Public Interest Design
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July 31, 2014

Design Impact: New Team Members & Website


Along with a brand new, dynamic website, non-profit social innovation firm Design Impact has expanded their team to include four new members. Social innovation specialist Rashid Owoyele, communications and design coordinator Biz Young, and summer interns Lila Englander and Amy Untch have joined D-Impact to further expand the organization’s mission to “incubate projects that transform communities, equip leaders with social innovation tools, and advance methods of creative community change.”

Click here to explore Design Impact’s new website and learn more about the team, online at

July 31, 2014

CUP Calls for ‘Making Policy Public’ Collaborators


The Center for Urban Pedagogy has announced a call for designers and advocates to collaborate on the next four issues of Making Policy Public–a series that utilizes graphic design to explore and explain public policy. Ideal community and advocacy organizations should be working to address policy issues that need visual explanation, and where the lack of understanding of this issue is leading to social injustice. Designers with graphic, illustration, and infographic experience and who have an interest in bringing visual solutions to complex policy issues are encouraged to apply. The deadline to submit applications for designers and advocates is August 8th, 2014.

Making Policy Public is a series of foldout posters that use graphic and information design to make complex public policy topics more accessible and engaging. CUP publishes four issues each year, and each poster is the product of a collaboration of CUP staff, an advocacy organization, and a designer or design team.

Click here to learn more and apply as a Designer or Advocate, online at

July 30, 2014

Support ClassAct’s Active School on Kickstarter

On October 15, 2013, the largely rural region of Visayas, Philippines was devastated by back-to back catastrophes: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake immediately followed by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Among hundreds of lives lost, 300,000 displaced people and $170 million in damages to buildings, 1,134 classrooms were destroyed, leaving 15,000 children in makeshift classrooms a year after the disasters. The ClassAct Foundation–formed by architect Aya Maceda of actLAB NYC and local organization Oplan Bangon Bohol–have developed a low-cost classroom prototype “Active School” to bring improved educational infrastructure back to the region. The team is aiming to raise $30,000 by August 15th on Kickstarter to build the second of three prototypes and return 150 children to quality educational spaces.

The prototype is the implementation of Aya Maceda’s design-research project from Columbia University GSAPP’s Goodman Fellowship. The framework draws from the notion of traditional Filipino “verandah” [open living spaces]. Classrooms are bright and open-air… The structures combine local craftsmanship with modern engineering for maximum resiliency. The goal is to empower locals to maintain and repair the structure with their inherent building knowhow + innovate cottage industries [thus revitalizing the local economic ecosystem] while promoting sustainability.

Click here to learn more and support ClassAct’s Active School prototype by August 15th, online at

July 30, 2014

DCDC Seeking Designer/Project Manager


The renowned Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) recently announced an opening for a Designer/Project Manager role. Affiliated with the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM)School of Architecture (SOA), the organization operates as a multidisciplinary, nonprofit architecture and urban design firm dedicated to creating sustainable spaces and communities through quality design and the collaborative process. The Designer/Project Manager will be responsible for management of projects, engagement workshops, bidding and contract negotiations, and construction administration. Applications are now being accepted.

The DCDC works with community-based development organizations, local governments, residents and stakeholders, private developers, students, and local design professionals to enhance local leadership capacity and to promote quality design. Utilizing broad-based community participation in conjunction with design technologies, the DCDC produces projects that respond to locally defined concerns while empowering residents and stakeholders to facilitate their own process of community planning, development, and building design.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Designer/Project Manager role with DCDC, online at

July 29, 2014

Al Jazeera Announces ‘Rebel Architecture’ Series


Premiering on August 18th, a new six-part series on ‘Rebel Architecture’ features architects who are “shunning the glamour of ‘starchitecture’ and using design to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises.” Created and produced by Daniel Davies for Al Jazeera English, each half-hour documentary uncovers the work of six architects tackling pressing issues head on. “This series challenges our conceptions of architecture and design, and the way we cover them in the media”, said Giles Trendle, Director of Programmes at Al Jazeera English. “With surprising and inspiring stories from all over the world, it’s completely unlike any other programme on architecture.” Launching on Mondays at 10:30pm GMT, each episode will air 8 times throughout the week of transmission and will be archived on YouTube.

Week of August 18, 2014
Guerrilla Architecton Santiago Cirugeda
Santiago Cirugeda is a legend of Spanish self-build but can his collective approach turn an abandoned factory into a vibrant cultural centre?

Week of August 25, 2014
A Traditional Future on Yasmeen Lari
Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari uses traditional building techniques to rebuild villages in the flood damaged Sindh Valley.

Week of September 1, 2014
The Architecture of Violenceon Eyal Weizman
Eyal Weizman explains architecture’s key role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the evolution of urban warfare.

Week of September 8, 2014
Greening the City” on Vo Trong Nghia
Vo Trong Nghia attempts to return greenery to Vietnam’s choking cities and design cheap homes for those excluded from Vietnam’s rapid growth.

Week of September 15, 2014
Reality Biteson Kunlé Adeyemi
Nigerian Architect Kunlé Adeyemi sets out to solve the issues of flooding and overcrowding in Nigeria’s waterside slums with floating buildings.

Week of September 22, 2014
The Pedreiro and the Master Planneron Ricardo
Ricardo makes his living as an informal builder in Rio’s Rocinha; but the government has a different plan for the future of the favelas.

Click here to follow @RebelArchitects on Twitter or use #rebelarchitecture to be part of the discussion.

July 29, 2014

ArchDaily: “Introducing Potty-Girl” Julia King


ArchDaily writer Vanessa Quirk recently interviewed architect Julia King, the “Potty-Girl” who has made recent headlines with the 2014 AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Award and a 2014 SEED Award. In the interview King speaks about how she became involved in sanitation projects, her experience–and challenges with–the work, and the essential relationship she has built with Indian NGO Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE). As a true pioneer in public interest design, her insights are not to be missed.

I could have ended up building a library or a bus stand but what was most needed was sewerage – to do what the community couldn’t do themselves so they could get on with what they do very well, which is making towns-through-houses. So in this sense I never decided to become ‘potty-girl’ – that happened by accident. And now I find that I stumbled into one of the biggest issues facing India today. And now sanitation for me isn’t just about shit, but it is a woman’s issues and something I have become really passionate about. So I think my inspiration comes from exposure to people and their hopes/aspirations.

Click here to read “Introducing “Potty-Girl,” The Architect of the Future?,” online at

July 28, 2014

Help Reveal the “Hidden Treasures of Our Orange”

Five train stops outside of New York City in northern New Jersey, residents of Orange are on a mission to reshape their city’s perception through storytelling. The University of Orange–a free people’s university that builds collective capacity for people to create more equitable cities–is organizing the project to collect and document stories of the place and culture of Orange with local youth. The team is aiming to raise $53,000 by September 10th to share the stories on a website and through a film to reveal the overlooked but exceptional “Hidden Treasures of Our Orange.”

Like many industrial cities in the US, Orange lost its way when the factories left. The great urban planner Ron Shiffman told us, “Communities are built on memory.  It becomes the foundation for the future.”  In making this website and film, we are creating a solid foundation for a future as an equitable and fun city.

Click here to learn more and support Hidden Treasures of Our Orange, online at

July 25, 2014

AfH Completes 20 Football for Hope Centres


The six-year project to complete 20 Football for Hope Centres has come to completion for Architecture for Humanity. In 2008, AfH joined forces with streetfootballworld to build 20 community centres in 15 African countries to address education and public health issues by using football as a tool for social development. Working hand in hand with teams of local consultants and designers, AfH developed unique designs to fit the local context and needs of the local community. With the completion of all centres, over 20,215 children are now actively involved in sports and after school programs where they can safely play, socialize and learn in their community. AfH Regional Program Manager Darren Gill had this to say about the impact of the program:

“Football For Hope creates positive social legacy from the world’s favorite sport by breaking down social barriers and training the next generation. The unique design approach to every centre in our program allowed each community to integrate their own identity, which may be the greatest asset in the years to come. I sincerely hope others can learn from these successes and hopefully replicate similar programs in the future.”

Click here to read more about the Football for Hope Centres, online at

July 24, 2014

Introducing Active Social Architecture Studio


The rich colors of the building, earth, and landscape of the Pre-Primary School by Active Social Architecture Studio (ASA) recently caught our attention on ArchDaily. Established by two architects–Tomà Berlanda and Nerea Amorós Elorduy–in Kigali, Rwanda, the young practice is working with local and international organizations to build spaces that improve people’s livelihoods, empower communities, and strengthen their sense of identity. With ten impressive projects in their portfolio thus far, the pre-primary school project has big aims to set the Rwandan standards for pre-primary facilities by using materials and construction to engage kids in self-learning and stimulation.

Projects and built works reflect ASA’s belief in the richness and complexity of schemes drawn from, and responding to, the specificities of sites, programs and users bringing innovation through spatial composition, and the adaptive use of local materials and techniques. Architecture is understood as a creative means to problem solving, providing cost effective solutions that are attractive, affordable and improve upon the existing environment.

Click here to read more about ASA, online at

July 24, 2014

$5 Million Awarded to NEA Our Town Projects


The fourth annual Our Town grant program has announced 66 arts-based community development projects that will receive a cumulative total of $5.07 million. The grantees fall into two categories: arts engagement activities with an artistic production focus, like M12 Collective’s Action on the Plains, and design and cultural planning to develop support systems and infrastructure, like the Beltline in Atlanta. Since 2011, Our Town has awarded over $21 million to 256 projects that are authentic, equitable, and augment existing local assets–all contributing to stronger communities in cities and rural areas around the nation.

“The NEA is leading a national conversation around how to do community development where the arts play a central role in bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to positively impact residents and visitors alike,” said Chairman Jane Chu. “Through Our Town funding and our related White House and interagency partnerships, the NEA and its grantees are working together to continue positioning arts organizations as community leaders.”

Click here to read about the 2014 Our Town grant recipients, online at

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