July 29 – 30, 2013

There is a growing sector in the field of architecture known as Public Interest Design, documented in exhibits such as MoMA’s Small Scale, Big Change and publications like Design Like You Give a Damn. The projects in this sector are unlike traditional practice in critical ways but are an area of great potential for the future of the profession.

This two-day course will provide architecture and other design professionals in public interest design with in-depth study on methods of how design can address the critical issues faced by communities. Training in public interest design is a way of enhancing an existing design practice and learning skills to become pro-actively engaged in community-based design.

Case studies and best practices will be presented and discussed by leaders in the field. The curriculum will be formed around the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) metric, a set of standards that outlines the process and principles of this growing approach to design. SEED goes beyond green design with a “triple bottom line” approach that includes the social and economic as well as the environmental. The SEED process takes a holistic, creative approach to design driven by community needs. This process provides a step-by-step aid for those who want to undertake public interest design. Certification in the SEED process will be given.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand public interest design and how is it reshaping the design professions.
  • Learn to leverage other partners and assets to address project challenges.
  • Recognize how to maximize a project’s positive impact on a community.
  • Analyze social, economic, and environmental impact on communities.

Suggested texts: Good Deeds Good Design: Community Service through Architecture (Bryan Bell, Princeton Architectural Press, 2003) and Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism (Bryan Bell, Metropolis Books, 2008).

Academic Leader(s):

Executive Director, Design Corps, Raleigh NC

Guest Speaker(s):

Professor of Art, Metropolitan State College of Denver
AIA, LEED AP, founder, buildingcommunity WORKSHOP, Dallas TX
Associate Professor, Mississippi State University, Biloxi MS
is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School.
FAIA, Principal-in-Charge, Szostak Design, Chapel Hill NC.
Ph.D., director, Center for Sustainable Development, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture
Tutor de Doctorado, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico