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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide

When one interacts with a community, one must prepare to be on his best behaviors. This guide provides activities that make you reflect and seeks to redesign your behavior in relation to the community in a more equitable manner. Design in this case signifies how one navigates and acts. To be more equitable this guide […]

Black Landscapes Matter

There is a lack of Black presence in landscape architecture. There are near to no Black figures in landscape architecture history, and the current enrollment in landscape architecture education is astonishingly low. We should work to dismantle barriers so that more Black community members can be involved with landscape architecture, as it would serve as […]

Environmental Justice + Landscape Architecture: A Students’ Guide

Landscape architects must enact equitable designs to bring forth environmental justice. They must be aware that low-income people are more likely to take residence in a place that poses environmental health risks thus landscape architects must take in a thorough land assessment. Then they should also co-generate with the population in order to design built […]

Sharing Design Agency with Local Partners in Participatory Design

This article provides an overview of some of the opportunities and challenges associated with participatory design processes, especially those involving local partners in high poverty and informal settings. It reviews a participatory design project that took place in a Brazilian favela in collaboration with a local NGO and outlines 5 strategies for addressing challenges and […]

How to make a model city: Place-It by James Rojas

This video gives a guideline on how to create a model city using everyday household art supplies. This concise video provides detailed instructions on how to create 3-dimensional topography and placement of different objects that may be on hand. This mixed-use of different supplies allows for an engaging, yet easy way to create your very […]

Community Designer: Chelina Odbert

With a teaching background, Chelina Odbert sees the importance of good design. She has also realized the potential for design to be more accessible, and start tackling big social and economic issues, such as poverty, to achieve equitable communities. She and peers created KDI to help low income communities build long lasting equity in places […]

Theaster Gates: How to revive a neighborhood: with imagination, beauty and art

Artist and activist Theaster Gates noticed many issues, such as neglected infrastructure and abandonment of buildings, in his neighborhood in Chicago. With his artistic background, Gates began to revive abandoned buildings into creative spaces and cultural hubs that people in the community can use. He explains his efforts to bridge the gap between artists, like […]

Chicago Expanding Architecture Conversations on Design as Activism

Metropolis magazine hosted a panel that explored the need to expand the field of architecture by including design as activism. More attention has turned to designing for sustainability, but there is still a lack of focus on designing for social and economic issues. The panel discussed a spectrum of social issues, such as affordable housing; […]

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization based in New York City with a national audience. The CUP uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement, particularly in underrepresented communities. They make urban policy and planning issues understandable to more community members so that they can better participate […]

The Kibera Public Space Project

Kounkuey Design Initative (KDI) works at the intersection of design and social justice. They view design as a process and a means to a solution rather than a product. Their method of design is ‘ask, listen, collaborate, and repeat’ and working with multidisciplinary stakeholders. The Kibera Public Space Project is the ongoing transformation of the […]

Social Design Insights

Social Design Insights is a weekly podcast produced by the Curry Stone Design Prize. Through conversation with leading designers, it provides insights into innovative projects and practices that use design to address pressing social justice issues.

New Landscape Declaration

The New Landscape Declaration builds on the Landscape Architecture foundation’s 1966 Declaration of Concern. Uniquely trained in systems thinking and interdisciplinary facilitation, landscape architects are poised to promote the ideals of equity, sustainability, resiliency and democracy through an integration of form and function. This declaration calls on landscape architects to use their skill sets to […]

The Just City

This collection of essays honors the diverse perspectives of architects, mayors, artists, doctors, designers and scholars, philanthropists, ecologists, urban planners and community activists from 22 cities across five continents. The essayists were prompted to answer two questions: What would a just city look like and what could be the strategies to get there? Their writing […]