A new exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) will press people to consider the ways in which architecture can bring dignity to those who need it most. Design for Good: Architecture for Everyone will open September 23 and will showcase real-world stories about structures designed by firms that put people first. Based on the 2017 book Design for Good, the show will be curated by the author, John Cary, an architect, writer, and curator. Cary envisions a more diverse industry that’s dedicated to designing for the public good. His seminal book led him to speak at a TEDWomen conference last November where he highlighted the narratives of the architects and clients around the world who participated in the featured projects. Similar to his book and TED Talk, Cary’s MODA exhibition will focus on why everyone deserves good design no matter their economic status, race, or geographic location. He’ll display the work of firms like Studio Gang and MASS Design Group as well as the stories of the people whose lives have been affected by their buildings. Design for Good: Architecture for Everyone will run through January 12 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 22 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available here.
Posts tagged with "Public Architecture":
Harvard's Graduate School of Design has named John Peterson, founder of the non-profit Public Architecture, as the new curator of the Loeb Fellowship. The fellowship consists of architects, landscape architects, journalists, and more studying the built environment. Peterson will step into the role in January, succeeding James Stockard who served in the position for 16 years and is an alumnus of the fellowship. "John has built an impressive organization and impactful career focusing on societal engagement through the agency of design,” said Charles Waldheim, Chair of Harvard GSD’s Department of Landscape Architecture and head of the Loeb Curator search committee, in a statement. “His capacity to articulate and enable design to play a role in the service of broader publics, often in very challenging conditions, promises to renew the Loeb program’s longstanding commitments in this area." Peterson founded Public Architecture in 2002 and led his own practice, Peterson Architects, from 1993 to 2010. He holds degrees from RISD, taught at the California College of the Arts as well as the University of Texas at Austin, and was a Loeb Fellow in 2006. In a statement, the GSD said, "Peterson has played an important part in defining the concept of “public interest design,” which has evolved in recent years into a significant field of practice."
Last night, the Woolly Mammoth theater in downtown Washington, D.C. hosted a forum on design's potential to affect social change, organized by the San Francisco nonprofit Public Architecture and sponsored by Teknion. Attendees filed into a rehearsal hall to hear four speakers from the public and private sectors who are using design to effect change on different scales. John Peterson, the founder of Public Architecture, introduced the session with a brief survey of his organization's projects and programs, and a call to action: Noting that there are 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, and that their total annual revenue tops $1 trillion, he contended that this is an important client base designers have mostly failed to engage. An important objective of Public Architecture right now is "to wake that sleeping economy," he said. Jess Zimbabwe, executive director of the Rose Center for Public Leadership at the Urban Land Institute, spoke about her group's efforts to foster dialogue between developers and public officials. A fellowship program that the Rose Center runs for public officials allows them to "step back from emergencies at their desks" and practice design thinking—not the most natural mode of thinking for them, Zimbabwe pointed out. Gabriel Kroiz, an architect who is program director at Morgan State University's architecture school in Baltimore, discussed his work on the building and neighborhood scales in that city, as well as his teaching, and Frank Giblin, director of the Urban Development/Good Neighbor Program at the GSA, described the collaborative strategies used to improve public spaces around several of that agency's courthouse projects. Local developer Jair Lynch spoke of belonging to a "new age of developers" who are responding to the societal shift toward living and working in existing places, and put forward a five-stage model of urban regeneration. The conversation picks up again tonight in Philadelphia, with a forum at the Arts Ballroom on Locust Street.
One of the Bay Area's venerable firms, EHDD (founded in 1972 by Joseph Esherick, George Homsey, Peter Dodge and Chuck Davis, the last of which is still active in the office), joins the list of firms that have been working in China. However, its new project is not a speculative skyscraper in Shanghai or some other bigger-than-thou marquee building. It is an architectural triumph of another sort: a much-needed rural school that incorporates modern methodologies for sustainable design. It also manages to evoke Chinese vernacular architecture in a modest, graceful way--an aesthetic coup that seems to be a rarity in modern China. As Jennifer Devlin, one of EHDD's current principals, says of the project in a short but effective video, "[We set out to design] first and foremost a seismically safe school that met key green sustainable principles...that were really not our imposing our way of doing things in Bay Area, so much as responding to the environmental and social conditions there appropriately." The Zhang Jia Yuan Elementary School is laid out like traditional courtyard house, with swooping roofs of clay tile. The sustainability enhancements also include things as simple as insulating silk curtains. "The children....warm up the room, and at night you close [the curtains] to capture the heat," says Devlin. The pro-bono effort was inspired by EHDD's participation in Public Architecture's 1% program, which encourages the profession to give one percent of their time to charitable design.
WAY TO GO CLIVE The unofficial mayor of Silver Lake, Barbara Bestor, once again transformed local Mexican restaurant Casita del Campo into a sweaty mosh pit for architects and other designers at the end of March. Among those dancing like teenagers were Clive Wilkinson and his beautiful, young (mee-ow alert!) girlfriend Cheryl Lee Scott, a local real estate agent. Back when we reported on his fantastic new house in West Hollywood, we couldn’t help but notice that it seemed an empty place for a bachelor. SEPARATED AT BIRTH Of the two Johns involved with San Francisco’s Public Architecture—that’s John Cary, who was the executive director, and John Peterson, the founder—the former has announced his departure from the nonprofit organization, without any other immediate plans. Peterson, who has been the public face of the pro-bono, 1-percent work program, will continue as president. Said Cary: “I got the organization up and running, and we’ve been able to build a great staff and attract incredible firms to our cause.” With Peterson having come on board full-time in 2008 as president, however, Cary’s 100-percent commitment didn’t seem to cut it. He can at least go out on a high note, that being The Power of Pro Bono, his magnum opus due out from Metropolis Books/Distributed Art Publishers this fall. WHO KNEW? Looks like it takes a massive slowdown to discover that architects know how to do something other than solve design problems. Design collective De Lab (Design East of La Brea) took advantage of the moment and invited a gaggle of creative LA architects and designers to sell their artistic and non-architectural products at their pop-up store at a manic and crowded LA Artwalk on April 8. This included the irresistibly mischievous dolls of Debi Van Zyl, the live air plants of Kara Bartelt/toHOLD, the vintage and classy stationery of Cartoules Letterpress, the hip accessories of Poketo, the always-trendy Peri Lamps, and many more. Oh, and speaking of hidden talents, we just learned that LA architects David Martin and Glen Irani are both motorcycle racers. Really? When did these folks pick up these skills? Have architects in fact been living, and not just working all this time? Send custom Ducati superbikes to firstname.lastname@example.org