Before Urban Omnibus went live, we co-hosted a weekend-long event that invited teams to design a project in the public interest and build it from found materials in two days. The event was led by Bryan Bell, on the occasion of the launch of his 2008 book Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, which surveys the field of “creative design carried out in the service of the greater public and the greater good.” Bell, founder of Design Corps and co-founder of SEED, has been working towards a better understanding of how design can affect communities and serve the under-served for over twenty years.
His most recent initiative, The Public Interest Design Institute is devoted to educating architects about how to fold public interest design into their practices. Starting next month, the Institute will be hosting two-day training events at universities throughout the country. According to Bell, despite increasing interest from designers, professional schools of architecture have not focussed on equipping students with the unique skills and knowledge relevant to public interest design. Therefore, specific training is urgently needed. With the support of the Surdna Foundation and the Architectural League, the Public Interest Design Institute will hold one of these training sessions at Yale University in January. For more information about the event or to register, click here.
Bell will lead the event with the support of instructors dedicated to public service from around the world, utilizing case studies that adhere to the standards and evaluation metrics set forth by SEED. Participants will earn certification in the SEED process, which means they will learn how public interest design is re-shaping the design profession, how to find new clients embedded within communities, how to identify new fee sources and structures, and how to measure and maximize its positive social, economic and environmental impact on communities.
Public Interest Design Institute at Yale University
January 13, 9am – January 14, 5pm, 2012
New Haven, CT
For more information, click here.
Bryan Bell is the founder of Design Corps, founder of the Public Interest Design Institute, and a co-founder of SEED. Bell has supervised the Structures for Inclusion lecture series for ten years which presents best practices in community-based design. He has published two collections of essays on the topic, Bell has lectured and taught at numerous schools including the Rural Studio with Samuel Mockbee. He has received an AIA National Honor Award in Collaborative Practice. His work has been exhibited in the Venice Biennale and the Cooper Hewitt Museum Triennial. He was a Harvard Loeb Fellow in 2010-11 and a co-recipient of the 2011 AIA Latrobe Prize which is focused on public interest design.