SFI

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SFI 16 RECAP

The sixteenth Structures for Inclusion (SFI 16) conference was held on March 19-20, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina, hosted by North Carolina State University. The annual conference features the best public interest design from around the globe, including the SEED Award winners. For sixteen years, the purpose of the SFI conference has been to bring together and share the best ideas and practices that are reaching those currently un-served by architecture.

award rapido 1      award marwen 1

award ilima 1      award maya 1

award barrio 1      award parisite 2

in burns 1      in quad 1

inter-cultural panel      attendees in quad

volunteers

FEATURED SPEAKERS: SEED AWARD WINNERS
Andrew BroseMASS Design Group, Ilima Primary School
Emilie Taylor, Tulane City Center, Parisite Skatepark
Elaine Morales DiazbcWORKSHOP, and Leo BarreraCDC Brownsville, RAPIDO – Rapid Disaster Recovery Housing Pilot Program
Joy MeekWheeler Kearns Architects, Marwen
Mary HardinCollege of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, Barrio Collaboration
Donghwan MoonMtree Architecture, Maya Community Project

PANELS
Activist Architecture Firms
These firms have a standard practice but are also producing new models for public interest design of exceptional quality. The panelists will discuss what public interest practice means to them and how they do it.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

Disaster Preparedness and Response
In the last ten years since Katrina, public interest designers have become increasingly effective contributors of new ideas about preparing and responding to environmental disasters. The panel will discuss new roles and models for environmental resilience.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

Public Interest Design Partners
The rapid growth of public interest design is largely due to new diverse partners — such as cities, developers, foundations and even groups like tourism organizations. The panel will discuss the perspectives of these important partners who are effectively serving the public, and will explore what role PID can play to aid their work and goals.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

Public Interest Design Education
New ideas and models of PID education are growing quickly to train the current generation of students. Panelists will present new customized programs, discussion of the opportunities, and many examples of the “learning outcomes” that collectively start to shape a comprehensive PID curriculum.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

Activist Architecture Firms
These firms have a standard practice but are also producing new models for public interest design of exceptional quality. The panelists will discuss what public interest practice means to them and how they do it.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

Inter-cultural Competencies
How can public interest designers serve more diverse communities around the world without imposing our own culture on others? The panel will discuss models and methods that show respect and appreciation to generate equity and empowerment.
* View panelists’ bios and panel summary here.

SCHEDULE
View full schedule here.

 

TAKE-AWAYS

Collective Action
  • Allows us to do what individuals can’t
  • Sharing ideas at SFI is collective action
  • A profession of public interest design and education in public interest design are collective actions
  • They also can create systemic change in the global society
  • The change we seek through them is that every person should be able to live in a socially, economically, and environmentally healthy community
Activist Architecture
  • Good to see behind-the-scenes how it works
  • There is a big gap between academia and practice – PID is an opportunity to close that gap
Means of Engagement
  • We saw good examples, such as Kofi Boone and bead-making – using craft as a way to engage other cultures
  • Serve on city commissions and volunteer – make yourself visible as a professional
  • Go to them! Go to places where the public is, not just public meetings where you see a limited population representation
  • We need to be more creative about how we hold meetings and engage people – it’s not currently a democratic process
Architects as Active Citizens
  • Pedagogical shift to be rooted in a community and taking part in their issues
  • Ask more of students
  • Challenging policy and current methods is in and of itself a design challenge, treat it this way
Engaging other expertise
  • We often borrow from other professions (public health, pro-bono law, anthropology, etc) – create partnerships and collaborate with other fields
  • Share knowledge – outside knowledge is critical to understanding human behavior
  • Recognition that we don’t know everything – get out of the architecture bubble
  • Create a broader sense of “design”. The variety of expertise at this conference was encouraging
  • New role: service design?
Public Interest Education 
  • Moving forward / models for these programs:
  • Engaging communities / getting outside of the design field
  • Professional residency programs in PID – important to get collaboration with the practice
  • Need to be rigorous and intentional
  • Challenge: share what is already being done. Public interest design books (by Bryan Bell, Lisa Abendroth, Katie Wakeford, Georgia Bizios, etc.)
  • ACSA has online index of schools with community-based design
Moving Forward
  • There’s no perfect next step, any step is a good step
  • Join the SEED Network here.

 

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