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June 18, 2014

Public Architecture & IIDA Release 6th Case Study


Public Architecture recently released the sixth case study on The 1% program project Youth Center on Highland. The 6-page study captures the collaboration between a design team from HOK’s Impact program–including members of the International Interior Design Association–and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. Through vivid images and narratives from both teams, the short publication highlights a vibrant new space that has improved the services and experience for youth in Los Angeles. All of  The 1% case studies and Public Architecture publications can be found on

Click here to read about the Youth Center on Highland, online at

June 18, 2014

Watch 2014 Alva Award Winner Krista Donaldson

Following up on the announcement of 2014 ALVA Award winner Krista Donaldson, the video of the D-Rev CEO’s presentation at the 99U Conference has just been released. In her presentation, she takes a look back at what ‘social impact’ meant in the 1970s and leads us through the transformation to the present day form–a customer-centric approach where design, manufacturing, and delivery are equally important to achieve social impact.

In this 99U talk, she offers a peek into her team’s design process for getting complicated medical treatments to all corners of the world for a price anyone can afford. Chief among her advice? Talk to your customers. Then talk to them again. And use all that feedback to iterate and, when needed, drastically shift your design process. “We want closure on our projects…but people and society and technologies change. You want to be okay with the ambiguity.”

Click here to watch 2014 ALVA Award Winner Krista Donaldson, online at

June 18, 2014

“3 Designs Instilling Dignity & Defeating Stigma”


“How do you overturn an inequality so ingrained in a culture that it manifests itself physically – in the architecture of its homes and in the misshapen nature of its cities?” began the recent article ‘Spotlight South Africa: Three Designs Instilling Dignity & Defeating Stigma’ by Vanessa Quirk on ArchDaily. Quirk highlights the practices of 1to1 Agency of Engagement, Architecture for a Change, and Architecture for Humanity with Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) who are each addressing this critical question in South Africa through different forms and strategies. What’s encouraging in each of these practices is a deep sense of commitment to the place and community within which they work.

From an organization in Cape Town that aims to transform the role of the South African designer, to another in Johannesburg that uses design to legitimize informal architecture, to a project in one of the most violent townships in South Africa that has transformed a community, the following three projects are making a difference for the users who have the most to gain from their designs and design-thinking. All three represent not only the power of design to defeat stigma and instill dignity, but also the power of communities to incite these projects, make them their own, and enable them to thrive.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight South Africa: Three Designs Instilling Dignity & Defeating Stigma,’ online at

June 17, 2014

Nominations Open for 2014 Lewis Mumford Awards


Since 1992, Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) has honored individuals and organizations that exemplify Peace, Sustainable Development, and the Environment with the Lewis Mumford Award. Past award recipients include The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Project Row House, and Architecture 2030, amongst a long list of other notable organizations. Nominations are now open for the 2014 award, which can be made online or over email by June 30th.

ADPSR instituted an annual Lewis Mumford awards program to honor people and organizations that exemplify ADPSR’s goals of peace, preservation of the natural and built environment, and socially responsible development. Lewis Mumford’s writings continue to inspire and remind us that architecture, design, and planning, must respond to human needs, harmonize with its surroundings, and reflect the aspirations and social context of our civilization.

Click here to learn more and submit your nomination for the 2014 Mumford Award, online at

June 17, 2014

Join NEA’s Webinar on Universal Design Tomorrow


The final webinar for the NEA’s ‘Learning From Abroad’ series will air tomorrow, June 18th, at 3pm ET. The session will focus on ‘Universal Design + Landscape Design’ with Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director of the Institute for Human Centered Design, leading the discussion. Archived videos of the first two sessions–’Finalists of the 2013-2014 World Design Impact Prize‘ and ‘When Government Meets Design‘–are already available for viewing on the NEA’s site.

Universal design is a global movement that builds both on the experience of accessible design, and on the reality of the diversity of age and ability in the 21st century, especially in the physical world of buildings, streets, sidewalks, and other outdoor spaces. In this webinar hosted by the Institute for Human Centered Design, designers will discuss the intersection of universal and landscape design in their work, and what can be learned and built upon from the international community.

Click here to register for the ‘Universal Design + Landscape Design’ webinar, online at

June 17, 2014

AzuKo Seeking Research Associate


The recently established public interest design nonprofit AzuKo is currently seeking a Research Associate to join their team. Based in London, AzuKo is working locally in the UK and internationally in Kenya and Bangladesh. This unique opportunity offers individuals interested in human centered design, humanitarian aid, and international development to work on both projects and organizational operations for AzuKo. Applications are due by July 14th and the selected candidate will begin September 1st, 2014.

Not only does AzuKo seek to achieve democracy in design, but also give a voice to those who are rarely granted the platform. AzuKo celebrates diversity and supports communities by offering them the driving seat to positively impact upon their own environments. The AzuKo approach is based on gathering the right data, understanding that there are no universal answers and that significant progress can be made through an accumulation of small steps based on careful analysis of unique situations. Informed research leads to thoroughly developed solutions.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Research Associate position at AzuKo, online at

June 16, 2014

IPA Announces Inaugural Fellows for Summer 2014


The Institute for Public Architecture–a New York City-based organization launched to support socially engaged architecture–has announced the inaugural Fellows for the summer season. The Fellows–Kaja Kühl with Columbia University Graduate School for Architecture, Preservation and Planning’s 5 Borough Studio; Nadine Maleh; Quilian Riano; and the team of Sagi Golan, Miriam Peterson, and Nathan Rich–will develop four innovative research and design proposals for public and affordable housing as part of No Longer Empty’s “If You Build It” exhibition and IPA’s “Total Reset” series.

New mayor Bill de Blasio has declared “a total reset” for public housing in New York. At the same time, the decline of affordable housing options has become New Yorkers’ greatest concern. The Institute for Public Architecture was created to tackle these issues creatively. As a community of architects, developers, activists, and researchers, the IPA is committed to quality architecture in the public interest. The shift in attention to affordable housing offers the opportunity to join together in making our city a vibrant and livable place for all New Yorkers.

Click here to read more about the inaugural IPA Fellows, online at

June 13, 2014

AfH Names Eric Cesal as New Executive Director


Architecture for Humanity announced long-time employee Eric Cesal as the organization’s new Executive Director to replace founding executive director Cameron Sinclair. Since first joining AfH in 2006 as a volunteer on the Katrina reconstruction program, Cesal has grown into leadership positions, namely with the Haiti Rebuilding Center and AfH’s global disaster operations. Along with design and building experience, Cesal has written about the intersections between humanitarianism and design and is best known for the 2010 memoir/manifesto Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice. With a refined focus on disaster reconstruction, active spaces, community resilience, and education spaces, the future of Architecture for Humanity with Cesal at the helm remains bright.

We will not be an organization that only responds to crisis and misfortune. We will be an organization that prevents crisis and misfortune. We will continue to stand on the side of communities that have been harmed by extreme weather, crisis and neglect. However, we will expand our focus to include communities at risk from harm, and help them strengthen against future calamities

Click here to read more about Architecture for Humanity’s new Executive Director Eric Cesal, online at

June 12, 2014

2014 ACD ‘Emergence’ Conference Kicks Off Today


The 22nd annual Association for Community Design Conference kicks off today at 6pm ET at the Carr Center in Detroit, Michigan. The three-day event attracts architects, planners, designers, and community enthusiasts to convene around a series of short presentations by emerging designers, conversation exchange breakouts, evening “dine arounds”, and neighborhood tours. This year’s event will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center–the renowned community-based organization that has collaborated with over 80 nonprofits on projects in Detroit, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Read the rest of this entry »

June 12, 2014

Noun Project Announces New Composting Badges


The Noun Project–a platform of over 50,000 icons and symbols that help people communicate in an effective and universal way–and partner organization Hennepin County just announced the rollout of a new set of organics recycling badges to recognize businesses in Minnesota who are making extra effort to consciously dispose of food waste. The project began during a design hack-a-thon at Public Interest Design Week last year hosted by the University of Minnesota College of Design. Now over a year later, the blue, green, orange, and pink badges are already adorning storefronts, like Barbette, next to Yelp and Zagat decals. The Noun Project co-founder Edward Boatman remarked about the importance of this particular ‘iconothan’:

After learning that nearly 33 million tons of food waste goes to our landfills each year, contributing to greenhouse gasses, we wanted to get our design community involved in finding a solution. Similar to the impact the recycling symbol has had when it was designed in early 1970’s, our goal was to create new “badges of honor” to encourage more recycling programs around the world.

Click here to read more about the Hennepin County Organics Recycling Badges, online at

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