. And we debated whether privately-owned and/or privately financed open space can actually be public. Upcoming topics for future sessions include Community Engagement, Net-Zero design, and Prefabricated Building Technology.  

The ideas that are discussed during these events are recorded and shared out with the whole office afterwards. In addition to shaping our approach to project work, they will spill outside the office in the form of articles, op-eds, lectures, and panels. Marvel is excited to share the Idea(r)s and open up the conversation to all the communities where we work!  

Idears and Beers offers in-person and virtual discussions, highlighting design and policy differences between New York and San Juan.

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