Public Interest Design
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April 24, 2014

Next City Vanguard Kicks Off Today


The fifth annual Next City Vanguard Conference kicks off today in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bringing together forty bright minds from the non-profit, government, and private sectors, the two-day conference is packed full with workshops, neighborhood tours, presentations, and–we’re positive–many future collaborations and partnerships. If you are currently in Chattanooga, there are two free events open to the public: PechaKucha Vol. 17 on Friday, April 25 at 8:30pm and The Next City Challenge: Chattanooga on Saturday, April 26 at 11:00am.

Click here to learn more about the Next City Vanguard Conference, online at

April 24, 2014

PID Mexico Announces Call for Projects


After two successful convenings in New York City and Paris, Design Corps and the SEED Network are heading south to Mexico City in September. PID Mexico has announced a call for projects for a chance to present at the conference. An esteemed judging panel–including Dr. Michael E. Conroy, Teddy Cruz, Josep Maria Llop-Torné, and Gabriela Videla–will evaluate projects undertaken in Mexico based on Participation, Effectiveness, Excellence, Inclusiveness, Impact, and Systemic. The deadline to submit projects is May 15, 2014, and winners will be announced June 16, 2014.

Public Interest Design – Mexico is an opportunity to discuss the practice of designing for social impact and how best to significantly increase the value of design for the public good. Projects are being created all over Mexico which are addressing the many issues we face as a nation, in communities and as individuals. These projects are taking on the challenging issues of democratic decision making, empowerment and engagement. While inclusive design practices worldwide are beginning to help communities use design to address their most critical issues and define resilient futures as they see fit, as in Mexico, design professionals still remain at the margins of these lively debates and initiatives.

Click here to learn more and apply to present your project at PID Mexico, online at

April 24, 2014

Urban Urge Awards Call for Entries


In honor of architect, educator, and community advocate Mojdeh (Moji) Baratloo, the new Urban Urge Awards have launched to enable designers “to realize their ideas and effect concrete change in their local community.” Open to designers from around the world, the six design competition awards and six project seed grants range from $500 to $4000. Entries are due June 15, 2014 and award winners with be announced August 1, 2014.

Through the lens of architecture, installation, and urbanism, Moji’s work addressed challenges of climate change, energy, education, post-industrialization, public space,  public policy, technology, waste, and water to the modern urban environment. Moji believed in the importance of ideas and in the practice of making one’s work real, “for the experience of a human or environment.”  She challenged and urged her students, friends, colleagues, and collaborators to have conversations across disciplinary or social boundaries making our cities, regions and world more livable, sustainable, enjoyable, and responsible.

Click here to learn more and apply for an Urban Urge Award, online at

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

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