guest post: architecture for change (pt 1)

13Oct10

Architecture for Change logo A few weeks ago a group of architects, developers, and activist got together to discuss affordable housing development and how to create change in the field. Unable to attend, I really enjoyed reading the tweets of Brandy Brooks (@bhmbrooks) that I asked here if she would write about her time at the conference for this site. She had a lot to say so the following is part 1, an introduction. I’ll be publishing the remainder over the rest of the week.


Architecture for change – or at least the seeds of it.

Brandy H. M. Brooks
Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

When you call your event the “Architecture for Change Summit,” I think you set a pretty high bar for a) what’s going to be in it and b) what’s going to come out of it. By and large, I think the organizers at University of Illinois at Chicago did a pretty stellar job with the first part, and laid some good groundwork for the second.

Sponsored by the City Design Center at UIC, the summit boasted a pretty impressive list of speakers. What convinced me to attend was the number of my personal community design heroes and friends that I’d get to see – Maurice Cox, former mayor of Charlottesville and outgoing NEA Director of Design; Bryan Bell of Design Corps and Structures for Inclusion; and Dan Pitera, executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, to name just a few. What rewarded me for attending were the conversations and ideas across the sessions that prodded us question our basic assumptions about our responsibility as professionals to challenge and change the world around us.

Check out tomorrow’s post on the speakers.