spin

New Prospects in Public Interest Design: Work of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center | 10:30 AM – Noon

1.5 LU|HSW

Stephen Luoni, Director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC) where he is the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies, will present an overall approach to public-interest design and its role in producing public goods, the very definition of what it means to be a profession. The presentation will focus on formulation of the placemaking platforms and design projects demonstrating these platforms. Architects are asked with greater frequency to solve for complex public-interest problems, or “wicked problems” with multi-variate challenges characterized by social complexity. Development of multi-scalar approaches and formal vocabularies are intrinsic to addressing this class of design problems. At the University of Arkansas Community Design, a teaching office with professional staff, we have developed the building blocks for a new ecology of the city. This repertoire of placemaking platforms triangulates public policy, best practices, and design in agricultural urbanism, missing middle-scale housing, context-sensitive street design, development-oriented transit, watershed urbanism, and low impact development—ecologically-based urban stormwater management. Our focus on expansive problem-solving through new design tools and pattern languages address the public good and the role of community design centers in addressing the grand challenges that enlarge the design professions.

Participants will:

  1. Identify opportunities for design thinking in public-interest problems, including stakeholders impacted and ways to gain public input in diverse projects including agricultural urbanism, missing middle-scale housing, context-sensitive street design, development-oriented transit, watershed urbanism, and low impact development—ecologically-based urban stormwater management.
  2. Build understanding of multi-scalar approaches and formal vocabularies intrinsic to addressing complex public-interest problems.
  3. Identify and focus on expansive problem-solving through new design tools and pattern languages which address the public good and the role of community design centers in addressing the grand challenges that enlarge the design professions.
  4. Utilize models at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, address ways to bridge academia and practice to collectively work on public-interest problems.