LA+ Journal: Design Justice Q & A

Allison Nkwocha in conversation with Kat Engleman, Kofi Boone, Hanna Kim, Alma Du Solier, Julian Agyeman, Melissa Guerrero, and Jeffrey Hou.  Part of LA+ Journal’s Conversation Series. [button url=”https://laplusjournal.com/CONVERSATION” target=”blank” style=”default” background=”#444444″ color=”#FFFFFF” size=”3″ wide=”no” center=”no” radius=”auto” icon_color=”#FFFFFF” text_shadow=”none”]Read Here[/button]

Landscape Architects Can Become Changemakers, But First We Need to Change How They Are Taught

“To address climate change, environmental degradation, and social inequalities, we need coordinated political action and systemic change on a global scale. With a mission to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public, landscape architects can become important agents of that change.” By Jeffrey Hou [button url=”https://dirt.asla.org/2021/04/19/landscape-architects-can-become-changemakers-but-first-we-need-to-change-how-they-are-taught/” target=”blank” style=”default” background=”#444444″ color=”#FFFFFF” size=”3″ wide=”no” center=”no”… Continue reading Landscape Architects Can Become Changemakers, But First We Need to Change How They Are Taught

Design Activism: A Dialogue on Protest, Policing, and Demanding the Future We Need

“On February 9, 2021, Niki Franco moderated a conversation with Ivy Climacosa, Dustin Gibson, Annika Hansteen-Izora, and Liz Ogbu around the new protest movements that have arisen in reaction to the ongoing scourge of police brutality in the United States. As designers and activists, the participants were invited to talk about their own creative practices,… Continue reading Design Activism: A Dialogue on Protest, Policing, and Demanding the Future We Need

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

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.” [button url=”https://commonedge.org/the-education-and-miseducation-of-an-urban-planner/” target=”blank” style=”default” background=”#444444″ color=”#FFFFFF” size=”3″ wide=”no”… Continue reading The Education – and Miseducation – of an Urban Planner

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 [button url=”https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/154720/Low_DesignisPolitical.pdf?sequence=1″ target=”blank” background=”#444444″]Read Here[/button]  

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… Continue reading America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress

From Pop-Up to Permanent: 5 Lessons in Tactical Urbanism

Tactical urbanism involves pop up projects that are designed to engage the public and inspire more permanent change. This article outlines five stages that can lead a temporary project to have more lasting impacts. These stages include: uncovering value, engaging stakeholders, documenting/measuring, attracting attention and inspiring programs or policies. Authors Melinda Hanson and Majed Abdulsamad… Continue reading From Pop-Up to Permanent: 5 Lessons in Tactical Urbanism

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… Continue reading Equity-Centered Community Design Field 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… Continue reading Black Landscapes Matter

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… Continue reading Environmental Justice + Landscape Architecture: A Students’ Guide

Design as Activism: to resist or to generate

This article seeks to address a couple of common critiques of design activism: that activism is primarily about stopping or preventing things and that activism raises awareness but doesn’t actually accomplish anything. The author argues that designers have the ability to practice a more generative and pragmatic kind of activism by creating positive disruptions that… Continue reading Design as Activism: to resist or to generate

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… Continue reading Sharing Design Agency with Local Partners in Participatory Design

Storytelling in design for social innovation and politics: a reading through the lenses of Hannah Arendt

This article is about the use of innovative storytelling in participatory design processes. It highlights two techniques designed to engage community members in imagining futures and collectively constructing the public realm. The first involves the use of traditional puppets. The second involves a social television program. Authors Virginia Tassinari, Francesca Piredda & Elisa Bertolotti [button… Continue reading Storytelling in design for social innovation and politics: a reading through the lenses of Hannah Arendt

Massive Codesign: A Proposal for a Collaborative Design Framework

This book outlines strategies for involving large groups of people in codesign processes. It includes a “collaborative design framework,” case studies and a series of “quick lessons” on collaborative creative process. Authors Anna Meroni, Daniela Selloni, Martina Rossi [button url=”https://ojs.francoangeli.it/_omp/index.php/oa/catalog/book/303″ target=”blank” background=”#444444″]Read Here[/button]

What does it mean to engage in activism through design? To engage in design through activism?

An inspiring collection of statements from designers and educators in the field of landscape architecture on what it means to engage in activism through design and to engage in design through activism. Compiled by the McHarg Center [button url=”https://mcharg.upenn.edu/conversations/what-does-it-mean-engage-activism-through-design-engage-design-through-activism” target=”blank” background=”#444444″]Read Here[/button]

Design and the Green New Deal

This is a call to action for landscape architects and designers to get politically active. Landscape architects cannot become the climate remediators they have propped themselves up to be if they remain intact with the client-based processes. The renowned landscape architect Olmsted challenged the status quo, he put himself in the political arena. Landscape architects… Continue reading Design and the Green New Deal

Indigenous technologies “could change the way we design cities” says environmentalist Julia Watson

In contrast to the idea that modern technology will save the day, indigenous technologies provide a brighter outlook. Indigenous technologies work symbiotically with nature. Unlike modern technologies that tend to go against nature, indigenious technologies seek to harmonize with it. In the face of growing cities and increasing environmental degradation, Julia Watson, who teaches urban… Continue reading Indigenous technologies “could change the way we design cities” says environmentalist Julia Watson

Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places & Community

Published by MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, this paper provides an overview of placemaking. It claims that the collaborative design process results in both great places and stronger communities. The paper outlines opportunities and challenges in the practice and presents a series of case studies from around the United States. Author Susan Silberberg;… Continue reading Places in the Making: How Placemaking Builds Places & Community

Democratic Drawing: Techniques for Participatory Design

This article addresses the challenge of drawing with the public in collaborative design processes. It outlines methodologies for representing people, exchanging information spatially, coauthoring design, encouraging self-representation and visualizing deep community values. Author Randolph Hester [button url=”http://faculty.washington.edu/jhou/rim/2004/papers/RandyHester.pdf” target=”blank” background=”#444444″]Read Here[/button]

Project Drawdown: Solutions

Lack of active measures in climate change mitigation is largely due to the fact that dismantlement of high greenhouse gas industries creates a vacuum. Project Drawdown is an organization that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing design solutions such as alternative industrial practices and technologies. In order to fulfill human needs, the transition… Continue reading Project Drawdown: Solutions

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… Continue reading New Landscape Declaration

A Refrain with a View

In this classic text Randolph Hester, a pioneer of community engaged design, presents a survey of participatory design history and outlines opportunities for improving this practice today. He notes the need for visionary synthesis as well as greater inclusivity and collaboration in planning. Author Randolph Hester [button url=”https://escholarship.org/uc/item/87c2d02w” target=”blank” background=”#444444″]Read Here[/button]

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… Continue reading The Just City