Spaces of Action: Designing and Using the Public Realm for Change

02/22/2018 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
New YorkNY 

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Event Details

New York City has been in the midst of a renaissance in the design and construction of public spaces for the past ten years. New York and other major cities across the U.S. have been producing vital new plazas, parks, pedestrian streets, and waterfront areas. While the proliferation of these spaces has visibly enhanced the experience of urban social and cultural life it has yet to be determined if this growth has successfully expanded opportunities for political assembly, speech and dissent.

"Spaces of Action: Designing and Using the Public Realm for Change" is the first event in our 2018 series "ACTION_". This evening's panel will examine how the design of urban public spaces can invite inclusive cultural gathering and foster healthy social life while creating new potential for political gathering and collective action. Panelists will explore how designers may anticipate this range of potentials and encourage public participation in public space development. Furthermore, the group will endeavor to discover how the life of city spaces is enhanced through their public appropriation as spaces of action. We enthusiastically welcome your voice as part of this discussion.

Speakers:
Susan Chin, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Matthew Lister, Partner, Gehl, New York
Cody Klein, Managing Principal, Office of James Burnett, Boston
Vincent Lee, Associate Partner, Rogers Partners

Moderator:
Kaja Kuehl, Founder, youarethecity; Director, Hudson Valley Initiative at Columbia University GSAPP

Global Dialogues Chairs:
Elie Gamburg, Director, KPF
Benjamin Gilmartin, Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Architecture engages global politics to realize the buildings, infrastructures, and public spaces that transform our urban environments. In the day-to-day conventions of practice, this engagement is both highly structured, as with zoning or regulatory changes, and more informal, as with in public consensus-building around advancing projects.

However, there are also a broad range of ways in which design practices directly participate in advocacy to actualize innovative solutions, including providing affordable places to live, creating inclusive public spaces, shaping safer and healthier environments, conserving and reusing historic structures, and seeking race and gender parity. To effect change in these areas, practices advocate using innovative tools as well, participating more directly in fabrication and construction, publishing and disseminating ideas, teaching in new ways, and using online social networks for organization and direct action.

This year, the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee will look at how architects and designers are taking action and how this action is positively expanding our understanding of the space of design practice. 

 

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