Season 1: Drawing People Together

February 16, 2022

Welcome to Drawing People Together, the new podcast from Populous, where we’ll bring you insights, expertise, and ideas from the people at the forefront of global venue and event design.

Join Sherri Privitera for season one, where she’ll introduce our colleagues from around the globe for deep dive discussions into the big issues and innovations that are shaping the design of large scale venues and events, from stadia and arenas, to airports and convention centers, to the super bowl and the Olympic Games.

Season Host: Sherri Privitera

Available below and on all popular streaming platforms

In episode one, we’re kicking things off with a discussion on the technologies that will define the stadia of the future. Listen out for big ideas around the integration of next-gen three dimensional experiences and how AR and VR will help bridge the gap between virtual and physical audiences. Plus, you won’t want to miss the panel’s exploration of the business case for stadium operators and brands to invest in new technologies.

Host: Christopher Lee
Guests: Jonathan Mallie, Maria Knutsson-Hall and Meg McWilliam

Listen out for:
[01:42] How to meet the ever-evolving expectations of modern fans
[04:50] Competing for the attention of the next generation
[06:27] Micro vs macro experiences in the hybrid, hyper-personalised tech landscape
[09:04] Leveraging VR/AR without sacrificing the live experience
[11:35] Key opportunities for commercial collaboration and connected revenue models
[16:47] How security and rapid data feedback can reinvent the game day experience on-the-go
[23:08] Can stadia really break free of the traditional ‘closed monuments’ reputation?

Download Episode 1 Transcript.

Journey around the globe as we explore key city shaping projects throughout Populous’ history. From Oriole Park in Baltimore, to Tottenham Hotspur in London, and to Wiigulga Sports Complex in Australia, you’ll get behind the scenes insights into how these projects influence, and are influenced by, their cities and communities. Tune in to uncover the dynamic forces at the intersection of politics, culture, sports, major events and infrastructure.

Host: Paul Henry
Guests: Belinda Goh, John Shreve and Tom Jones

Listen out for:
[02:53] Camden Yards: How a baseball venue healed downtown Baltimore’s urban fabric
[08:29] Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: A good neighbour with the ultimate in mixed use facilities
[14:58] Allianz Field: A meshing of politics, culture, sport and infrastructure in the twin cities
[22:35] Sydney Olympics: When major events deliver urban outcomes and aspirations for generations
[31:20] London Olympics: Regenerating an industrial wasteland with flexible master planning
[37:44] ICC Sydney: A once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape and activate the existing cityscape
[44:22] Fiserv Forum: Unlocking Milwaukee’s city connections through brave vision and leadership
[49:09] Wiigulga Sports Complex: How social infrastructure can generate authentic community connections

Download Episode 2 Transcript.

Join us as we take a deep dive into the world of arena design to understand how architects and designers are responding to the evolving needs of spectators, performers, and sports teams. In a discussion hosted by Populous’ Nicholas Reynolds with panel guests Andrew Noonan, Declan Sharkey, and Geoff Cheong, this episode of our podcast brings you insights into the trends and innovations shaping the design of live entertainment venues around the world.

Host: Nicholas Reynolds
Guests: Andrew Noonan, Declan Sharkey, and Geoff Cheong

Listen out for:

[01:20] Key drivers of an arena project 
[04:22] Sustainability as a consideration in Co-op Live, Climate Pledge Arena, APAC region
[11:03] Wellness and Covid-19
[15:50] Diversity of offer in modern arenas – tailoring hospitality for geographical location and community needs
[21:12] Transformable seating bowl design for better flexibility and intimacy, creating a strong venue identity
[27:00] VR and the blending of physical and virtual experiences 

Download Episode 3 Transcript.

The esports industry is rapidly maturing, bringing with it new ways to gather physically and virtually. Listen as Populous’ Brian Mirakian, Rhys Courtney, Amber Luther and Luke Woolley explore how esports venues will continue evolving, from competition-focused arenas to retail offerings to community spaces in the metaverse.

Host: Brian Mirakian
Guests: Amber Luther, Luke Woolley and Rhys Courtney

Listen out for:

[4:20] Leveraging esports partnerships and ecosystems
[9:39] Virtual networks capturing previously disengaged audiences
[12:15] How physical venues are driving unique virtual experiences, including in the metaverse
[17:30] Why adaptable venues are critical to emerging esports community expectations
[26:38] Content will remain king as hybrid events take centre stage 
[30:00] The future: premium experiences, multi-venue events and increasing professionalism

Download Episode 4 Transcript. 

Delivering a better experience for the convention industry, its customers, and the communities that interact with its venues begins with the convergence of beauty, function, urban integration and sustainability. Join Populous’ Michael Lockwood, Bridget Lowe, Richard Breslin and Shireen Hamdan for a discussion exploring how new thinking in the design of these large civic buildings is helping to redefine the visitor experience.

Host: Michael Lockwood
Guests: Bridget Lowe, Richard Breslin and Shireen Hamdan

Listen out for:

[1:30] Key differences between COEX and stadium and arena design
[5:07] Client requirements
[7:12] ICC Sydney and the adoption of sustainable design principles
[14:20] Creating a versatile destination
[17:49] The integration of venues into communities
[27:26] Designing for a better convention attendee experience
[31:35] The future of COEX design

Download Episode 5 Transcript.

From home to the terminal, travel is increasingly being shaped by sustainability considerations, new technology and consumer demands for diverse experiences. Tune in to unpack the ways that airports are becoming key hubs for drawing people together, moving beyond the notion of an airport as merely a gateway to a city. Don’t miss the discussion around reigniting the romance of travel in today’s post-Covid world.

Host: Julie Rinaldi
Guests: Ben Dawson, Elizabeth Miglierina and Geoffrey Ax

Listen out for:

[01:51] How stadia and arena design expertise informs better airport design
[06:17] Using persona mapping to create personalised, not standardised experiences
[11:29] Unlocking existing real estate through sustainable design and innovative layouts
[16:50] How experiential retail, tech and flexible design are already shaping future airports
[22:09] Unpacking the notion of airports as transport hubs with diversified portfolios
[25:19] Can we reignite the romance of travel in a post-Covid world?
[30:18] Reimagining airports as public gathering spaces
[35:15] How holistic sustainability in airport design will provide a gateway for future generations

Download Episode 6 Transcript.


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