Public interest architecture.

September 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm 1 comment

If you couldn’t already tell by the diversity of the tag cloud down on the right, I have a pretty wide range of interests (even within the single category of design). If you ask me which one I care most passionately about, however, I have a clear answer: public interest architecture.

In 2008, Metropolis Magazine announced that “a new breed of architect has emerged.” Anna Muoio of Continuum, a “global innovation and design consultancy” with offices everywhere from Boston to Seoul, is quoted in Change Observer this past June as saying: “We are finding increasingly that young design talent cares and wants to work at a place where they can feel and see the impact they have in the world.” I consider myself a young design talent striving to be part of this new breed; and I very much believe that designers need to be considering the social impact of their projects – much the same way that they would consider the environmental impact.

interior of Mason’s Bend Chapel, one of my favorite public interest projects, designed and built through Rural Studio, 1999-2000 / photo by Forrest Fulton Architecture

exterior of Mason’s Bend Chapel, highlighting the stunning glass skin made from discarded Chevy Caprice windshields / photo by Timothy Hursley

You may be wondering why today is the occasion for this relatively momentous post. It’s not post number 50 or 100 (it’s just number 158), but it is going to preface a week of posts inspired by the Architecture for Change Summit and the City Lifters panel discussion. If you do a little clicky research, you’ll notice that many of the following posts could have only been written after their publish date. Could we just let that slide? I promise it will be worth it.

September 21’s daily design idea is seek out opportunities to explore what matters to you most.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Extra helpful repurposing. “The design has yet to begin.”

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. People and planet (and profit, too). « Daily Design Idea  |  January 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    […] was a sense of uncertainty around economic value. In the sometimes bleeding heart field of public interest design, it’s regrettably common to find people that are so enthusiastic about making a difference that […]


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