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You Must Watch this Ted Talk Video if You Care About OKC

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: January 14, 2014
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I don’t report on cars, so why I do I am urging folks to watch a Ted Talk by a BMW car designer? Sit back, and make time to watch this video if you care at all about Oklahoma City’s future.
For years I’ve seen a disconnect between planning and engineering. And quite frankly, until I viewed this video, I was part of the problem.
This video was suggested to me by Richard McKown, who wasn’t even thinking about the topic of engineers and planners when he mentioned it to me. We were engaged in one of those great discussions about creativity, about thinking through problems, about different people and how they relate to each to other (when it comes to deep-thinking lunches, this is one of those conversations I could probably sell tickets to).
Richard is a developer who is very active in Deep Deuce. He is also an artist. He saw the video above as a game changer for how he relates to less artistic engineers.
“It is very close to my heart because I love working with engineers this talk helped me understand my role as creative artist and problem maker,” McKown explained. “I tell people all the time how easy it is for me to jump out of the airplane or off the bridge — meaning take the risks I do with my development projects I have a team of engineers I work with that can always build me a parachute before I hit the ground They mean the world to me and I trust them implicitly.”
It was, while Richard was giving me a description of this Ted Talk by BMW car designer Chris Bangle and it’s impact on Richard’s approach to development that I realized that the conclusion he Bangle reaches when it comes to designers and engineers can also apply to city planners and engineers.
I challenge the mayor, the city council, the city manager and his assistants, city planners, city engineers and anyone interested in our city’s future and development to watch this video.
My thinking, my conclusions were wrong. And yeah, others might come to the same realization as well. We are at a crossroads when it comes to our city planning department, as I write about in this week’s OKC Central column. What better time to have a moment of clarity?

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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