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Starchitects, Toilets, and Empowerment

Do you have a job?  Are you educated?  Are you able to use bathroom facilities without the fear of the spread of communicable disease? Not everyone is so fortunate.  Luckily, we all know this, and luckily, the building industry is catching on to the value of social equity and empowerment. We see certain companies such as TOMS (started by Blake Mycoskie) with sustainable business models.  More about that can be found in SUCCESS magazine. And now, while globalization, TED talks, activitsts, humanitarians, and the news show us all of the tragedy and poverty that our country works so hard to avoid ourselves, a few companies within the building industry are seeking this fresh approach of giving back to those in CLICK for more

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Public Interest Design Institute training – d.II

I recall the fateful afternoon after my first day interning in San Francisco, when looking for my car, and my heart drops.  It’s been towed.  Forty-five minutes of looking for a spot around Panhandle Park on a Sunday evening and I thought I finally found one – it ends up it was in front of a driveway leading to a home addition, complete with a bay window, blocking any obvious trace of former garage to a desperate spot-seeker.  So according to the group hanging out on the stoop, their landlord had my car towed. End scene. Enter, a sunny Cincinnati November morning, east of campus, with a shiny parking spot waiting just for me.  There are reasons to appreciate our CLICK for more

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Public Interest Design Institute training – d.I – pt.II

On to Emilie Taylor with the Tulane City Center. Emilie presented an important facet to public interest design, which I was surely not the only one interested in: funding. How does one receive funding for a project that does not exist? Bryan also found the topic of urgent importance and reiterated Emilie’s funding model.  Basically, it goes schematic design –> prove it is feasible through this design, receive funding –> pay architect for stamped, developed drawings.

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Public Interest Design Institute training – d.I – pt.I

Starting out our conference was design activist Bryan Bell, the founder and facilitator of Design Corps, the Public Interest Design Institute, and co-founder of SEED.  Some highlights of his comments are as follows. While most projects within the for-profit design field cater to 10% of the population, we need to seek good design for 100%. “every issue is a design issue” – this relates well to a quote Maurice Cox later brought up by Thomas Jefferson: “Design activity and political thought are indivisible.” As architects, as designers, we need to address a greater range of projects and offer a larger scope of services. Ideally, a design solution will address and solve multiple issues.  For example, the Tsunami-Safe(r) House by a CLICK for more