How The Civil Rights Movement Shaped Latino Urbanism in East L.A.

“As I played in my backyard in East Los Angeles on Saturday August 29, 1970, just a few blocks away the streets were aflame. The Chicano Moratorium, a protest against the recruitment of young Hispanics drafted into the Vietnam War and a demand for civil rights, ended with the destruction of Whittier Boulevard, the East Los […]

LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium Goes Virtual: Part 1

“This year’s annual LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium showcased leading-edge thinking in landscape architecture to address a breadth of pressing issues. During this two-part virtual event, the six 2019-2020 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership recipients presented their projects as the culmination of their year-long fellowship. The symposium is a celebration of the fellows’ journey to […]

The Education – and Miseducation – of an Urban Planner

An essay by planner and Place It! founder James Rojas. From James, “This essay explores how my personal experiences with African Americans and space helped me develop Place It! which gives under represented communities a voice in the planning process. We can all learn from each other.”

Presentations from Part 1 of the 2020 LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium

“On June 16 and 18, 2020, the 2019-2020 cohort from the year-long LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership presented their projects at our virtual symposium. This unique fellowship program provides a $25,000 award that supports working professionals as they develop and test new ideas to bring about impactful change to the environment and humanity and […]

LAF Fellow Joint Opening Statement

Held on June 16 and 18, a two-part virtual event showcased the work of the 2019-2020 LAF Fellows on design activism, heterogeneous futures, working landscapes, indigenous knowledge, resiliency, and landscape as foundation for revolution and resistance. Recordings will be available to the public in July. Beyond their presentations, the fellows were compelled to address the […]

Black Lives Matter – Get Educated and Take Action!

“The past few weeks of American history have been devastating. We grieve with the nation and the black community. We grieve for the life of George Floyd but also for the painful history of violence against black bodies in our nation and the furious reconciliation we are in the midst of. We are devastated but […]

Race, Architecture, and Tales from the Hood

In this Tedx Talk, “Bryan Lee talks about “design justice” — the idea that race, culture, and architecture are inherently connected in a way that links art to racial equity and design to cultural space.”

Colloqate Design

“Colloqate Design is a multidisciplinary nonprofit Design Justice practice focused on expanding community access to, and building power through, the design of social, civic, and cultural spaces. Our mission is to intentionally organize, advocate, and design spaces of racial, social, and cultural justice throughout the built environment. Through programming,planning and design projects, Colloqate seeks to […]

From the “Feel Good” City to the Just City

Keynote presentation by Margaret Crawford – Professor of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley as part of the conference: Contesting the Streets II: Vending and Public Space in Global Cities.

Design is Political: White Supremacy and Landscape Urbanism

“Landscape architecture and its allied professions must engage in critical discourse recognizing design’s role and responsibility in addressing issues of environmental racism and draw important connections between physical, spatial, and environmental maladies of our cities and structural racism and discrimination.” Author: Jennifer Low  

America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress

“Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed.”  Bryan Lee Jr.’s recent article for CityLab serves as both a poignant reminder of the legacy of designed racial oppression in the United States and a call to arms to […]

Project Row Houses

Project Row Houses (PRH) is located in Houston’s historic third ward, which is one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the city. Their mission is to use engagement, art, and direct action to enrich communities with engagement. It is a home base for initiatives, art programs, and neighborhood development activities. The programs strive to […]

Traction

Traction started working with their first community in 2009, at the informal urban settlement of Lomas de Zapallal in Lima, Peru. They also started working with the University of Washington, working on projects through donor funding and study abroad with the University. In 2019, Traction was registered as a nonprofit organization in Washington. Traction has […]

Landscape for Humanity

Through design, research, and projects, Landscape for Humanity creates spatial changes that support social and environmental justice with landscape architecture. Their Food-Energy-Water (FEW) approach aims to increase self-sufficiency through natural resources. For example, designing edible landscapes, creating sustainable portable water supplies, and providing flexible solar design. The Landscape for Humanity (L4H) non-profit works closely with […]

Tiny WPA

Tiny WPA strives to expand and empower community design leaders, in order to act as a national model for engaging people of all ages in community-based design. Their Building Hero Project works with diverse social and economic backgrounds from youth to adults. Collaboration, leadership, fabrication, and entrepreneurship skills are fostered and then applied to address […]

University of Arkansas Community Design Center

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC) started as an outreach center in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, with a focus on rural development. The center has a downtown location with full-time design and planning staff, providing services for communities and organizations across the nation. The UACDC addresses public-interest design through […]

Hamer center for Community Design at Penn State University

Hamer Center for Community Design at Penn State is a landscape architecture design center made possible by the Hamer Foundation. It is a collaboration with Penn State researchers and designers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups. One of the organizations values is a focus of socio-economic and environmentally conscious design and planning solutions. The […]

Design and Planning Assistance Center at the University of New Mexico

The Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC) provides low-income communities in New Mexico with design and planning services. It was founded at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) in 1969 as part of a national community design movement, linking universities, design practitioners, and communities. Their work involves research, community participation, asset inventory, analysis, […]

Detroit Collaborative Design Center at University of Detroit Mercy

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy was originally founded to rebuild the city with community and philanthropic organizations. It creates sustainable spaces and communities in a multi-disciplinary, nonprofit architecture and urban design firm. The team is made up of seven professionals and a few student interns. The team uses […]

Small Center for Collaborative Design at Tulane University

The Small Center for Collaborative Design is a community design center at Tulane University, originally set up to support those suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina. It is a collaboration between partner organizations and Tulane University that brings design expertise and voices of residents together. Every project starts as a proposal from a community-based […]

Center for Public Interest Design at Portland State University

The Center for Public Interest Design at Portland State University is a program that offers a Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design. The courses are from multiple disciplines across the university, including architecture, business, environmental science and management, public affairs, and public studies and planning. Field work with firms and organizations that work on community […]

the UMass Amherst Design Center

The UMass Amherst Design Center, located at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, focuses on the challenges of communities in Massachusetts. They use research, and a wide range of planning and urban design work to address needs of various communities. Efforts include projects to support revitalization and sustainable design. The Design Center is a collaboration between […]

Assemble

Assemble works in architecture, design, and art in a multi-disciplinary collective in London. It was founded in 2010 originally for one design-build project but has since expanded. The team works in a democratic and co-operative manner and focuses on built, social, and research-based work. Their work includes built structures, art exhibits, children play spaces, furniture, […]

UW Extension Community Design Team

The UW Community Design Extension is a cooperative university extension at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A cooperative extension is a linkage between universities providing research-based knowledge to communities that would otherwise be less accessible. This allows communities to make more informed decisions about the future of their spaces. The UW Extension pulls knowledge from […]

Architects Without Borders – Seattle

Architects Without Borders-Seattle was founded in 2005 by a group of Seattle architects and designers in response to the Asian tsunami. Today, this non-profit serves communities that would otherwise lack access to design services, both internationally and in the Puget Sound area. This organization is part of an international coalition of designers that provide pro […]

Resilience by Design

The ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) is a research lab at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. This interdisciplinary team uses applied, participatory research with youth to address disasters, climate change, and conflict. Resilience by Design establishes partners, networks, and organizations that collaborate in workshops. Their process is Creative Action Research which explores research questions through […]

Kounkuey Design Initiative

KDI is an international, interdisciplinary firm that includes engineering, landscape architecture, community organizing, architecture, and urban planning. They aim to create physical, social, and economic infrastructures to provide a foundation for equitable communities. They do this through designing and building, community-led planning, researching and testing, advocating and educating students and practitioners around the world. Their […]

Environmental Works

Environmental Works Community Design Center is a nonprofit community-based architectural firm that provides services to other nonprofit organizations, municipal agencies, and under-represented communities in the state of Washington. Their services include architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. They strive to create quality design and sustainable communities with efficient use of capital funds. Environmental Works focus on […]

MASS Design Group

MASS Design Group is a team of architects, landscape architects, engineers, builders, furniture designers, writers, film makers, and researchers from across 20 countries. They advocate for justice and human dignity through research, building, and advocacy, primarily through architecture. Building for a climate positive future is one of their values. This includes the design of a […]

2020 LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium

“In what promises to be a powerful virtual event, the six 2019-2020 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership recipients will present their projects on design activism, resiliency planning near New Orleans, working landscapes in the Middle American city, overlooked writings from varied disciplines as a geopolitical study of land, indigenous knowledge leading design interventions in […]

Sustainable City Year at U of O

The Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) is a year-long collaboration between University of Oregon and various stakeholders including Oregon city, county, special district, tribe, and other governmental partnerships. In the academic courses, students work on partner-identified projects to solve the real-world problems in community challenges and sustainable development. The SCYP outlines a sustainable and livable […]

Open Space Seattle 2100

The Open Space Seattle 2100 project was a grassroots effort to engage a wide variety of stakeholders in discussing the future of Seattle’s “green infrastructure.” Led by the Green Futures Lab at the University of Washington, a charrette was conducted in 2006 with over 300 people from many disciplines participating. Each team focused on a […]

Informal Urban Communities Initiative (IUCI)

The IUCI is a program based in Seattle, Peru, and Nepal that focuses on design activism, research, and education. It looks at integrated, interdisciplinary design of infrastructure and public space through assessment, design, and implementation through community-driven interventions. Designers, students, and professionals collaborate with marginalized communities to improve human and environmental health. Projects include a […]

Lafayette Square Park

Lafayette Park (Oakland, CA) was designed by Walter Hood in 1998 as a space for everyone, from people facing homelessness to business folk to families. Hood began this project in 1994 via research and interviews with people who were using the square. It used to be called ‘Old Man’s Park’ due to the men who […]

Hacking Urban Furniture

The project “Hacking Urban Furniture” explores the history, present and future of urban furniture in collaboration with artists, urban explorers, administrators, politicians, activists and researchers. Together they explore the potential of spatial public service design in the city. The international open single-phase idea contest “Hacking Urban Furniture – Urban furniture in Communal-Collective-Cooperation (CCC)” searched for […]

Conflict Kitchen (now closed)

Conflict Kitchen was a restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA, that cooked and served food from countries the United States was in conflict with. It was founded by Jon Rubin – an art professor at Carnegie Mellon University – and Dawn Weleski. They provided a space and opportunities for people to learn about and discuss the focus […]

John Chavis Memorial Park

Built in 1937 in Raleigh, NC, the park underwent degradation and gentrification in the neighborhood in recent years. To better understand the needs of and place-based memories of African American residents, the city convened an 18-month community conversation in collaboration with Skeo Solution. A Public Leadership Group of different stakeholders with training in Collaborative Problem […]

We Are Human Rights

Founded by designer Bernhard Lenger, the ‘We Are Human Rights’ project is a collaboration between designers and human rights defenders to explore how design can support activists. There are currently seven collaboratory design activism projects wordwide, in Burundi, Colombia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Mexico, Sudan and Russia. For example, the Kenyan project is a platform for global […]

Livable City Year (LCY)

“Livable City Year is a multi-disciplinary program that engages University of Washington faculty and students to work on high-priority projects identified by community partners. We work with communities of all sizes and budgets, and our partnerships can have a broad range of timelines and scopes based on partner needs.” City of Bellevue in 2018–2019 City […]

Othello Square

The Othello Square project is a community-driven development initiative which strives to enhance equity in Southeast Seattle. From 2016 to 2018, the Othello Square Governance Committee and Othello Community generated the design guidlines and criteria for the new development, which consists of four buildings that will support more than 350 living-wage jobs and provide different […]

Open House

A dilapidated house was transformed into a public space for performance and celebration that can be folded and unfolded by hand as needed by the community. This project was idealized when community members discussed their frustration about the loss of public space and lack of racially integrated social spaces in York, Alabama with artist/activist Matthew […]

Sole Food Street Farms

Sole Food Street Farms is an urban farming project in Vancouver, British Columbia that provides low-income residents with “jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion.” Many of these community members are recovering from drug abuse and deal with mental health issues. With funding from grants, Sole Food Street Farms temporarily grows food on vacant land. Crops are […]

Fresh Moves Mobile Market

Fresh Moves Mobile Market is a grocery store in a city bus. Fresh, local food is driven throughout Chicago, specifically to schools, community and health centers to provide an avenue for people fo buy nutritious produce grown by Chicago’s urban farmers. By going to places that are already used by may communities, Fresh Moves is […]

Traction + Claverito Community

Traction is an interdisciplinary design and research nonprofit that collaborates with at-risk communities to implement participatory design interventions. Claverito is a floating informal community in Iquitos, Peru located on the Amazon River. The Traction team (including students from the University of Washington, Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana, and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) […]

The EVC Public Space Network

The Eastern Coachella Valley Productive Public Space Network is an extension of the tools used in the Kibera Public Space Project by Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI). California’s Eastern Coachella Valley (ECV) is home to a large immigrant population that faces many challenges in terms of transportation, housing, health, and housing. Youth community members led participatory […]

Landscape Architecture: Design as Activism

This Design as Activism podcast features lecture recordings of Landscape Architecture: Design as Activism class at University of California: Davis. The podcast provide insights into how activism in design is taught at a university level. The lectures include the introduction of social issues in architecture, the importance of community involvement, usage of design advocacy, and […]

Community-Driven Design for All: Interview with Barbara Brown Wilson

In this episode of Urban Resilience Project podcast, Barbara Brown discusses her book, Resilience for All: Striving for Equity Through Community-Driven Design, which addresses inequality and lack of representation. Barbara focuses on how community-driven design can allow access for those who are not normally included in the designing process to be on the designing table, […]

Design for Spatial Justice Podcast Series

Design for Spatial Justice Podcast Series discusses the School of Architecture and Environment and the fellowship, which brings together researchers, designers, and activists hoping to tackle different social and economic issues. Spatial Justice looks at how social justice is affected by geography and organization. The podcast explores this idea through projects happening all over the […]

MASS Design Group Is Using Design to Fight Infection

In this podcast episode by Architect magazine, founding principal and executive director Michael Murphy discusses his firm’s response to COVID-19. He has realized how built environment is a part of the challenge during the pandemic but also the solution. This is especially important in design of medical centers, where a good design can provide safety […]

SEED: Social Economic Environmental Design

SEED, Social Economic Environmental Design, takes the success of LEED and apply it to social and economic issues, as well as environmental problem. SEED focuses on the community’s need, its asset and people’s participation. The goal of the community becomes the goal of SEED. The thing that set SEED apart from LEED is the attention […]