Posts tagged ‘conference’
Part 5 of 5
The day’s self-described “analyst and scribe” Steven Moore was last to speak to the Structures audience on Saturday. Throughout the day, Moore tracked the topics covered using a spreadsheet, and then ranked the topics by frequency. The ones covered most were: relationships, participation, spatial justice, & organizational structure. Public interest designers are clearly a participatory, activist, and practical bunch!
One of Moore’s major takeaways from the day’s presentations was that “outsiders, or ‘valuable strangers,’ can broker knowledge but also adapt [outside] relevant knowledge to local context.” It’s a great framework for thinking about collaboration between all the team members and beneficiaries on a project. Moore also affirmed the opportunity for the SEED Network to be an industry forum “for the accumulation of accessible knowledge,” and to become a truly disruptive platform for the industry.
On the topic of organizational structure, Moore wisely noted that “there has not yet been enough focus on new, sustainable economic models for public interest design.” I couldn’t agree more. The biggest reason I keep going to Structures is to be a part of the community that will eventually build those models.
April 8’s daily design idea is Moore noted that “opportunity” was an important but underrepresented topic at this year’s Structures. What opportunities for social change design do you see?
Part 3 of 5
The second panel focused on Participation. Architecture for Humanity‘s program coordinator, T. Luke Young, kicked off by introducing AFH and the approach they take: “We don’t call ourselves designers; we like to be thought of as catalysts… in a global village.” AFH design fellow Diego Collazos continued by discussing the SEED award winning work he is doing at the Maria Auxiliadora School in Peru. A personal highlight of the project was how Collazos and his team asked students to stick green notes on the parts of the building that are good, and red notes on the parts of the building that are bad. This struck me as such a simple but effective technique for getting feedback, especially from children.
photo of the Maria Auxiliadora School
Tulane City Center‘s SEED award winning project, Grow Dat youth farm, was presented next by Emilie Taylor and Scott Bernhard. Their team empowered the youth to study “the logic of the site,” which informed many design choices, such as situating the building in the worst spot for growing vegetables. Separately, Bernhard also shared that Tulane’s admission rates increased 400% after integrating service-oriented curricula after Hurricane Katrina, such as the projects of City Center. There was a shared feeling of hope between the panelists and audience that other institutions would notice, and follow in Tulane’s footsteps.
The panel wrapped up with Anne Frederick, the founding director of New York’s Hester Street Collaborative. In addition to introducing the audience to HSC’s advocacy work for the Lower East Side’s waterfront (which included a mobile scale model that residents can interact with!), Frederick also shared questions that she’s developed with the Center for Urban Pedagogy to help social change designers frame their projects. Their number one question is a critical but too often overlooked one: Is there a need for the project? (In the case of the SEED award winning projects, I’d guess that the answer is a resounding “yes!”).
Hester Street Collaborative’s “Waterfront on Wheels“
April 6’s daily design idea is that “instructive failure” is pervasive in design for social good, particularly when the participant pool is large; an observation articulated by the Tulane City Center team but shared by everyone at Structures.
Part 2 of 5
The first panel of the day was focused on Partnerships, and kicked off with a review of the SEED award winning Owe’neh Bupingeh project. Project architect Jamie Blosser shared some of the deep research that she did on what phases of the pueblo’s evolving history to preserve, which included documentation of oral histories from elders about the pueblo and GIS mapping with some of the pueblo’s youth.
site photo of Owe’neh Bupingeh project by Atkins Olshin Schade Architects
Next, Peru-based Jorge Alarcon shared the SEED award winning Escuela Ecologica. Alarcon emphasized the value of post-occupancy evaluations and of tracking student experience in new buildings vs the old ones. His American teammate Dan Shaw noted that drawing with the students was a key step in the design process, and a particularly effective way to overcome language barriers. Shaw also reinforced the value of including beneficiaries in design processes by saying: “Just being asked your opinion in a built environment project is empowering.”
Both teams expressed how happy they were to be able to pass skills on to the communities they were serving (and vice versa), particularly with local youth.
April 5’s daily design idea is Bell and Palleroni were right: there are so many non-physical benefits of design!
I live tweeted the main day of this year’s Structures for Inclusion 12 (SFI12), hosted by UT Austin, but I also thought it would be fun to share a fuller version of those tweets here (particularly with all the vowels and grammar added back in). Hope you enjoy!
Part 1 of 5
Bryan Bell kicked off the Saturday session of Structures by talking about this year’s theme, “Design is Relational.” This theme was inspired by Sergio Palleroni’s presentation at last year’s Structures, regarding the fact that it’s often the non-physical effects of the design process that have the most lasting impact. Bell specifically noted that strengthening relationships within the industry and advancing our processes for collaboration are both essential going forward. “Creativity makes a bigger & healthier pie out of limited resources.” We can do more with less by working together better.
From there, Barbara Brown Wilson took the stage and reflected on past links between social change and physical space. Wilson highlighted the Disabilities Movement as a highly successful effort to transform standards for the built environment, and pointed out that we are currently in a relatively undefined proto-movement (which has yet to create that same level of disruptive impact). The SEED Network, which Wilson helped found, is certainly a step in the right direction. While the network has evolved into a platform for “knowledge brokering,” it was originally conceived as a “bat signal” for communities to reach out to when they needed design services. Providing services to these communities is obviously still the ultimate goal.
This year’s featured speaker, the amazing Coleman Coker, followed. He primarily focused on designing ethically, in response to the earth (something he’s been doing for over 30 years), in contrast to designing based on aesthetic judgment or taste. I found it incredibly inspiring to hear Coker speak about the social and environmental elements of his work, especially as the two are so integrated for him.
April 4’s daily design idea is Coleman Coker’s concluding thought: “if architecture is done well, it brings us closer to the world.”
Two days ago, Behance’s 99% announced the speaker line-up for the 2012 version of their annual conference (a haven for practical creatives all over the world). Normally I would feel a bit guilty teasing everyone about this conference, which sold out almost instantly, but 99% (and many audience members) did a great job last year of live tweeting things. Just keep an eye out for #99conf on May 3rd and 4th!
image from Cool Hunting
Without further ado, the 16 speakers at this year’s 99% conference:
- Alexis Madrigal, Senior Editor of The Atlantic: The Atlantic alexismadrigal.com @alexismadrigal
- Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit: Reddit Breadpig @kn0thing
- Baratunde Thurston, Author of How to Be Black: How To Be Black Fresh Air Interview @baratunde
- Charlie Todd, Founder of Improv Everywhere: Improv Everywhere Charlie Todd’s blog @charlietodd
- Jad Abumrad, Host and Creator of Radiolab: Radiolab NY Times Profile @jadabumrad
- Jason Goldberg, Founder and CEO of Fab.com: Fab.com Betashop blog @betashop
- Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder and CEO of Rent the Runway: Rent the Runway Inc. profile @Jenn_RTR
- Jonah Lehrer, Author of Imagine: How Creativity Works: Frontal Cortex blog Imagine @jonahlehrer
- Jonathan Adler, Founder of Jonathan Adler (the design company): jonathanadler.com Elle interview @jonathanadler
- Keith Yamashita, Chairman of SYPartners: SYPartners Unstuck Fast Company profile @keithyamashita
- Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Warby Parker: Warby Parker Time profile @neilblumenthal
- Paula Scher, Partner at Pentagram Design: Pentagram Design Metropolis profile Wikipedia Page
- Piya Sorcar, Founder and CEO of TeachAIDS: TeachAIDS Technology Review profile
- Rilla Alexander, Designer and Illustrator (and member of design collective Rinzen): Sozi By Rilla Rinzen
- Teresa Amabile, Professor (and Director of Research) at Harvard Business School: The Progress Principle Matthew May Interview @TeresaAmabile
- Tony Fadell, Founder and CEO of Nest Labs, Inc: Nest TechCrunch Interview
image from Primed
And yes, I went ahead and made a list of speakers on Twitter, so that you can learn to love them like I do.
March 9’s daily design idea is keep an eye (publicly) on the people you admire most. As social media becomes increasingly pervasive in professional settings, there are ever more opportunities for everyone to engage with their inspirations.
via PublicInterestDesign.org (January 27, 2012):
“The 6 winning projects along with 13 honorable mentions were selected from a field of 45 submissions from 14 countries. According to the press release, ‘The award winners and honorable mentions…offer tangible evidence of how design is effectively playing a role in addressing the most critical issues around the globe…Each project team carefully identified a community’s needs and priorities, then maximized the use of resources to strategically address these.'”
Bancroft School Revitalization, Kansas City, Missouri. Team includes BNIM Architecture + Planning, Dalmark Development and Management Group, Make it Right, Green Impact Zone, Historic Manheim Park Association, JE Dunn Construction, and Truman Medical Group.
Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan and Rehabilitation, Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico. Team includes Atkins Olshin Schade Architects and The Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority.
Grow Dat Farm, New Orleans, Louisiana. Team includes Tulane University City Center, Grow Dat Youth Farm, and New Orleans City Park.
Escuela Ecologica Saludable Initiative: Parque Primaria, Lima, Peru. Team includes University of Washington (Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Global Health, School of Forest Resources, Global Health and Environment Fellows), Architects Without Borders- Seattle, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/ Fundacion San Marcos, Escuela Pitagorus #8183, COPASED de Zapalla, and Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar Jorge Alarcon.
Nyanza Maternity Hospital, Nyanza, Rwanda. Team includes MASS Design Group, UNICEF, Rwandan Ministry of Health, Transsolar Kilma Engineering, Nyanza Hospital Administration
Maria Auxiliadora School, Los Calderones, Peru. Team includes Architecture for Humanity, Happy Hearts Fund, ING-INTEGRA Peru, Maria Auxiliadora School, Los Calderones Community, Tate Municipality.
February 22’s daily design idea is celebrate your industry’s accomplishments, and eventually others will too.