Another month has begun, so that means a new set of honorees for the Curry Stone Social Design Circle have been announced! Instead of selecting one winner for the prestigious Curry Stone Design Prize, the Social Design Circle will honor 100 individual designers and organizations whose work is dedicated to addressing pressing social issues in their local communities and cities. Throughout 2017, members will be selected in relation to the month's theme question.
For May, nine new members — including Rural Studio, bcWORKSHOP, and Theaster Gates' Rebuild Foundation — were selected for the theme “Can We Design Community Engagement?”. Learn more about them below.
bcWORKSHOP: Founded in 2005 by Brent Brown, Building community Workshop (bcWORKSHOP) “uses collaborative design strategies to address housing crises in poverty-stricken Texas communities. The group seeks to improve the livability of communities through disaster reconstruction, smart infill, and green infrastructure programs.”
Fallen Fruit: “Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Vegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work. The project began when its founders discovered that by L.A. city law, fruit hanging over sidewalks and public places could be picked by anyone. The group’s initial exercise involved the mapping the locations of plant trees within public space in Southern California for local residents and the homeless.”
Farm Cultural Park: “Founded by Andrea Bartoli and Florinda Saieva in 2010, Farm Cultural Park is a cultural center which hosts expositions, political art and other cultural events in Favara, Sicily, Italy. The town of Favara had previously been known as one of the more dilapidated parts of Italy, characterized by high unemployment. The cultural exercise has been a process of community engagement and development.”
Institute of Play: The Institute of Play is a nonprofit studio founded by a group of game designers in New York City, which strives to introduce “twenty first century skills,” such as systems thinking, risk taking analysis, critical reflection, collaboration, and creative problem solving into standard U.S. grade school curricula.
Project Row Houses: “Founded in 1993 by artist and community activist Rick Lowe, Project Row Houses (PRH) is a neighborhood-based nonprofit art and cultural organization. It is located in Houston’s Northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American communities...The program has since expanded to a variety of community-based initiatives, all of which use the arts as a means of development.”
Public Works: “Originally founded in 1999, Public Works is a London-based non-profit which designs for a more democratic use of the public realm. They have worked at all scales, from furniture to urban planning, with the unified goal of stimulating new thought about how public space can be claimed. Public Works operates without a specific goal, but derives its programmatic direction from a strong ideology of public space.”
Rebuild Foundation: Founded and led by artist and urban planner Theaster Gates, Rebuild Foundation “focuses on the South Side of Chicago, in historically African American neighborhoods which have suffered decades of disinvestment. In this initiative, art is used as a means of creating and sustaining community. The Foundation’s work is informed by three core values: black people matter, black spaces matter, and black things matter.”
Rural Studio: “The Rural Studio is Auburn University's groundbreaking off-campus design-build program. Founded in 1993 by D.K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee, the program established a new breed of community-based design education. The work of the studio has always focused on Hale County, Alabama, which comprises some of Alabama's poorer communities. Mockbee’s founding philosophy was simple: move students out of the studio, into the community, and let them serve.”
Sergio Palleroni: Currently a professor at Portland State University where he founded the Center for Public Interest Design,Sergio Palleroni “has been a long-standing leader, thinker, practitioner and educator in the field of social impact design...Palleroni’s career in public interest design actually predates the term ‘public interest design.’...His early-career experiences became the basis of a revolutionary pedagogy begun in the late 1980s. While the idea of a design/build studio, or a studio abroad program, was not new, the philosophy at the core of Palleroni’s teaching was a watershed in architectural education.”
In case you missed them, find previous Social Design Circle honorees in the links below.
Photos courtesy of Curry Stone Social Design Circle.
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