Johanna Hurme is an architect who believes design and architecture can provide answers to pressing modern problems. She’ll be speaking at TEDxWinnipeg on June 6. We asked Johanna a few questions to get to know her better before the big day.

What is your idea worth spreading?

The importance of designing compact, walkable cities and directing growth inwards (as opposed to sprawl).

Who inspires you and why?

People who are curious for life and always willing to learn and listen… open mindedness and willingness to adjust your beliefs would solve a lot of global issues.

What’s your connection to Winnipeg and Manitoba?

Winnipeg is my adopted home town. I came to rural Manitoba first as a high school exchange student 20 some years ago.

What would you most want to tell your 20-year-old self?

Nothing in the world is black and white, in time you’ll learn to see the beauty of the various shades.

What’s the best gift anyone ever gave you?

My dear (now ex) husband developed 10 rolls of film that I had from my student trip to Italy in ’98. Seeing the pictures years later for the first time brought me to tears.

What is something you never go anywhere without?

Spectacular shoes.

What’s on your playlist at the moment?

Radiohead’s new album.