Public Interest Design
pinterest twitter facebook RSS
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

April 23, 2014

SVA Announces First Summer of Social Innovation


New York City’s School for Visual Arts and Impact! Design for Social Change have teamed up to create the first-ever Summer of Social Innovation–a six-week program of evening classes for students and professionals. Guided by faculty from the MFA Design for Social Innovation department, the classes offered between June 22nd to August 15th include: Games for Impact, Disruptive Design for Informal Economies, Redesigning CSR, Designing Digital Communities, and Designing Life 2.0 – Your Next Act(s). Registration is now open!

If you’re a professional looking to bring more purposeful creative capacity to your organizations, and to yourself, or if you’re a student looking to add the latest skills and knowledge to find a job that matters, join us for our Summer of Social Innovation courses with MFA DSI Faculty.

Click here to learn more and register for the Summer of Social Innovation, online at

April 22, 2014

Van Alen Announces ‘Elsewhere’ Event Series


The Van Alen Institute–an organization dedicated to advancing innovation in architecture and urban design–announced the Spring 2014 events series for their multi-year initiative Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape. Running from May 9th to 19th in New York City, the eleven-day slate of workshops, films, tours, performances, conversations, and tech demonstrations will explore the effects of urban life on the mind and body. Tickets to attend most events are $5 for students, $7 for general admission, and free for Van Alen members.

Elsewhere is comprised of competitions, public programs, and research that investigate key questions of the contemporary urban experience: How and why do we escape from urban life? What prompts us to escape to the city? What forms of escape can we find within the urban environment? And how might the experience of going “elsewhere” contribute to our well-being?

Click here to learn more and register to attend an Elsewhere event, online at

April 22, 2014

2014 Berkeley Prize Winners Announced


University of California, Berkeley professor and competition founder Raymond Lifchez announced the winners of the sixteenth annual international Berkeley Prize Competition this past weekend. This year’s competition invited students to explore the topic of “The Architect and the Healthful Environment” by responding to the question of “How do you design a healthful environment?” In total, 141 students representing 28 countries participated in the competition.

Through three distinct competitions–the Essay Competition; the Travel Fellowship; and the Teaching Fellowship–the international Berkeley Prize competition encourages undergraduate architecture students and their teachers worldwide to go into their communities for the purpose of thinking and writing about issues central to the understanding of the social art of architecture.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 honorees of the Berkeley Prize Essay Competition and Travel Fellowship, online at

April 21, 2014

Public Architecture Associate Apps Due Today


Our friends at Public Architecture are seeking full-time student associates to join their team in San Francisco this summer. The role involves research, writing, and communications support for The 1% program and Public Architecture’s blog ‘The Public Dialogue,’ along with providing general support for the organization. Students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate level business, design, social studies, urban planning, or marketing programs are encouraged to apply by end of day today, April 21st.

Public Architecture puts the resources of architecture in the service of the public interest. We identify and solve practical problems of human interaction in the built environment and act as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy and design of public spaces and amenities.

Click here to apply to be a Summer Associate by end of day today, April 21st, online at

April 21, 2014

Design Futures Scholarship Apps Due Today


The second annual Design Futures Student Forum–a symposium bringing together students and practitioners to explore the history, philosophies, and practices of public interest design–will take place this summer from June 3rd to 7th in New Orleans with host organization Tulane School of Architecture. Our own Autodesk Foundation is generously funding 4 full scholarships, which include registration, travel, room, and board, for students with a keen interest in public interest design who have a financial hardship and no other outlet to attend. Today, April 21st, is the last day to apply to attend by scholarship. Other ways students can attend are through member schools or ‘at-large’ spots, which include a registration fee of $400.

Click here to apply for an Autodesk Foundation scholarship by end of day today, or click here to read more about the 2014 Design Futures Student Forum, online at

April 18, 2014

PID Global Kicks Off Today


The first-ever Public Interest Design Global, organized by École Spéciale de l’Architecture and Design Corps, kicks off today in Paris. The morning session will include presentations by 2014 SEED Award winners Dr. Hussein Tarabeih on the TEAQ Green Building, Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group on Butaro Doctors’ Housing, and Studio Swine on Can City. Following the morning presentations will be an afternoon of workgroup sessions. We hope our internet connection is a bit more stable than last week at Clean Conscience Dirty Hands in Glasgow so you can follow the conversation on our Twitter account here.

Click here to learn more about PID Global, online at

April 17, 2014

“Why We Need to Rethink Homeless Housing”


Architecture writer Matt Shaw recently took to the pages of Architizer in the thought-provoking article “Why We Need to Rethink Homeless Housing.” Citing an increasing homelessness population in Los Angeles, Shaw questions the costly ‘small scale remedies’ of the Skid Row Housing Trust’s developments, a third of which have been designed by preeminent architects such as Michael Maltzan, Koning Eisenberg, and Brooks + Scarpa. Whether you side with low-income housing “leading the vanguard of innovative architecture” or using “creativity and innovation in design to tackle the problem of 57,000 homeless people,” he incites discussions about the scale of impact that architecture can have on critical issues and the amount of work still left to tackle.

Rather than using the noble cause of homeless housing to launch beautiful design, why not use creativity and innovation in design to tackle the problem of 57,000 homeless people? Instead of vastly underutilizing the site and producing a sexy building of 100 units, why not use these opportunities as compact design challenges? Creating more units quickly and efficiently does not necessarily have to mean a sacrifice in quality or aesthetic. And so in looking at the big picture, architects should really be asking: How many people can we get off the street for $19.3 million?

Click here to read “Why We Need to Rethink Homeless Housing,” online at

April 17, 2014

NEA Announces $74 Million in Grants for 2014


The National Endowment for the Arts announced plans to award an additional $74.85 million in 971 grants to nonprofit organizations this year. In the Art Works program that focuses on “public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts,” 51 grants in the Design category will be awarded for a total sum of $1,496,000. Recipients include many well-known organizations who are leading the public interest and community design movement, including bcWORKSHOP, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Design Corps, Design Trust for Public Space, D‐Rev, Enterprise Community Partners,, Project H Design, and the Van Alen Institute. NEA Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa spoke about the impact of the NEA program:

We know that arts and culture play an important role in our nation’s economy, with the most recent numbers showing the sector comprising more than 3.2 percent – or $504 billion – of GDP. The NEA is proud to support the nation’s nonprofit organizations which are an integral part of the arts and cultural sector. These NEA-supported projects will not only have a positive impact on local economies, but will also provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in the arts, help our communities to become more vibrant, and support our nation’s artists as they contribute to our cultural landscape.

Click here to read more about the NEA 2014 grant recipients, online at

April 17, 2014

Pulitzer Bestowed Upon Critic Inga Saffron


On Monday Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s architecture critic, was awarded a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for “her criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise.” Saffron has covered Philadelphia’s architecture, design, and urban development in her popular “Changing Skyline” column since 1999, eliciting changes to city policy on waterfront development, zoning, and parking issues. Join us in sending a hearty congratulations to the brilliant Inga Saffron who continues to bring relevant design issues to the public domain.

Pushing beyond the usual boundaries of architectural criticism, her columns focus on the buildings and public spaces that Philadelphians encounter in their daily lives. Saffron applies a reporter’s skills and sensibility to explore the variety of forces – political, financial, cultural – that shape the city… This year, Saffron launched Built, an innovative new web page that allows her to curate Inquirer stories on architecture, development and transportation. By packaging this related content together and updating it daily, Saffron has focused attention on a group of interconnected issues that are crucial to Philadelphia’s future.

Click here to read more on Inga Saffron’s Pulitzer Prize, online at

April 16, 2014

The Coffee Cup Inspired Exo Housing Unit

With inspiration from a coffee cup and an obsession with disaster relief housing, Michael McDaniel has developed an inexpensive, lightweight, and easily transported shelter to address the tens of millions people displaced by natural disasters each year. After surpassing their funding goals on Indiegogo, McDaniel and his team at Reaction Housing are now in the process of constructing the first Exo Housing Unit prototypes. In a recent Fast Company article, McDaniel spoke about their plans to scale:

Once we’re done evaluating the prototypes, we’ll be able to send them to Syria. Indiegogo is allowing us to get units out there helping people now, but we can also get feedback on the ground before rolling out these things en masse. It’s essentially design research with a purpose.

Click here to read more about Reaction Housing’s Exo Housing Unit, online at

Autodesk Foundation is an evolving resource of the Autodesk Foundation, a first-of-its-kind foundation focused on design for a better world.



Get the latest posts delivered straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter.
* = required field










Related News