Home » Education » Thomas K. Girard Receives Critical Acclaim For His Tedx Talk – “How To Feel At Home In The Airport” – TEDxEmilyCarrU

Thomas is a 5x Emerging Scholar Award recipient, he speaks, receives awards, and sits on panel discussions around the world. He has taught undergraduate level design courses in three countries including Canada, India, and China. 

Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 8, 2020, A recent Tedx Talk at Emily Carr University has garnered a lot of attention for Thomas Girard. “How To Feel At Home In The Airport” was a short talk that left a lasting impression for all who were fortunate enough to be in attendance. Thomas took the attendees on a personal journey through the gritty streets of Mumbai and edible diversions of Barcelona, a travel immersion that serendipitously reminds every one of the single things missing in his adventures – the familiar.

Thomas’ well-received Tedx Talk: “How To Feel At Home In The Airport”

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to travel all around the world. But it turns out my favorite places to be are the airports. I realized this was true when I found myself boarding a plane to Seattle just to visit their airport. (Laughter) We often think of the world as a vast place with many unknowns and things to learn about culture, but sometimes we forget the things that can be the same wherever they are in the world. Let me illustrate. Recently, I was on a plane to India, and I was dreaming about India things. Greyish orange skies. The subtropical climate. Haggling over rupees with an auto rickshaw driver in Mumbai. But something happened when I arrived in India. I didn’t haggle over rupees. I took a taxi.”

“Another time, I was on my way to Barcelona, and I was dreaming about Barcelona things. Immersed in Gaudi architecture. Eating pan con tomate. Sipping a Tempranillo. Something happened there too. I didn’t sip a Tempranillo. I ordered a Diet Coke. (Laughter) And a second Diet Coke to save for later. Something happens when we’re in unfamiliar situations like these. We seek things that are familiar. We actually crave things that are familiar. Next time you’re on a plane, think about some of these things. Think about the Diet Coke. The tomato juice. Christmas. Two-ply toilet paper. Seat belts. Even think about Hollywood movies. And think about how these things might remind you of home. Maybe you will find yourself on a plane too. Just to visit an airport.”

It is clear that Thomas Girard has the uncanny ability to express his thoughts in a way that listeners can instantly relate to and ponder. This Tedx Talk has been translated into 26 languages. Having lived and worked in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Vancouver, and London, he is a person of many places. A 5x Emerging Scholar Award recipient, he speaks, receives awards, and sits on panel discussions around the world. Once employed as a Staff User Experience Designer at Lenovo Innovation Design Center User Experience Center in Haidian District, Beijing, his days are often spent thinking about where he’ll be tomorrow as he designs possibilities for our future selves.

Thomas is also slated to do coursework at the University of Oxford, Wolfson College in 2022, but that is going to depend on the Covid-19 Pandemic situation. His students have nothing but praise for his courses.

This is what Shua Baber had to say about her experience with Thomas, “Thomas is an incredible leader, mentor, and teacher, who is really invested in his students’ careers. I saw these qualities first-hand when he was our mentor in a 24-hour hackathon. In the time pressure our team had, Thomas stepped in and steered our team in the right direction. Providing us with strategic and design direction when our team needed it the most. He fosters a truly collaborative environment in his classroom, and always brings about the newest design trends and practices to the forefront. I am incredibly grateful to have Thomas as a teacher and mentor, in my design career. He is a visionary and a thought leader, who I would highly recommend, for any role.”

For complete information on Thomas K. Girard, visit: https://thomaskgirard.com/