Kati Rubinyi

Family life catalyzed my creative practice and pushed it in the direction it has taken because having a family meant that I suddenly had adult financial responsibilities. I had all these accumulated years spent in different types of creative practice - architecture, art, teaching, research and writing - and found a way to layer them together into a new practice that was going to make money. I was lucky, to put it mildly, to find a way to be able to bring these things together and get paid for it.

My dad learned long-range financial planning while working for the communist government of Hungary and later in life applied this skill as a management consultant to American and Canadian companies. In the 1970s he was among the first people to apply cybernetic theory and systems thinking to business consulting, so I grew up as a witness to the development of this field.

I now design planning frameworks for city governments. What this means is I design web-based planning document systems and corresponding organizational configurations so cities can get best use out of their long-range plans.

Because of my family background I'm very comfortable with long range planning and systems thinking, and from my educational and professional background, I approach them through design processes. The hours I spent watching experimental film at Art Center as a grad student was excellent training for thinking about time and space - buildings, streets, city and regions - now and in future generations. I've also adapted bits and pieces of design research totally standard in architecture, like testing speculative scenarios, to planning. My invented version of planning design research involves creating fake government websites for fictional cities.

It is particularly rewarding to be contemplating the world of the future in which our kids will be adults.

Kati Rubinyi

Image: Untitled, by Alexander Rangel. 2008