AIA TO HOST PUBLIC INTEREST DESIGN INSTITUTE IN WASHINGTON DC

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March 24 & 25, 2017 at AIA Headquarters in Washington DC.

Design professionals will learn skills and methods to pro-actively engage in community-based design through fee-based practice. Instructors and special guest speakers will present in-depth case studies of the community and client engagement processes and the outcomes of their award-winning Public Interest Design projects. Successful completion of this two-day intensive Public Interest Design Institute qualifies attendees for 11.5 AIA (HSW) CEUs or ASLA PDHs and certification as a SEED Professional. Preliminary agenda.

Learning objectives include:

  • Finding new clients and public interest design projects
  • Learning about new fee sources and structures
  • Learning methods of working with a community as a design partner
  • Leveraging other partners and assets to address project challenges
  • Maximizing a project’s positive impact on a community
  • Moving beyond LEED to measure positive social, economic, & environmental impact
  • Understanding public interest design and how it is re-shaping professional practice

This two-day intensive course is presented by Design Corps, the SEED Network,
AIA National, and the M.S. in Sustainable Design Program at the CUA.

Register here.

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THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE AND DEVELOPER JONATHAN F. P. ROSE

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New York based developer, Jonathan F. P. Rose, released his new book, The Well-Tempered City with a book signing and presentation at an Urban Land Institute event in DC. Known for his affordable housing work, Rose emphasizes the importance of balancing social, economic, and environmental factors in development.

He sees the city as complex network and urges those of us who work on the built environment to approach our work as a circle of engagements and adjustments rather than as a simplified linear path. In his talk as well as in his book, Rose links together public health and the built environment, discussing the effects of adverse childhood experiences on society and the financial toll it takes on our cities. He also explains the toll our societal trends are taking on the environment, “98 percent of stuff that comes into the city leaves the city as waste in just 6 months.” Our planet cannot handle that. This book is about the value of public interest design, from the developer’s point of view.

Public interest designers may also be familiar with the Rose family through Enterprise Community Partners’ Rose Architectural Fellowship, which partners early-career architectural designers with local community development organizations, where they facilitate an inclusive approach to development to create green, sustainable, and affordable communities.

SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGN CELEBRATION 2016

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Inscape Publico, a nonprofit architecture firm in Washington DC, is hosting it’s 2nd annual Social Impact Design Celebration. It is the social event for all of those supporting social impact design in architecture, design, development, and construction in the DC area. Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, live music, unique silent auction items, and a chance to meet and view the work of leaders in the field. All proceeds will support the mission of Inscape Publico.

And…you can enter to win a new ‘Handsome Devil’ bicycle, valued at $1,200. Drawing will take place on Nov 2, 2016 at the Social Impact Design Celebration (need not be present to win). Bike raffle tickets here.

See more about Inscape Publico. Event tickets here.

FORCED FROM HOME – DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

On my way home from work yesterday, an elderly gentleman asked me for directions. Pointing at the metro map we realized that we were going to the same stop. I asked where he was from and he said Afghanistan. He came to the USA as a refugee after losing most of his family in the war. “Peace and health,” were most important in life, he said.

Strangest thing is that I was refugee from Afghanistan just two days prior, as part of the Doctors Without Borders Forced From Home interactive exhibit on the national mall. The exhibit immerses you in the experience of a refugee. First you are handed a card with a nationality and then your journey begins. There was an amazing 360 video that sets you right in the middle of refugee camps in Lebanon, Tanzania, Mexico, and Greece. You can see some of them on their website, such a powerful exhibit.

Then you line up at  your given country, learn a bit about the history, and are asked to pick 5 items you would take with you on a treacherous journey if forced to leave your home as an army is approaching. I picked a motorbike, water, blankets, clothes, and cell phone, realizing only afterwards that a motorbike was not going to fit on the boat piled full of others also fleeing. “Over 100 people were found on a boat slightly larger than this one,” our guide, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders said, to our group of roughly 20 people who were not even able to find a seat in tiny boat we were looking at wide-eyed.

Once making it through your journey you learn what it is like to live in a camp. How heavy a jug of water is to carry for even a short distance, how small a tent can be, how a short time turns into a long time for many refugees, how the sick receive medical attention in these challenging settings, and how common it is to fall sick when your are forced from home.

The traveling exhibit will be in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia over the next month. I highly recommend registering for a tour. Learn more about Doctors Without Borders and their traveling interactive exhibit Forced From Home.

MOSQUITOS, ALEJANDRO ARAVENA, & THE 2016 VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE

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Paul David’s “Inverted Ruins” (Italo Rondinella) courtesy of LA Times website.

Heading to Italy? Well this year you should check out the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale directed by Pritzker prize winning architect Alejandro Aravena. Aravena is a Chilean architect known for his affordable housing projects and activist architecture.

“The only animal that can defeat the rhinoceros is the mosquito, or a cloud of mosquitos, actually. Architects often think they are too small to make a change, but together they can smother the big animal,” says Alejandro Aravena.

The beast in question is the capitalist machine, responsible for the slew of “banality and mediocrity” in our built environment. It’s one of the battlegrounds Aravena’s biennale aims to tackle, along with migration, segregation, traffic, waste and pollution, and a host of other “urgent issues facing the whole of humanity”, as he puts it, “not just problems that only interest architects”.

Continue to read more here from Oliver Wainwright’s article from the Guardian.

NEW COMMUNITY DESIGN CENTER OPENS DC OFFICE – BUILDING COMMUNITY WORKSHOP

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Image courtesy of [bc] website showing project Crossing the Street | Activating Ivy City

Texas based nonprofit community design center, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, or [bc] for short, has brought their talents to Washington DC. The organization seeks to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making.

We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.

Read more about their DC-based project Crossing the Street | Activating Ivy City.

NATIONAL TREASURES DESIGN COMPETITION – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

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The Open Architecture Collaborative – Washington DC : Resilience by Design Committee is pleased to present the National Treasures Design Competition (NTDC) to promote mitigation in National Capital Region.

NTDC is an open design competition aimed at developing proactive mitigation strategies for low-lying waterfront areas of the National Mall. Participating teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary with members from architecture, landscape design and/or engineering disciplines.  Project proposals are intended to be creative and visionary. The competition will culminate in a reception where innovative ideas will be shared, discussed, and evaluated with a diverse group of stakeholders, city representatives, and design professionals.

See more on the competition website here.