Cdes header

program name College of Design

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dwell + DLGYAD Live! - From the National to the Local

Design Like You Give a Damn: Live! from Architecture for Humanity and Dwell Magazine; Photo by Virajita Singh

Last month Dwell Magazine held the inaugural East Coast offering of its successful design event in New York. Architecture for Humanity (AFH) partnered with Dwell on Design NY for its 5th annual Design Like You Give a Damn Live! humanitarian design conference. With three days of programming, the concurrent events created interesting opportunities for the mainstream and fast-becoming-mainstream field of public interest design (PID) to intersect.

The conference kicked off with an inspiring keynote presentation by Daniel Libeskind who shared his groundbreaking ideas and innovative work. This was followed by stimulating breakout sessions over the next two days covering a variety of topics: emerging trends ("The New Malleable Office"), technology ("Technology and Material Innovation"), urban development and public spaces ("Between Civic and Residential Architecture"), and interior design ("Living Large in Small Spaces"). A product showcase featured Blu Homes, Raydoor, IKEA, Humanscale, Vitra, Volvo, Marvin Windows and Doors, among others. An onsite bookstore organized by Dwell and Designers & Books was a personal favorite.

AFH's sessions were very well attended, often with standing room only attendance. The Design Open Mic event featured national and global architectural projects, including work from Mexico, Chile, Afghanistan, Israel, Philippines, Turkey, Hungary, Germany, and elsewhere. It was heartening to see so many public interest design projects from around the world. As the PID movement grows, it's time for stakeholders to share best practices, including those pertaining to design with other cultures and ways of community engagement. This is a conversation in which all sectors -- community, government, academia, and practice -- should be engaged.

DLYGAD Live Speaker
DLYGAD Live Conference, Unknown Speaker; Photo credit Virajita Singh

From the University of Minnesota College of Design's perspective it was great to connect with a number of staff from AFH who have been great partners with our faculty and PID initiatives over the last few years -- Eric Cesal, Darren Gill, Jacob Ehrenberg, Audrey Gallo and others. There are many synergies to be found in the numerous projects with which AFH is involved. As new executive director Eric Cesal stated in a recent interview, his goal is to "position Architecture for Humanity as a teacher and mentor". Opportunities abound for collaboration.

At our Public Interest Design Fall Gathering last week, many of the students and faculty present were in agreement that given the enthusiastic interest in PID across the College, support at the administrative and faculty level, and being in a region known for its philanthropy and humanitarianism, we are uniquely situated. With our local, national, and global partners, we are excited to be involved in this work. Stay tuned!

Virajita Singh is Sr. Research Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of Design, University of Minnesota.

No comments :

Post a Comment