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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Teeter totters as activism: How the border wall became a playground

In this episode of the blog, UC Berkeley architect Ronald Rael tells the story of him and the seesaw. As he hobbled the bright pink seesaw to the us-mexico border wall, he wondered what he and his team would do next. He just wanted to create a moment where people on both sides felt connected.

Social Design Insights

Social Design Insights is a weekly podcast produced by the Curry Stone Design Award. Each episode explores different ways in which guest designers deal with social justice issues through design projects. The guest designers come from different design departments and can have a deep understanding of the different branches of the field.

Design Activism for Whom?

In this article, Randolph Hestor argues that all design is design activism because there is no such thing as passive design. If all design is design activism, then what are the stances that designers take? Hestor outlines five main design stances and concludes by describing the characteristics of designers who are catalysts for social and […]

Design Justice: Colloquial Design for a Just City

Architect, Bryan Lee, found design justice and advocacy as a way to use architecture to create the biggest impact on communities. Bryan started his design company, Colloqate, to tell a story and acknowledge inequality to better design spaces that support racial, social and cultural equity. Their goal is to achieve justice through built environments.

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; […]

Design Activism in Detroit

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) is not content with the status quo when it comes to built environment professionals — especially architects. Based at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture since 1994, it sees the production of architecture as a political act, one that supports or disrupts the actions of individuals and […]

TEDxHunterCCS: Winston Dong – Design Is Activism

Winston Dong is the founding principal of a planning and design firm, Benchmark38. In this Tedx talk, Winston focused on how design in landscape architecture shapes our society and the way we interact with the public realm. A well designed public space allows for a place where people can work, play, and learn effectively.

Social Justice and Activism in Design

With the help of ArchDaily in Santiago, Chile, assistant professor Shawhin Roudbari explores how architects and designers engage in a community and introduce political engagement in design on a global scale. The trip highlights the importance of cultural exchanges in the design and planning process, as well as in between design groups.

History and Traditions of Design Activism

This design panel includes Clare Cooper Marcus, Stanley Saitowitz, Michael Teitz and others discussing the historical and philosophical roots of Design activism. The panelists discuss the need for social conscience in planning, recognizing people who were revolutionary in the field in the 1950s, recognizing problems and confusion in design and planning, early projects and innovation […]

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.

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 […]