Black in Design Day 1

Black in Design Day 1


So my name is Courtney Sharpe. And my name is Cara Michell. And– Welcome to the Black
in Design Conference. [laughter] [applause and cheering] So we think it’s
particularly important, not only because of the events
in Ferguson and Baltimore that made national
news last year, but because these events are
unfortunately not uncommon, we felt that it was imperative
to make a new contribution to this conversation, and to
use our training as designers to convene a conversation
about how to intervene in these cycles of injustice. We are particularly
grateful to everyone who organized, protested, and
acted to raise consciousness to bring the conversation
about social injustice today to the forefront
of a national discourse. So here at the GSD, the
African American Student Union participated in
marches in Boston. We went to vigils that
were hosted around Harvard. And we also had a project,
Map the Gap mapping project, which you can see out by the
elevators on the first floor. And we really wanted to– whoo. [laughter] We created the installation
to honor the lives that were lost to police brutality. And we thought it was
really important that we make a memorial to that. We would like to thank
the administration for providing financial support
to make that project a reality, as well as an installation
we had that commemorated the lives that were lost between
the passing of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. And we also would like to
thank them for their support in making this a reality,
without which it would not have been possible. In particular, we’d like to
thank the Public Programs Office and Shantel Blakely,
who works tirelessly to help make sure that
this logistically went very smoothly. Yes. So thank you to Shantel. [applause] So Dean Mohsen Mostafavi,
during his tenureship here, established a committee
to address diversity issues within the school
that has contributed to making this institution
a more inclusive space. And we would like him to come up
and introduce this conference. But before he begins– [laughter] –I’m going to read
his bio to you. I feel we must. We must. We’ll give you your due credit. [laughter] So Dean Mohsen Mostafavi is
an architect and educator, and he’s our dean here. He was formerly the
Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning
at Cornell University. And he has taught at
numerous institutions, including University
of Pennsylvania, University of Cambridge, and
Frankfurt Academy of Fine Arts. And He serves on the steering
committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture
and has served on the design committee of
the London Department– sorry. The London Development Agency
and the RIBA Gold Medal. He is a consultant on a number
of international architecture urban projects. So thank you so much
for your contributions to the design field. Thank you so much. [applause] Thank you. So that was a little
bit of an old CV. I don’t really do any
of those things anymore. But it’s OK. I just wanted to tell you how
happy I am that you’re all here, that this event is
happening, that tomorrow is going to be happening. And I really want for
us to take a minute to thank the committee
co-chairs, the committee members. This is Cara Michell
that you just met, Courtney Sharpe, Azzurra
Cox, Blair Storie-Johnson, Dana McKinney, Francisco Lara Garcia,
Katherine Curiel, Megan Echols, and Shani Carter for
making this possible. [applause] I also want to take
this opportunity to thank a few members of
the old ASU, other friends of the school. [inaudible] here. We had the pleasure of seeing
him in Chicago recently. Sarah [inaudible],
Hector Tarrido-Picart, Ethan Lassiter,
Eric Shaw who’s I think the fourth GSD graduate
Director of Planning in DC, Omar Davis, and many others
who are here this afternoon. [applause] I think what is so wonderful
and exciting about this event is that not only the
topic that it’s dealing with, but also
many of the people that it’s bringing together. And I’m so honored
and so pleased that if you look
at our brochure, that such a large proportion
of these people who will be speaking to
us today and tomorrow are actually connected
with the GSD. We have, of course, among us
David Lee, who has taught here for many years in the past. Stephen Gray, who has
just joined us at the GSD as a new Assistant
Professor of Urban Design. Liz Ogbu, a graduate
of the school. Teman and Teran Evans. Michaele Pride is a
graduate of the school. Sarah, I already mentioned. Nat Belcher, who
is now the Chair and Professor at Penn State. William Williams, and many,
many, many other people. And as I said, other speakers. [? satu ?] [? brentlegs ?],
Phil Freelon. And so the list goes on. So I’m mentioning those
names specifically because I think it’s really
important to recognize the enormous contribution that
people have made– I see Toni Griffin here in front of
me– and so many people who have really made a significant
impact towards the built environment, towards
the kinds of issues that will be discussed. And I think that,
for me, is also a celebration of
their contribution, of their commitment,
of the fantastic work that they have done. It’s a kind of
interesting moment for me personally, because
I just remember that it was exactly 20 years
ago that I helped organize a conference in this room called
Denaturalized Urbanity, Race, Gender and Ethnicity in the
Landscape of the American City. And the purpose of that
conference exactly 20 years ago in 1994 and 1995 was to examine
the relationship between race and space, questions of
gender, the role of ethnicity. So for example, we dealt with
the way in which a synagogue was turned into a Korean
temple, and the relationship between the iconology of the
synagogue and its erasure in order to become
a Korean temple. This is like a spatial
project that deals with questions of ethnicity. We had a fantastic presentation
about race and space that was actually about
the movie The Lion King, and their connection of The
Lion King to the degradation, if you like, of
the American city, and how the movie industry
was really using entertainment to reinforce certain
ideological constructs. And what was the connection
between the movie industry and it’s kind of affirmations
and the landscape of the American city? And you know, yesterday we had a
group of are visiting committee go to see the work that
some of the students are doing with
Professor Dan D’Oca upstairs on the Martin
Luther King Boulevard, which is something that
he will also touch on. My point is that on one
level, nothing has changed. That there’s 20 years
since then, and the issues remain really
absolutely pertinent, and that the relationship
between race and space, the way in which one could say
that the racialization space is becoming even more
extreme, is continuing. And so I think it’s fantastic
that this group of students and alumni have come together
with the support of so many other people, so many of
you from other institutions, to really help us think through
these really critical questions today. But at the same time, to really
open up new possibilities to help celebrate all the
work that you are doing. I think the
organizers reminded me that it’s important that this
is not only something that is focusing on the difficulties. But it’s also
important to recognize the positive aspect, and
really the celebration and the commitment of all the
great energy that you have, and all the fantastic
work that you do. I think in the
school, it is true that over the last, let’s
say, seven or eight years, we’ve tried to have, with
the support of a large group of students, faculty, and
staff, a systematic kind of reexamination of
the way that we operate as an institution,
how we can really be a more diverse
institution, and how the question of diversity
is a fundamental issue, a fundamental aspect of
our creative endeavor. In other words, we do not see
diversity as a kind of problem solving thing. We see diversity as an
opportunity, which really is critical in terms of how
we think about our cities, how we think about the way
in which, in our field, we think about scenario
planning of the kind of sets of relationships, sets of
connections that can happen. And I think that that’s
a really significant part of what we are about. I think we’ve had some success. We obviously need
to do a lot more, especially I think from the
perspective of the students when it comes to the way in
which our curriculum is being tuned to respond to some
of these issues that are so pertinent and
so critical today. And I think we will be
really focusing on that. So we’re really optimistic
about today and tomorrow, and hope and know
that we will learn a great deal from all of you. And we’re really excited and
grateful to all the organizers for making this possible. And I, for one,
am looking forward to an incredible day
and a half, or whatever is left of this event. So thank you again very
much for being here. And that’s really
celebrate and move on, move forward with this
really important project. Thank you. [applause] Good evening. I’m Michael Hays, the Associate
Dean for Academic Affairs. And I’m really honored to
have been invited to moderate the panel for tonight. But you’re probably wondering
why all these white guys are introducing Black in Design. So I’ll try– [laugh] –I’ll try to–
I’ll try to explain. And of course– [laughter] I’m going to, of course,
quote Dr. Martin Luther King. And I’m going to
keep– I’m not going to edit the racial
engendered language that he uses of the 1960s. “To find the origins
of the Negro problem, we must turn to the
white man’s problem.” Now I think what Dr. King may
have meant by the white man’s problem is what I want to call
the white spatial imaginary. And this is the problem. In the white spatial
imaginary, whites are not represented to
themselves as white. We are variously– we can
be from different classes, we are gendered, we might
be differently abled and differently sexualized. We might even recognize
racial minorities. But in the white imaginary,
white is not a race. So this spatial
imaginary has prevented– it has certain consequences
that are central to design. It’s prevented some of
us from understanding fundamental features of the
social spaces in which we live. The white spatial imaginary
has produced the neighborhoods, the workplaces, the schools
where white people– some know very little about black
people, which in turn produces the kind of defensive localism
that dominates decisions about public interventions and
how services are distributed. And of course, it
produces that privatism, which sometimes turns hostile. The radicalized place that
black Americans live in have compelled them to
develop a different optics. George Lipsitz from
UC Santa Barbara stresses this and
says that black people have had to, out of
necessity, turn segregation into congregation. And this has produced
a very different kind of spatial imaginary that
counters this privatism and localism. So what I want to
suggest– and remember that this first panel is
about issues of pedagogy, and we were charged
by the organizers to speak to how
pedagogy can address issues of social injustice. And I want to suggest that this
idea of a spatial imaginary helps us get to pedagogy. I want to borrow from
the French philosopher Jacques Ranciere who talks
about the distribution of the sensible. Now sensible just
refers to what can be apprehended by the senses. It’s very, very central
to design and even to art. The distribution
of the sensible, it makes aesthetics
central to politics. And this distribution
is just a framework, the physical, spatial framework
that ultimately produces that spatial imaginary that
determines, Ranciere says, what is even possible
to see or not see, what is possible to
hear or not hear, what is even possible to say or
even to think, to do, to make. Now there’s no political
party involved here. There are no police
force and Hummers. What’s important
is that which is possible to apprehend
by the senses literally determines the
condition of possibility for perception, thought, action. It determines the
spacial imaginary. So what I want to submit, if
we can think about teaching, if we can teach the
techniques, the practices, the forms of design that
distribute space, time, that distribute subjects and
objects with this in mind, then we can have–
pedagogically, can have a very real effect on
place-related opportunities. Thank you. [applause] I was done. I was going to go. But I have to
introduce the panel. [laughter] So I’m going to introduce
the panel in the order that they will speak. It’s also listed in
the order that they will speak in your program. And I’m going to make
very short introductions, because the whole CV is–
[inaudible] the bio is here. Amber Wiley will be
our first speaker. She’s Assistant Professor
of American Studies at Skidmore College. Just having a piece
in a book coming out this– is it out yet? Just about out called
Walking in Cities: Quotidian Mobility as Urban
Theory, Method, and Practice. There are a number
of other publications she’s involved with
about designing schools and about space, place,
and pedagogy that’s also forthcoming. After Amber will be Dan D’Oca. He’s an urban planner,
and ha Mohsen said, he’s teaching at Option
Studio this semester at GSD. He’s Principal and Co-founder of
the New York-based architecture planning and research firm
called Interboro and Partners. And he’ll be talking
about some of the– I think some of the
work with Interboro. Diane Davis is our Chair of the
Department of Urban Planning and Design, and Charles Norton
Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism at the GSD. And she’s published widely. I won’t list them here. But just to say that
her current work often involves issues of violence
and spatial defense in Mexico, But also– and I think you’ll
talk about the St. Louis project– the turn
to American cities. And then also a Professor
of Landscape Architecture– Associate Professor of Landscape
Architecture at GSD, Sonja Duempelmann will followed Diane. Sonja has just had a
publication of a book out called Flights of Imagination:
Aviation, Landscape, Design, and also has recently
co-edited Women, Modernity and Landscape Architecture. And then finally, Toni Griffin,
who was also mentioned. Toni is right now
Professor of Architecture and also the Founding
Director of the Max Bond Center on Design at City
College in New York, is published widely,
and is dedicated to teaching on issues of
advancement of education, research, and
advocacy in ways that make communities sustainable. So Amber, if you’ll
start us off. Thank you. [applause] OK. Well, look at that. Fabulous. Hello, everybody. Amber Wiley. I am from Skidmore. I just started that
position, though. I previously was
teaching at Tulane in the School of Architecture
from 2011 till 2014. And then I just spent
the last academic year traveling on the Society of
Architectural Historians, H Allen Brooks
Traveling Fellowship. I went to six countries. Mexico, Guatemala, Ghana,
Ethiopia, India, and Vietnam, studying architectural history,
looking at sites firsthand, really trying to
figure out– or get a firsthand experience of
the non-Western tradition of architecture. But as I told some
folks earlier today, every country that I went to
had been colonized in any event. So then I was still
looking at Spanish colonial as well in addition to Mayan
and Aztec architecture, or looking at British colonial
and Dutch and Danish influences in Ghana. The Italians were in Ethiopia
and did some things as well. The British in India, as well
as the French in Vietnam. So it was trying to look
at the indigenous histories of architecture, but
also understanding the colonial aspects and
how those are interpreted and reinterpreted in public
history as well as preservation projects. Now my job at Skidmore,
I’m in the American Studies Department. And so I’m teaching two courses,
one called The American City, and the other is called
African American Experience. And I’m trying to take some of
that architectural and spatial background and
knowledge into informing how those classes get taught. Before I talk a bit
about Skidmore though, I would like to talk about the
time that I spent at Tulane. And I was teaching
required courses at Tulane, two of the required
history courses for sophomores or second years. In this particular case it
was a five year program. And I tried to make the
history class more engaging, a little bit more fun,
thinking about architecture in any number of ways,
very basic, simple ways. Architecture is major. Architecture is afterlife. Architecture is ritual. Trying to move away from
the dates and facts approach that many of our
students felt that the history class, that
that’s what it was about. I’m not even really good with
dates myself, so I understand. Now you know, it was put upon
me to teach the course in a way that I actually wasn’t
wholly prepared for. Because I was told that I had
to teach the global history of architecture. And even when I
graduated from undergrad and got my master’s,
it was really about the Western
history of architecture. And I said, OK. So I’m going to learn about
Indian Buddhist shrines, and then nothing about India
or nothing about Buddhism. But I can talk about it
once I read about it. And so that’s part of
what that trip was, was to really gain
an understanding of this non-Western
tradition of architecture. But of course, as
life would have it, I ended up in American
Studies Program after that. So one of the reasons
why we were really pushing for this global
history of architecture is because of NAAB. Now I was only three
years into my job at Tulane when I had to deal
with NAAB accreditation. And Maurice is in the audience. He was there with me. He understands. And we had, as faculty, to
look at student performance criteria. What were these
students learning? These are the things that
the National Architectural Accrediting Board wants
the students to learn. And they have to
produce– or we have to produce folders
that show they have the ability, through
student work, to hit these key points
that NAAB wanted, or they had an understanding. And so we had to spend
a lot of time thinking about these different
realms of learning. Realm A– and this is 2009. They’ve updated it
since, 2013, 2014. Critical thinking
and representation. Integrated building
practices, technical skills, and knowledge. And leadership and practice. I think they renamed it
to professional practice. So I had a steep learning
curve in the first three years of teaching there and
trying to understand what it is that the professional
Accrediting Board wanted our students to know. What was critical to
my courses, the history courses, the required
courses I taught, I found that two
rounds in particular were useful to think about. This is not going to
be a NAAB workshop, so I’m going to skip
a couple slides, because y’all don’t need
to know all the details. But if we go down to the bottom
of this one, theoretical, social, political, economic,
cultural, and environmental context, that means
we expect our students to be able to work in a whole
load of different contexts. And I was like OK. This is good. Because we do that in my class. Cool. And I’m going to skip this one,
histories of global tradition and culture, and move to
another one, cultural diversity. This is one of the
things that we had to say our students knew about. This is required by the
Architecture Accreditation Board. Students should show
an understanding of the diverse needs, values,
and behavioral norms– this is very long– social
and spatial patterns that characterize cultures and
individuals and the implication of diversity on the societal
roles and responsibilities of architects. They say it. They want us to do it. And I was like, yes. Yes. So this right here is fodder. If you ever get the argument
that it’s not really important, that’s not what we’re
about in design school. Oh, no, no, no. NAAB says that’s
what we’re about. We have to do this. OK? Another one– and this has been
renamed in Realm C, leadership and practice, they talk
about managing, advocating, acting legally,
ethically, and critically for the good of the client,
society, and the public. This includes
collaboration, business, and leadership skills. Again, if you ever
get any pushback about what architecture is or
what our role is as designers, or in my case
historian, say, no, no. Our Accreditation Board
says that our students should be able to
advocate and act legally and ethically, and think
critically about the impact of design on society. Yep. It’s in there. I spent a lot of time with
this material, so I know. And finally– I’m
skipping those two– it brings us to the idea– and
I do know that we get pushback. So if you want to engage,
say, the Black Lives Matter movement as designers, as
historians, as urban planners, and people say, what
does Black Lives Matter have to do with
designer urban planning? You can just say, well,
NAAB accreditation says– and then go from there. So I was part of a project,
a digital humanities project, the aggregate website, where a
number of different historians, preservationists,
planners were asked to talk about the issue
of Black Lives Matter. And it was a really
powerful portfolio, and it was really
heartening, in a sense. This came out, I think, in
the spring of this year, because people really wanted
to talk about these things and give some sort of
voice to the struggle. I’m going to talk a
bit about two classes that I taught that had no
effect whatsoever on our NAAB accreditation, and that’s
two electives, upper level seminars that I taught. One was called Sights and
Sounds Public History. In New Orleans, everything
is touched by music. And so I wanted
my students to be able to talk about
historic narratives of New Orleans, the musical
landscape, the parks, the pubs, the warehouses turned into
clubs, all of these things, and give some sort of
building history about it. And also to engage in
the digital humanities. So what we were able to do
is take a digital humanities program platform that was being
produced in the communications department at
Tulane, and engage it with our own architectural
history and building history work, and think about
the way the music and the built environment
overlapped in these ways. And so I’m going
to skip that part. I had students who were
able to meet students from other departments outside
of the School of Architecture, because they were
engaged in this much larger project within Tulane. I’m so happy that I have
this Dew Drop Inn slide. So they used the platform
to produce histories of particular sites
throughout New Orleans that have the history of music
embedded within them. Maurice Cox actually did a
Tulane City Center project with the Dew Drop Inn, but
I had individual students doing research on it. And there was a stronger
impetus for them to do the work right
because it was public and someone would
have to read it. And that made them work
harder and think harder about the things
that they were doing. So they were social
histories mixed in with the architectural
histories, histories of space. I had graduate students who
were my research assistants who helped me with my own research
as it related to music and the urban landscape. And the research was
actually picked up by CityLab just recently as
people were looking at the anniversary of Katrina. Finally, we also had a
public history program dedicated to some
of the findings that the students made
doing their research. We engaged the National Park
Service in this conversation, and we actually had
people who were involved with these various sites that we
researched, talking about what the site was before Katrina,
how it changed after Katrina, and some of the struggles that
they were dealing with now. Five minutes. And so it was really
wonderful because we were A, able to produce public history. B, I was able to engage graduate
research assistants with it. And C, include the public
in this larger discussion. And it was really kind
of invigorating for me, and it was great for
the students as well. We also had music. Finally, to talk about my
second class elective course, I stole this name from Cornell. I was looking– when I was
looking to do elective courses, I was trying to think
of different topics and what to talk about. So I was looking at
different schools of design and seeing what
their classes were, and if it make any
sense to [inaudible]. So I took the architecture,
culture, and society. I don’t know what that
class at Cornell is about, but I know what
my class is about. And so there’s a
lot of text here that I’m just going
to skip through. But I want to talk about some
of the underlying theory. I was able to give
voice to some theory to talk about the
relationship of architecture to culture and
culture to society through my American
studies training. Michael came up here and he
quoted a Reverend/political activist, he quoted an
American studies scholar, and he quoted a philosopher. And so in this course
here, we looked at philosophers, interpretations
of the built environment, scholars who looked
at capitalist society, and also the social
production of space. And we used this theory
to give my students a means of talking
about the built environment in ways
that they might not have talked about it before. Also, granted, a benefit of
my American studies background is that I was able to use film,
music, poetry, novels, and art. I said, these people who
produce these films, who produce this music, who
produce this poetry, they’re talking about the
built environment too. And we should see
them as people that are informing our understanding
of the built environment. So fast forward. I did different themes. One theme was housing projects. We looked at Raymond Williams’
definition of community, what it means to be a community. We read the scholarship
of Arnold Hirsch in Making the Second Ghetto
and public housing in Chicago. We talked about the Mecca
Flats and its relationship to the construction
of the IIT campus. But we also heard
from Gwendolyn Brooks, because she could tell us about
everyday life in the Mecca Flats. We looked at the major
figures in design, and we looked at the people
whose voices hadn’t been heard, people who were struggling not
to have their homes demolished for the expansion
of the IIT campus. You rarely hear their stories. But we heard about
them in the class. We looked at the
key legislation that informed the shapes of the
housing, how legislation and form scale, how it informs
distribution of housing throughout the city. And finally, we looked
at reinterpretations, artistic reinterpretations. Kerry James Marshall– one
of my favorite artists– and how he came to
understand the spaces. So it wasn’t just about
the buildings themselves. We talked about the issues
of what community is. We talked about how legislation
affects these things. We talked about the
theory behind capitalism and how it moves
and shapes the way our built environment
works, and also about how artists are
our informants in some of the results. So issues to talk
about or think about, issues in the Academy, the
Public Digital Humanities project was great. It reached a lot
different areas. But there’s, unfortunately,
a devaluation and distrust of digital humanities. The print world still rules,
and books still reign supreme. So even though all that work was
put into the elective course, it matters for not if you’re
a young scholar, maybe on the tenure track,
and you say, hey. I did this public
history project. That’s great. But is it an article? Is it a book? No. And so it’s
discouraging in a sense when you want to have
these kinds of discussions and engagements
with your students. And what I also realized is
that for the elective courses, they are considered central
to my students’ understanding, and they didn’t even contribute
to NAAB accreditation. And they were fluff
to the real work of the architectural education. But we can make the argument
that these kinds of courses are necessary, and in fact,
that NAAB requires them. And so whenever you’re put up
against the wall in that kind of way say, no, no, no. NAAB wants it. Finally, I just want to
invite you– this is a plug. It’s shameless– the
Vernacular Architecture Forum on the board. We have a conference coming
up in June in Durham, North Carolina From
Farm to Factory: Piedmont Stories
in Black and White, architectural historians talking
about the racial landscape. Please come. We need more architects
in our midst. Thank you. [applause] All right. Let’s see. Oh. Perfect. Thank you. Hi. So thanks for the
invitation to speak at this amazing,
awesome conference. I’m so thrilled
that it’s happening. I feel like we should give
another round of applause to the organizers. This is just so exciting. [applause] The format’s amazing. The round tables. It’s great. And I want to say,
I’m also really happy I’ve been asked
to talk about pedagogy, which coincidentally enough,
is one of my favorite things to talk about. My simple message is,
let’s give students more opportunities to
address race, place, power, and privilege. Please. Pretty please. In my experience, race
generally is something that a lot of
students have to be asked to ask questions about. But in my experience,
when students are encouraged to
explore what design can do to undo the effects
of forced segregation, they knock it out of the park. So let’s give them a chance. There’s a lot at stake here. So I’m going to talk about a few
projects that students of mine have done. You know, before I started
teaching here at the GSD, I taught at the Maryland
Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MICA. My students there
were architects, sculptors, photographers. They were overwhelmingly white. MICA is in a
neighborhood, Bolton Hill, which is white too. Interestingly, Bolton Hill
is surrounded on all sides by neighborhoods that
are overwhelmingly black. So you may have seen
these judgmental maps. This is one of Baltimore. So there’s MICA
indicated by Art Nerds. So zooming in, we
see it surrounded by nothing but trouble. Drugs and Prostitutes
and The Wire. I didn’t make this map. So here’s a typical
block in Art Nerds. Here’s one in
Nothing But Trouble. Here’s one in The Wire. The first class I ever
taught at MICA in 2005 was a survey class that
looked at the policies, plans, and practices
that have shaped cities in the United States. Since this class
focused on race, I thought we should start by
thinking about Bolton Hill. Why was it so white compared
to the neighborhoods around it? Why was it so wealthy compared
to the neighborhoods around it? Why were life expectancies
so much higher? Actually a 20 year
life expectancy difference between this
neighborhood and some of the surrounding ones. And why were the streets so
relatively well maintained? These are pretty
basic questions, and by now we have some
pretty basic answers to them. We know that racial segregation
was the product of dozens of local, state,
federal policies aimed, explicitly sometimes, at
creating two Americas, separate and unequal. We have racial zoning. We have redlining. We have highway construction. White man’s roads through
black man’s homes. Urban renewal, which
James Baldwin famously called Negro removal. Suburban incorporation, which
formed a white suburban noose around our cities. Racial covenants that defined
who could and could not live in a house. Racist code of ethics that
brokers swore to uphold. And racial violence that
confronted individuals who dared cross the color lines. So it was not difficult
to tell a story about why these neighborhoods
outside of the MICA bubble were so different. And this is what we
talked about in class. Interestingly, though, I
found that the students had to be taught to ask
these questions about why these neighborhoods
were so different. I think one reason had
to do with the fact that this class was the
first class they ever took in which they
were asked to ask these questions about the
causes and the consequences of segregation. I’d like to think that
the uprisings in New York, Ferguson, and Baltimore
have helped put segregation back on the agenda. Let’s hope that this
conference marks the beginning of a
renewed interest in race here at the GSD,
where it’s clearly not talked about enough. In fact, just to
take a step back, I think we don’t generally talk
about socio-political issues enough period. I think many of us
in the design field make the mistake of
separating something off. And marginalizing,
I would argue, something called
social design, as if not all design was social. As if our choices
about what to build for whom and where
and in what style weren’t political decisions. Of course they are. You can’t be apolitical
in this business. So let’s embrace this fact. Let’s train designers
and planners to be politically literate,
to scrutinize and question everything. When it comes to race,
more specifically, it’s important to remember
that designers and planners from previous generations helped
us get into the mess we’re in. And we desperately
need, I would argue, the best and brightest– that’s
you guys– to help us out of this mess. So the first project
I want to talk about is this project called
Baltimore: Open City. And I’m just going to
talk about it quickly, because I didn’t do it here. I want to focus on the
projects I’m doing here. But in 2011, my last
year of teaching at MICA, I worked with 28 students
over the course of a year to mount a public
exhibition about segregation called Baltimore: Open City. Here’s the cover of our book. Here’s some spreads
from the book we made. Interestingly, it
actually started as a seminar, just bunch
of us sitting together, reading books about race. But we wanted to do more. So to make a long
story short, we found this cool old
abandoned market space. We raised the money,
we fixed it up, and we had an entirely
student produced, student curated exhibition. These are undergrads. So here’s our entryway where
you see the clever logo that the students came up with. Adjacent to this is our
curatorial statement, led with the statement, “Cities
exist to bring people together, but cities can also
keep people apart.” And then went on to explain
that Baltimore has historically been something of a pioneer
in the keeping people apart business. So this is something
we explored. You see also here our calendar. We had lots of events in this
space starting with our opening party where we invited a
local marching band to parade through the space. It was really loud. We also used the
space to raise money for local progressive
nonprofits. We had historians lead tours of
historic sites of segregation in the city. The work itself
was really varied. This was all student
work, undergraduate work. So some students did a timeline
of segregation in Baltimore. We had a map that
introduced visitors to contemporary NIMBY battles
being fought across the city. One student did these
portraits of people who fought for integration in Baltimore. Again, student work,
undergraduate student work. So we also used the
space to encourage people to be activists. So for example, by helping
us build this house out of We Buy Houses signs,
these predatory signs. So we asked people to
remove them from poles and sort of help us
build this house. We asked people to
come and help us get involved with
local nonprofits who were combating
segregation in the city. There’s a strong
public component. So one student made these
amazing murals of planners on the infrastructure
that they planned, along with some
incriminating quotes about why they planned it. So here’s an ad for the show. We pasted these posters
around the city. Each one was site specific. So this one was
on Fulton Avenue, which represented the color
line until it was busted by blockbusters in the ’60s. So we had about a
half a dozen of these. Again, some spreads
from our book. We invited local historians and
activists to contribute to it. And I’m sure this project
reflects my overall theme. So I mentioned earlier that
most of the students who took my classes had to
be asked to ask questions about segregation. But what you see here
is what students can do, even undergraduates,
when given the chance to ask these questions. OK. That’s nice. But this is design school. We didn’t come to the
GSD to make exhibitions. We came here to get stuff done. GSD. So– [laughter] I want to spend my
remaining time– [laughter] –showing a project that
came out of the studio I taught in 2014. The studio was called The Storm,
the Strife, and Everyday Life: See Changes in the Suburbs. And it invited students
to work with nonprofit and community-based partners to
update Long Island’s built environment for today’s
demographic realities. So here we are on
our field trip where we talked to people for
whom Long Island was not working well. Long Island built primarily
for wealthy, white, car driving nuclear families. But that’s not increasingly
the demographic profile of Long Island and a
lot of other suburbs. So one person we talked to
on the trip was Elaine Gross. She’s the executive
director of this great group called ERASE Racism,
Long Island-based group. And she made a pitch
to the students. It was a tough one,
but can you come up with ideas for building
affordable housing in predominantly
high opportunity white communities that,
because of NIMBYism, don’t provide their fair
share of affordable housing? Marcus [? polcifur ?], who is a
MOD student, he took the bait, and he did a totally
extraordinary project called the Schoolhouse Project. And its solution is to take
vacant school properties that are located in these white,
high opportunity areas and convert them into a mixed
income suburban centers. So working with Elaine and
also a civil rights attorney, he identified a school
to serve as a prototype for this experiment. His proposed design of
the school and the grounds was amazing. But the project
didn’t stop there. He spent a lot of time
thinking about implementation and ended up creating
four brochures and four presentations that made a case
from left to right, down below, for the ethical importance,
the legal necessity, the financial feasibility,
and the attractiveness of this project. So each brochure was
created from the perspective of a different actor, and was
aimed at a different audience. So the graphics are
all really different. So let’s take a look quickly. So the first presentation
was from ERASE Racism to HUD. Marcus did some
role playing here, which isn’t going to translate
as I represent this project. But this was a
presentation to HUD to get them to
support this idea. So it starts by
looking at– so this is the brochure–
starts by looking at segregation on Long Island. What you see is a
terrible problem. Here’s the part where
Marcus would say, is this the product
of preference? Of course not. All the studies done show that
people want to generally live in mixed race communities. Here’s where he would go
into what caused segregation on Long Island. No time for that now. What are the consequences? So educational disparities
would be one consequence. The blue numbers
here are scores that are granted to schools
on Long Island. The dots are African Americans. The background is income. And so what you see is that the
schools with the most African Americans are the poorest. And these get the
lowest test scores. They’re given the
least amount of money. They have the lowest
amount of resources. On the right you see
an incredible contrast between two bordering towns,
Garden City and Hempstead. So how are we going to
break through this wall? We’re going to use schools. There are a lot of schools. There are a lot of abandoned
schools on Long Island. And they’re great,
because they’re connected to their neighborhoods. They’re totally adaptable
into all kinds of things. So now he’s going
to ask, what school? So he went through a number
of indicators, which I’ll take you through really fast. You want housing to be in
a good school district. You want the housing to be in
an area with a low crime rate. You want it close
to transportation. You want it in a
low poverty area. You want it to be safe
from flooding, right? Low poverty and
safe from flooding. So you overlay all of these. And to make a long
story short, he landed on this shuttered school
in Smithtown, Long Island. By the way, another factor
here was, where could this actually happen? So he was working with
a civil rights attorney to determine this, and this
is still an active case, which is really exciting. So here you see some of the
good things about Smithtown. All right. So now we’ve made the case
to HUD, put on another hat. So here Marcus has to make
the pitch to investors. So we switch to a very
different presentation, complete with Clipart. [laughter] I don’t want to go
into details except to say that he did a really good
discounted cash flow analysis. He really worked
with Long Island to identify funding
opportunities. He ran the numbers
and looked at the IRR, given different
funding opportunities. The next presentation
was that to Smithtown. And this was HUD to Smithtown
saying, you’re in trouble. This is the stick,
not the carrot, right? Comply or else. So he made this brochure
and this presentation about how fair housing
is a matter of law. So he did a review of
fair housing policies. Point is, you can’t
try to keep people from moving into your town. He looked at Long Island
fair housing rules. The tide of exclusion
is changing. He looked at recent
cases that HUD has brought other wealthy
white communities. HUD’s getting serious about
enforcing fair housing policies. He looked at the town itself,
and he uncovered a history in this town of Smithtown
of racial exclusion. He looked at how actually it has
a lot less affordable housing than other suburbs just like it. The writing’s on the wall. Let this happen, Smithtown,
or else you’re in trouble, and HUD’s going
to come after you. So the next presentation
is from the developer to potential buyers, right? So here he’s got a brochure. And of course, this doesn’t look
very GSD, what with the drop shadows and the argyle. [laughter] But we worked very hard
actually to identify a style that we thought the potential
buyers into this development would like. So it started out very
slick and GSD-like. And we sort of said, how about
some argyle, some drop shadows. Anyway. [laughter] So I’m not going to go
through it in detail. It was a really nice project,
a very thoughtful project. And this is the glossy
brochure, right? Shows the kind of site plan,
it shows the amenity mix, the standard floor plans. Sells this in terms
of, this is near dining and it’s near health clinics,
and so on and so forth. And the unit price and
so on and so forth. So there are a lot
of takeaways here. One of the reasons I think
this project is so brilliant is because it positions
the designer as someone who can bring things together. The urban designer
isn’t just a form major. He is innovating in
policy, politics, finance. I also appreciate that
he made deliverables that were suitable to the project. In this case, brochures. Presentations that he
left with the client. I also appreciate the
decision to change the style of the project
to suit the audience and make representations
that are likely to resonate with that audience. And of course, this
was his project. This is not my project. He scoped it. He decided to do it. Just to put my
cards on the table, I think this is how we should
be training our designers. This is the kind of
interdisciplinary thinking that we need if we’re going
to start chipping away at structural racism. What was my role here? Introducing him to Elaine. You know? Giving the students
the opportunity to chip away at structural racism. The point being is that this
is what we need to do, I think. Give our students the
opportunity to do this. The more we let them do this,
the better the solutions are. These are solutions that
I never would have had. So I’m not going to talk
about my studio this semester, but I’m giving my students the
opportunity to do this again. This semester we’re
looking at streets named after Martin Luther King. King is super popular. There are 900 streets
named after him, right? And a lot of them
don’t necessarily reflect the legacy of King. And so we’re looking
at, how might you make streets that better
reflect the legacy of King? So you can see some of
them across the country. We’re looking at
DC and St. Louis. Eric Shaw, who I
think is here, is one of our clients at the
Office of City Planning. Same deal where we’re
basically out with the students all the time, talking to people,
trying to make connections, and giving the students
the opportunities to come up with the solutions. They’re better solutions
than I could ever have, so let’s give the students
a chance, basically, is what I’m saying. Thanks. [applause] Thanks. I don’t have any slides. OK. So well, I stand before
you with immense humility, thinking about all the
awesome and important work that’s just been presented and
will be presented after me. So I’m going to be really short. I almost feel fraudulent
being up here. I think I was asked to talk
about the more official pedagogy as Chair of the
Department of Planning and Design. And I don’t have slides, so
I’m really fraudulent here, in a planning and design school. The organizers asked me to talk
a little bit about– actually, they wanted me to
talk about the ways that I incorporate issues
of diversity, racial, and spatial justice,
and other related themes into my own work– and my
own work and my own research. I’m going to try to
do that, and I’ll end with some
comments about myself. But I did think it was
important to start first by discussing these issues from
the lens of the Urban Planning Design Department. So I’ll be saying a
little– just a few words about pedagogy in
theory, not in practice. Some of the rest of
the presentations are pedagogy in practice. And I really hope
what I’m saying is not going to be too
unbelievably trite. It’s something that
we probably all know, but it’s worth repeating
because this conference just attests to the
energy and enthusiasm and leadership of the students,
many from planning design, but also from architecture
and landscape, that really is emerging up
from the trenches of the school students here. And I think the
least that we can do as the administrators
of the department is to respond to their
work in meaningful ways, and try to do what we
can to kind of move it to the next step. So what I wanted to say
about what we’re trying to do in urban planning and design is
really recognize the fact that is a multifaceted endeavour
that involves integrating into the curriculum whenever
possible questions of race, space, justice, exclusion. The list goes on and on. In theory, this may be happening
more in the Urban Planning program than in the
Urban Design program, although that is a
statement in theory, and there are plenty of
classes being offered in Urban Planning that
are not stepping up to the plate in the
ways that they should. And I’m sure that
also in Urban Design there’s more movement
towards these questions. But I think,
though, what we need a little more in our department
and in the school as a whole is a more constructive–
and even can be combative– dialogue
across these programs about methodology, about
concepts, and about assumptions, and whether
the concepts, methods, and assumptions used
in the disciplines, in the different
sub disciplines, are enabling or constraining
attention to diversity. Sometimes I fear that we
are too readily ghettoized into two camps, those who have
social concerns versus those with design concerns. Or those who focused
on process versus those focused on product. Or those with ethical
priorities and those with aesthetic priorities,
and other antinomies. And I think we just
have to constantly be struggling to break
down those polarizations and those dichotomizations
not just in conversations, but in every project that we do. Every curriculum,
course that gets offered, we have to have
that critical interrogation of those kind of dichotomies. I think that some– and as
we’ve just seen from Dan’s work, that some of this can be
more easily accomplished by the framing of a
subject or a topic that you throw different
disciplines at. And that often happens
in an Option Studio maybe more readily than
in the core curriculum. And this is
something– we’ve been talking about this this weekend
with the visiting committee. But I do think that the issue of
thinking critically about what subjects can most draw the
variety of spatial, racial, justice issues onto the
table in a more organic way is what we need to be thinking. We shouldn’t be thinking
about the skills that need to be offered. Let’s think about complex
and controversial topics and subjects that those skills
are used to disaggregate. Of course, insuring diversity
in the faculty and student body is absolutely central to
all these advances and aims, but that’s all really
obvious and not original. And everyone here
knows this, so I’m not going to say anything
else about that. So what I’d like to do
now is just spend my last, like, three minutes or something
to answer the first question about myself and how
I try to integrate these issues into
my own scholarly and professional life. So I guess first and
foremost, I would like to– and I hope
this isn’t too personal, but I don’t have a
lot else to share, so I’m going to share
myself with you– that my own consciousness
and knowledge was sparked by my own history and
background as a student of urban sociology, as
well as my love of cities. I grew up in a
suburb of St. Louis, but learned early on that cities
were different than suburbs, because I was fortunate to have
a mother that would take me to downtown St.
Louis all the time to old bookstores
and areas of the city that people in the white
suburb I grew up in never, ever ventured into. Nobody went to downtown St.
Louis when I was growing up. I grew up in a Western suburb. And I learned that
if I had a choice, I clearly wanted
to live in a city. And that’s, in fact, why I chose
to go to college in Chicago, because that city literally
took my breath away. Every time I drove through
it during my family holidays, because my grandparents
lived in Milwaukee and I lived in St. Louis, and
we drove our station wagon from St. Louis to Milwaukee. And you would just come up on
the city on Lake Shore Drive. And I still get chills when
I think about the built environment and the
skyscrapers and the landscape of a city like Chicago. And of course, we went
into the city too. And then I went to college in
Chicago, and at that moment, I knew I never wanted
to live anywhere but a diverse, thriving city
with a lot of difference. Later when I studied urban
sociology at Northwestern, I learned about theories
of cosmopolitanism among other
sociological frameworks to understand the urban
experience and other theories that underscored the
power, connection, and even social
satisfaction that comes from living
within diversity and through connectivity. Of course, I read some
of the other authors who’ve been noted today. I mean, we really sit
on the same page, Amber, about thinking
sociologically and not just culturally about cities. But also Chicago, the home of
the Chicago School of Sociology and Urban Sociology
when I was studying, I learned to think
about physical space in a very different way. And I realized that
social relationships were both products and producers
of physical spaces and vice versa, for both
good and for bad. And I do remember one assignment
in an urban sociology class where I rode my bike to a
black neighborhood in Evanston, Illinois in order
to complete a paper about the community, a big
concept in urban sociology. Studied it from so many
different dimensions. And in the process,
discovered how spatially isolated the neighborhood was. I had no idea before
I got on my bike. Cut off by train tracks, no
grid, difficulty to traverse, environmentally unstable
conditions everywhere. So in short, at that
moment it was clear to me that the spatial
context of social life was something that I’d
never really thought about, because I had, I
guess to what Michael was saying, that I had
thought about spaces through the white spatial
imaginary all the time. Those were the
spaces I knew, and I didn’t know how to see or read
or experience other spaces. And thinking about the
social and spatial imaginary has become a part
of my own work. As some of you might know, I
don’t work on American cities. I’m a specialist of
urbanism urbanization in the global south,
particularly Latin America. But the same set of analytics
continued to mark my thinking. In Latin American cities, the
history of spatial exclusion is as powerful as and
related to social exclusion as it is here, if not more. It also– well, I’m going
to come back on that. Not more. It also is directly related
to planning practice, because planning practices,
particularly modernist planning practices, have reinforced
social spatial exclusion in ways that fuels a
multiplicity of problems for the cities that I study. And for the cities as a
whole, and not just the people who live in those
excluded neighborhoods. So I made some
arguments, some of you have heard about the ways that
modernist planning is connected to social spatial exclusion,
which in turn is connected directly to violence. Now to be sure, in
Latin American cities the most excluded are defined
by class and ethnicity. And slightly less
so race, depending on which country you’re in. Brazil’s different than Mexico. I work mostly in Mexico. But the same principles
of thinking about the ways that spatial conditions
enable or constrain justice and inclusion are just
as relevant in American cities as they are in cities that I
study in the rest of the world. And so I’ll just have a little,
like, promo or a side comment here that now in
full circle– Michael was mentioning earlier– I’m
coming back with the same lens that I’ve been using to look
at Latin American cities and violence, and looking
at St. Louis, Missouri, where I grew up that
started me on this journey. And so many people
in this room are going to be helping with
that conference that we’re having your March 30 and 31st. And we’re going to be thinking
about the way that the history of violence, going
back to the Civil War– so violence on the
national scale, violence on the local scale
are all interconnected in the production of space that
reproduces more fragmentation, exclusion, and violence. And I’m extremely excited
about that project. And I think I’m
coasting on the energy that the Black in
Design organizers have already started here at the
GSD to move forward to spring. I think it’s going to be
an amazing year for us here at the GSD. So to close, let
me just say that I want to loop back in terms of
pedagogy to the sensibility that urban sociology cultivated
in me as being absolutely critical in forming and
reinforcing my views, as well as my definition of
the pedagogic aims of a design school like ours. I know it’s not common
for design schools to showcase
sociological thinking or have faculty with a
background in sociology. But I firmly believe
that all students here should be exposed to
the classical theories and methods of urban sociology. And that a sociological
imagination and consciousness should be more emphasized
and better articulated in our curriculum. You have it already in
your classes, Amber, and we have to do
a better job here, not just in Planning
Design but Landscape as well as in the
Architecture program. For me, a sociological
imagination forces us to think about
the experiential connection between people in the built
environment, as well as people and the urban experience
more generally. And this is the very
first step in thinking about how people can live
together, and under what conditions, and with
what ethical or justice needs met are ignored. And I’m hoping to be able to
advance these pedagogic aims more conscientiously here at
the GSD and the months and years ahead. Thank you. [applause] Good afternoon, everybody. So I would also like to
thank the organizers. You’ve done an incredible job. I was contacted, I believe, very
early on in the organization. And I was just
observing with great awe the way you were
doing everything, the way you were
handling everything. And really tirelessly
keeping people on track for these one and a
half days that we are into now and that we still have ahead. So I would like to say that
I’m also greatly humbled in following Diane here to
be part of this conference. I’m incredibly– I consider
myself incredibly lucky, of course also. But really very
humbled, especially because my formal
training was not in African American
studies or American studies or American history in
general, for that matter. I should probably also
mention in this context that I’m not American. And my country that
I’m from, Germany, has its own challenges
at the moment, which are probably actually
not that dissimilar in many respects. But regardless, I am
a landscape historian interested in the politics
of design and space, and also identity politics
besides many other things. And so it is in
this capacity that I will present to you some
of my concerns with regards to the pedagogy of the field. And I should also
mention at this point that I’m going to
talk a little bit more about content, which might
be familiar to some of you, but I consider as a
historian, as a scholar, not sufficiently studied yet. And I will come
back to that point a little further along
in my presentation. So landscape architecture
is a relatively young field. The first professional
organizations were founded in the
late 19th century. It’s also a field
that is very fuzzy. But in all its fuzziness it
is social, it is political, and it is cultural,
amongst many other things. So as a result of all
this, its historiography is young as well, even if the
historiographic accounts, often part mythical and part factual,
go back to the 18th century. And I consider landscape
history at the moment to stand at a
crossroads where we have to look backwards, but also
forwards, learning from earlier historiography that
within its limitations, of course, was on occasion
surprisingly inclusive. For example, by
way of integrating material history and the
history of labor and technology. And what I’m showing
you here is actually a page from John Claudius
Loudon’s treatise– or Encyclopedia of Gardening
from the early 19th century. And you see that material
and labor, even looking back into history, is actually
dealt with already in the 19th century. But especially, of course what
becomes important in my field is also taking to heart the
new perspectives and openings that critical theory has offered
us in the last half century or so. In short, I would say landscape
history needs to become more inclusive and pluralist. It needs additions,
more research, new critical scholarship,
and new perspectives. But it also needs revisions. Revisions to include
not only, for example, the histories of women
in the profession, but also the lives of African
American women and men who shaped, designed, built,
and used design landscapes, and for whom designed
landscapes could mean segregation
and discrimination, but also empowerment
and emancipation, as we heard before as well. In particular, I believe we
need inclusive and integrated histories that focus on the
relationships between people of different
ethnicities and races, and the relationships
between them and the landscapes they
created and inhabited. And I believe that it
certainly makes sense to teach courses that
look at landscape history through the lens of
African American studies or black studies. And we’ve heard about some
beautiful examples that may or may not, however,
been focused maybe more around the actual built artifact
and constructed buildings rather than the open space. But what happens
in the big survey classes is really a question
that I want to address here. So it is here where we really
need to provide an overview. And this overview has to
include matters of race. As it stands at
the moment though, what can be and is
included is based upon extensive and
often primary research by the respective lecturer. As only few landscape histories
have addressed race more explicitly, I should mention
some of them at least here. There are others of course also. But Diane Harris, a
landscape historian, cultural geographer
Richard [? chine ?] and environmental designer
Richard Westmacott are some of the authors who have
dealt with the subject matter and have started
to lead the way. By focusing on or
including race, it becomes clear that
aspects of labor, social, and political history need
to move to the foreground. Many dominant narratives can
be revised and diversified in this process. So for example, while formal
histories of antebellum gardens in the deep South would focus
on the elaborate boxwood knot gardens modeled on patterns
and similar practices in European gardens of the
16th and 17th centuries. Looking at the larger context
of the plantation home of course shows how the
power relationships between the planter
and his slaves are revealed in the spatial
distribution of slave quarters, and how the slave
quarters and their labor are hidden and
camouflaged by vegetation. So the slave quarter’s
here in the back. And then that kind of almost
literal hiding, of course, also of these same
constructions. So spatial segregation
affecting African Americans in the use made of landscape
design and vegetation for this purpose becomes
even more unobtrusive. And another period of context. Parks were used in early
20th century southern cities like Atlanta to
segregate, but also to conceal racial segregation. Parks were built
as spatial barriers between white and
black neighborhoods to prevent African
Americans from entering the white neighborhoods. Following Jim Crow laws, there
were parks and park systems for the white and black
parts of the population, like Frederick Douglass
Park in Louisville, Kentucky that you see here. And summer camps divided
by race and gender, as you can see in this case
of the Colored Girls Patriotic League of Louisville. When the Armstead brothers were
hired to draw up a park system plan for Birmingham,
Alabama, they noted that 40% of the population
were African American. And that while they had not made
any specific recommendations for what they
called Negro parks– you see it in the
marked area here– provisions for the recreation
of African American certainly should be made. But yet they were only
limited to one paragraph. If the same facilities
were used, for example, in this 1920s golf course in
Washington’s East Potomac Park, they were open to
African American citizens only one afternoon per week. In the late 19th and well
into the 20th century then, the use of urban
public open space was largely divided by
race, and in contrast to what some commentators
argued in the 1920s. Parks and public open space in
the south and the north, east, and west were also a
battleground between the races. So obviously this is
a gross overstatement that the author is making
here when he published this photograph in 1920. So as scholars like Galen Cranz
and [? robin ?] [? becken ?] have pointed out, racial
conflicts and tensions were not only caused by
metropolitan park politics, but they were also often played
out in the parks themselves. In Chicago at the beginning
of the 20th century, for example, white gangs
terrorized African Americans who tried to use the baseball
fields in Washington Park. In the sprawling
metropolis of Los Angeles, racial tensions led to the
segregation of many recreation grounds, including swimming
pools, beaches, and parks, until into the second
half of the 20th century. In the national capital in the
1960s, [? marie ?] [inaudible] Park, a icon of neoclassical
public urban park design in the United States that was
planned as the northern portal to the city amongst embassies
and big mansions, finally became the location of
African American rallies against urban
renewal projects in the nearby African American
neighborhood of Shaw. Thus, landscape and
its various forms has been contested ground,
exclusionary space, but also space for
protest and empowerment. So I would like to end
this short presentation with a small vignette for
my current book project. And for this purpose, I’m going
to describe to you briefly the content of a
children’s story entitled What are We Going
to Do, Michael? And it was written in the
1970s by Nellie Burchardt. So in this story,
10-year-old Michael whom you see here
sitting on the stoop, together with his adult
friend, Mrs. Jacobson, helps to save an 80-year-old
southern magnolia tree that is threatened
to be cut down to make way for an urban renewal
project in the neighborhood. Nellie Burchardt’s story
is based upon true facts and events occurring in
Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in the
1960s and early 1970s. Yet the way in which
Burchardt portrays her fictional young hero Michael
and his friend Mrs. Jacobson, belie parts of the true story. As you can see, in
the children’s book, the two protagonists
appear as white residents. They are also portrayed
as residents of a rundown, racially diverse neighborhood. In reality, however,
Mrs. Jacobson was [? hattie ?] [inaudible],
an African American woman in her seventies living on
a deteriorating neighborhood block in Bedford Stuyvesant. By 1970, Bedford
Stuyvesant had become the second largest
African American community in the United States. And as [inaudible]
wrote in 1977, the code word for America’s
unresolved urban and race problems. Regardless of whether
Burchardt’s choice to change the race
of her protagonists had anything to do with the
books’ aspired sales numbers or readership, or with
the more idealist, educational, and
egalitarian aspirations to cultivate white
children’s empathy and awareness of
nature in the city and of its ethnically and
racially diverse citizenry, or in turn, even with
an unabashed racism, both the choice is the
story itself, as well as the changes made to
its principal characters, reflected the social concerns
and anxieties of the time. But changing the race of
the principal characters, while perhaps making
the story more accessible to the anticipated
majority of readers, also covered up one of the
most important facts about it. By rallying for the protection
of the southern magnolia, successfully saving it and
the three historic brownstone buildings behind
it, and by founding and running the neighborhood
tree corp for the planting and maintenance of
neighborhood street trees, African American citizens
of Bedford Stuyvesant turned trees into a means of
empowerment and emancipation within the civil
rights movement. While the planting, maintenance,
and conservation of trees became a grassroots initiative
of Bedford Stuyvesant’s African American citizens to
assert their rights to the city and to spaces in general,
the tree planting and conservation
activities provided, in particular, the most
vulnerable and powerless groups, women and
children, with a way to make themselves
heard and seen. Tree planting and
plant-ins became their tool of
community building, as well as a civil
right that could be used against ghettoization. So in the context
of today’s event, I do not have time to go
into the further details of the story. They’re also not
important for the point that I want to make here. Although historiography
can obviously not be compared to a
children’s story, I hope this small
vignette about the story can help show how important
it is to write and tell inclusive histories. In contrast in Nellie
Borchadt’s artistic freedom and the pedagogical intents
she may have had with her book, and the pedagogy of
landscape history, we need to provide students with
awareness and with the tools to ask critical questions so
that histories can be written that do not represent– misrep–
sorry– misrepresent the facts, but that are firmly grounded
in factual knowledge. And then offer appropriate
analysis and interpretation and the opportunity for
merging theory and history. So more inclusive histories
can lead to new perspectives, and ultimately
also to uncovering new ground that we did not
even know existed before. Thank you. [applause] OK. I stand between beer and
dogs, so I’ll try to– [laughter] –speed it up. Unless somehow we can bring
the beer and dogs in, and then we can really talk. OK. In 2011, I was named the
Director of the J. Max Bond Center. It took me a few minutes
to get things set up. It was just me for
the first year. We had an official launch
of the Center in 2012. And I kind of renamed the
center the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City. And in 2013, I created a
class by the same title. So why did I do this? So I did this because I was
approaching the third decade of my career, and actually had
a body of work to look back on, both in the academy
and in practice. And I was becoming
really reflective around the impact of my
work both as an architect and urban designer and an urban
planner, on these issues that I faced in every city
that I worked in, from Chicago, to Harlem in
New York, to Washington DC, to Newark, to Detroit,
to Oakland, to Memphis. And I was really beginning to
scratch my head, particularly around the time that we learned
that DC was no longer Chocolate City. Was the work I was doing having
an impact on social justice really? And I know in our field,
we are in the space of trends around our work. And we’re now
beginning to resurface this notion of social impact
design and public interest design and designing for equity. And I just really
was itching to know, was I really doing
anything about those things in meaningful ways
that was changing the trajectory of
cities and the people who were living in them as it
related to those injustices? So I’m going to try to
briefly walk you through. And I’m going to
speed up because I have a video at the end that I’d
love to show all of it to you. It’s about five minutes. So we’ll see if I can get to it. The course does a
couple of things. And all the speakers
before me have set up a lot of which I base the
pedagogy of this class on, so I’ll try not to
be too redundant. But as Amber started us out,
critical thinking is essential. The students in the
seminar– and there have been 45 over four
semesters, 45 students over the four semesters,
five African Americans, one American-Hispanic,
19 women, 26 men, and four openly gay students. And so they’re all coming
with different perspectives, and they needed
them from day one to really challenge their
thinking and actually the conventional
education and teachings they were getting in school. I needed them to
develop an awareness of their own self-identity. And Michael sort of
set up the notion of the white spatial imaginaries
and how some folks don’t have to think about their
self-identity or self-identify in such different ways that
perhaps I do as a black woman. There’s my self-identity, right? Michael doesn’t introduce
himself as say hi, I’m a white man, right? And I also needed
students to develop a kind of cultural competency. I often get students– because
the majority of my students are not students of
color, but they’re very interested in working
in these contested spaces, and often feel
sometimes self-conscious about their agency in
neighborhoods for which people don’t look like them, in
neighborhoods for which they are not used to the experiences
and environments from which they are looking so
desperately to solve. And so the way of language
and the way of confidence and the ways of engaging
these communities with a confidence, vis-a-vis
this cultural competency, is something that was important
for us to explore in the class. The students applied
these learning objectives in three ways. They have to define
for themselves, what is the just city? Yes, students, you are required
to have a point of view and to articulate
that point of view. And they do this
through a written format and a video format, and
I hope I get to show you two examples of those. They have to analyze
the possible routes and consequences of
urban development. And again, Amber has set
up some of those conditions in her class, and Dan has
spoken to them as well. And in the end, because
I was so fascinated around measuring my
impact, we actually go on to develop an
indicator measurement tool. I want it to explore
in the same way that we’re developing
indicators for sustainability and resiliency and happiness
and livability and all these other things. Could you develop a
metric for justice, for urban [inaudible] justice,
and design to impact on it? So first we talk
about, let’s set the context for
why we’re all here, inclusion in architecture. My shameless plug is
the J. Max Bond Center just recently published
this report called Inclusion in Architecture. And it is a compilation
of statistics on inclusion and practice
and the Academy for African Americans and Latinos. And there’s far less
information on the status of Hispanics in this
profession than there is on African Americans. But as you all may
know– and these are 2012 statistics– in
terms of licensed architects, there are about
105,000 in the US. There are a hundred and–
there are 1,600, roughly 1,700 African American
and 8,300 Hispanic. So that’s kind of how
I sit in this space. [laughter] Last I checked, and
I could be wrong, I was a registered
architect, and I never kept up my registration. But I believe there are less
than 300 black women in the US that have been licensed
to become architects. Here’s where they practice. And we wanted to
look at the cities where there was this majority
of African American architects or higher percentages
of them– and we took it over 20– relative
to where there are the majority of black folks. And they’re still kind of the
southern parts of the United States. And we go on and we publish
a number of demographics like this in our report. Let’s look at the Academy. There are about 44,000
students in the Academy. We see where they are relative
to historically black colleges, which you’ll see is about 1,200. The remaining students are in
other schools around country. And we also look at it
relative to faculty. 154 black faculty of
architecture in the country. All right? 463. So this helps us put some
numbers around the things that we’ve been
talking about, and that was the whole purpose
of our report. Here I am again. [laughter] So the only thing that
changes substantially from this photograph
doing my Rome Studies Program at the University
of Notre Dame in the ’80s is that there’s
significantly more women if we were to put
the picture up today, even though the images
of folks of color might not change that much. So, hurray for girl
power in pushing through this discipline. And I wanted to contrast that
for my humble beginnings, which is going up on the
South Side of Chicago where there– it is
the exact flipped. If you squint, you can find
the two white and one Hispanic student that was in my class. But I grew up in the
segregated Chicago where all of my classmates, all
the way through high school, were African American. So I’m having to
reconcile in the way that I view the world through
this very different, upside down, lopsided experience in
terms of spatial imaginary. So all of this has shaped how
I have created this course. First thing we have to do is
understand, what is justice? We go through a number
of different theories and literatures about breaking
down the term of justice. I’m very much
interested in students being very specific with
their words and terminologies. And if you’re going to throw out
inclusion or equity or justice, you need to tell me
what that means to you. So part of this class
is developing a language and a vocabulary
that is informed by all these different theories
that many of my co-speakers have spoken to. So are we talking about
distributive justice where we’re talking
about social fairness in the way we move things
with equality or equity? Are we talking about
procedural, fair play? Did everyone get
their fair shake? Did everyone get to speak? Restorative. Putting things back
as they should be. 40 acres and a mule. Oh, OK. [laughter] Retributive. Are we talking about revenge? And interactional. The way in which we develop
mutual respect and trust, and how our racially
segregated cities don’t often facilitate the opportunity
for us to build these respects and trusts, because we don’t
spend time with one another, even though we think we
might because of our internet connectivity, if you will. So the condition
of the unjust city, I won’t go through
these because I think Dan and Amber and others
have referenced them so much. But we wanted to understand
both the spatial injustices in the city that are
caused by abandonment, that are caused by
blight, that are caused by racial segregation. These are racial segregation
maps of Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC. Blue is black population or
African American population. Red is Caucasian. Orange is Hispanic. And I dare you to
find green, but there are dots for Asian segregation. And what’s fascinating
about Detroit obviously– well, obviously
to me and probably a few others in the room–
is that that very straight horizontal line that you see
in the middle map running east and west is the geopolitical
boundary of the city, the famous eight mile. So there’s the
street that literally reinforces the spatial
segregation of a city, right? It’s not a fence, it’s
not a wall, it’s a street. So while we think
we live in cities that are growing in
their inclusivity– wow. I spent 10 minutes already? We don’t. We’re still separated by class
as defined by unemployment, poverty, and education. And all these
conditions continue to create spaces of concentrated
isolation and poverty that are spatialized, but are
growing populations of four generations since the middle
’60s that have not integrated themselves into other
parts of the city and other parts of its economy. I’m also finding
then in these cities that I am encountering from a
social injustice perspective, the same classes of people. And so while we want to
talk about justice for all, I believe there’s
a least not to be benefited from talking about it
a little bit more specifically. That’s women, that’s
immigrants, that’s children. That is growing
since the recession. The reduction of the
middle class and people who’s levels of
affordability have been cut in half in some cases. So there’s a different and
broader scope of injustice perhaps to be discussed. And if there is
an injustice to be talked about around
specific classes of people. And at the moment,
black men seem to be in the focus
of how we’re talking about inclusivity and
perception of people in space. Like others have
spoken to, we go through a history of how urban
policy has, in some cases, enabled these conditions that
we’re so desperately wanting to change. And then we try to blend a
notion of spacial and social justice together to talk about
a concept of urban justice where, again, we pick apart
the specificity of what equity really means– and I’ve had
students, say, you know, I just want equality. I’m like, do you really? Or do you want equity? Do you really? Or do you want– or which
ones of these are just? When we begin to now break
down many more values around what justice might mean,
and do you care who it’s for? So we look at scholars
like David Harvey and his concepts
of social justice, around seeking this
cooperation and dealing with processes of resolving
conflict and conflict claims. We look at the
distributive paradigms where justice is not just about
the distribution of material goods, but it’s also about
nonmaterial goods like right, power, self-respect. In Detroit, for example,
we looked at that through our Detroit
Future City work when we looked at the
share in a city that’s 82% African American with a
pretty healthy share of black owned businesses, how
over 15% of the revenues of those businesses are only
going to African Americans. So there’s an example
of distributive justice. Our former colleague, Susan
Fainstein here at the GSD, wrote a great book called
The Just City where she was very interested in the
democratic aspects of justice, looking at the
criteria of justice specifically, these
democratic relationships. We’re finding that
playing out when we’re talking about the
power structures in cities like Ferguson. And then Iris
Marion Young, who’s looking at it from a lens
of acceptance of difference. Not the erasure of
difference to try to make one normative
something then the other, but how that gets
really incorporated as we talk about justice. And so we’re not talking
about this ideal community, but we’re talking about
the ideal of city life where communities are
somehow coming together. But not devolving
their difference, but bringing
differences together. I’m not going to
have time to finish. One of the things that
the students have to do, as I talked about, it
was important for us to through the class
talking about self-identity. And I think as Michael
sets up this notion of spatial imaginaries is
to recognize that we all have different spatial
imaginary lenses. And so I asked the
students, how would you each define justice
and prioritize elements of the just city
based on how we self-identify? By gender, by
race, by ethnicity, by class, by religion,
by whether you grew up in the suburbs or whether
you grew up in the city? We do this little
exercise, which was quite controversial
by saying, how do our identities inform how
we perceive others in the city? So you’ll see on the far right
there are these just very normative types of people. And then there are all
these perhaps perceptions we make overlay onto them. And so I’m asking the
students to check their bias. And so they were to draw a line
around some of these questions. So which individual
do you believe has the greatest privilege? So depending on
who you are, you’re going to draw a line
to a different person. Which of these
individuals you believe does not feel they receive
fair recognition in society? Which individuals do you believe
most frequently self-identifies with their race or gender? Who do you believe doesn’t? My time is up. But you know, so
they have to do this. And I want everyone to
recognize that we all come in with these biases,
but I now love this term spatial imaginaries. And we have to own up to
those in order to, I think, embed a sincerity in the
work and the authenticity and confidence if
we’re really meant to go in and dig deep
and do this kind of work in contested cities, and
really remove injustice. So they have to
create a manifesto. This is one of them. From these manifestos
we’re finding– we’re extracting a whole
host of really rich values that students feel
like they’re trying to achieve in the just city,
which goes beyond just equity. It’s about tolerance,
it’s about inclusivity, it’s about ownership. It’s about beauty, it’s
about creative innovation. So I’m loving the rich
kind of catalogue of values that we’re developing
to describe this. They have to record secondary
research around conditions that my colleagues
have shown before. So how the city is
racially organized, overlaying that onto
poverty, and showing that people of color tend
to be more marginalized. And then they create
their measurement tool. They build it around a
series of critical injustices that they see. This is from a class that I
did in Berkeley last fall. They use different methodologies
of collecting information. So they can use
secondary research. They can use
observational surveys. But one of the things that
was really critical for them was to actually do
intercept surveys, and going in and
finding out ways that communities themselves
could self-assess the ways in which they were
performing around these issues. They then develop a
framework of indicators. Here the students had
equitable opportunities, shared power and process,
spaces that delight. People create the city. They then go in
and really assign measurable evidence-based types
of metrics that can, again, be subjective because you’re
obtaining them through survey, or they can be very hard data. And the combination
of those, I think, is what builds the
richness for it. They assess a case study. I’m not going to show
you the case study. This is how a neighborhood
in Oakland came out as unjust around those categories. So it’s beginning to give
me an evidence-kind based way of testing out and
taking the temperature and benchmarking. The next step of this would be a
studio where the students would then begin to problem
solve around correcting one of those injustices. I can’t show you the video. Thank you. [applause] Thank you so much
to all our speakers. That was really inspiring. And thanks, Stephanie, for
cracking the whip, the timer. We’re going to take
just 10 minutes, and I’m going to go straight
to questions and comments from the audience. I hope you had time
to prepare them. Who wants to begin? Eric in the back. OK. [laughter] [inaudible] OK. [inaudible] going. So how do you translate
this to planning directors and policymakers and mayors? So this is a great
conversation to have, but Toni, I know you’ve worked
in a planning office before. Are these conversations that
the system of development allows to happen? Or how do you sort of insert
this into the dialogue as we do planning for cities
and as we create these policies? Well, real quick,
what I would love to see as mayors and planning
officials and others speak to wanting to address
these issues of injustice and speak to an inclusive
city and an equitable city, is to test that out. And one of the reasons
why I developed the course is because my
larger ambitious is actually to develop a tool that
you, Eric, would use to benchmark the value-based
performance of your city around a series of values
for which you believe are important to you. So my 10 might not be your 10. And to really begin to ascribe
the performance of your city around a set of values, and
then ascribe a set of solutions around those same values. So I would love to work with
you maybe as pilot project to develop these at
the city-wide scale. I have an addition to that. When I was in the
School of Architecture, I actually told my students–
this is a confession– not all of y’all had
to be architects. And I hope that some of y’all
do become politicians and sit in the planning office
and so on and so forth, and bring these
skills to these areas. You don’t have to
be an architect. OK, sorry. [laughter] I want to add– and then
just to complicate matters. So I mean, I agree with
[inaudible] that said, I teach a class here on
politics of governance and implementation. And every example–
Eric, I don’t know you, but I hope to know you soon. We can just pick on him. Yeah. Go for it. I mean, I think that a
large– just to complicate matters, a lot of
the problems you’re talking about– exclusion and
well taken, the point about, how do we define
exclusion, is a consequence of the political structures
and territorial structures of American cities. St. Louis, one of the
many problems in St. Louis is it’s totally fragmented. There are so many
municipalities. And so even if you could
get your local mayor to listen to your
claims and even do the metrics about
value-based, there’s a larger context in
which all those problems are being focused in one place. So I guess I would
say that there have to be a couple
conversations at a couple different scales,
going out at the same time. And one thing that’s I think
amazing about this collection of people, what we
collect at the GSD, is work across multiple
scales all the time. And maybe that’s also something
we can cultivate a little more. Who do you talk to you when
you’re doing a building as opposed to a neighborhood? And when do you want to talk
about redistributive injustice problems at the larger scale
of the municipality, the metro area? Those are all open questions. My question is, first
of all, thank you for whoever pulled this
conference together. It’s really exciting. My question– or
questions or comments regard the idea of all politics
are local, all design is local. So my question is– and
during the ’70s and the ’60s, we had this thing called
urban renewal where designers were trained in the pedagogy
the times to do design in a certain way. And we saw the results of that. And I want to know, how are
the things that you are sort of studying and practicing,
how is that translating to the architecture schools? Because my experience
in evaluating architects is that the
design is horrible for a lot of architects. I hate to say that. I’m sorry. [laughter] But you know, when we
look at actual product, it ignores fairness. Let’s forget about–
I’m not going to say, let’s forget
about racial fairness, but just human fairness
on so many scales. And I think the
design schools need to reintroduce a lot
of the issues we have as African Americans
in this country have to do with things that
affect not just us, but people across many sectors. And I heard a lot of examples
about black neighborhoods, but what about those
cities that were primarily African American cities? Has anyone gone in
and studied, what were the spatial relationships
they had that maybe informed those communities? And how can we look
at that and sort of to see how that
can sort of inform what we’re doing on our larger
city scale in other places? Just come in. [laughter] I would recommend the work
of Sarah [? zudi ?], who I know is in here. I see her. Oh, you’re embarrassed now. Because she has done–
her master’s thesis was on something just
like that, looking at black urbanisms in
New Orleans and Brazil and how that can translate out. So she’ll speak on that
hopefully tomorrow. Craig Wilkins come? Oh, Craig [inaudible]. Will he be here tomorrow. Will Martin be here tomorrow? I don’t know. OK, sorry. Hi. Um, hi. Right here. So my question is
trying to connect the basic makeup of the panel
discussion about pedagogy and how to get these ideas
into architecture schools. But relating back to
the slide that Toni showed about 164 African
Americans on faculties– You added 10. Or maybe– [laughter] Maybe those are the
10 that popped up over the last three years. Yep. Fair. Fair enough. [laughter] So how do we get– how
do we get to a point where we have these types
of ideas in the schools where there’s 150 something
faculty members in 150 schools? And how can those of us who
are the single representatives of our schools not have to
feel the burden to deliver that content ourselves? I mean, Amber kind of
jokingly said, not all of you are going to be architects. But I think that should be an
intentional kind of decision that you’re not
necessarily going to practice through your career
as a traditional architect. So I started my career as
a traditional architect, and morphed into something
I never would have. Imagine– and there
are likely a number of other professionals in the
room that have done the same. And why I think that’s
important to consider is because the issues that
we have all talked about are larger– and
actually, Diane spoke to this– large, complex,
interrelated issues that required your agency in a
number of different sectors. And you should seriously
consider throughout your career the moments where
you potentially need to change your station
to move your agency forward. There’s a tremendous amount
of skill you’re developing and problem solving that
allows you to think complexly as a number of these
projects that we’ve presented have represented. And the way in which
you can situate yourself at decision making tables
to further that, I strongly recommend. So to begin considering
that I’m going to teach some point, which I
made a conscious decision to do in my late 30s. And I wanted to integrate
teaching and practice. Begin thinking about
the multiple ways that you can use these
skills that you’re learning and the way in which you can
shape the built environment from a number of
different stations throughout your whole career. But you don’t have
to do just one thing. We have one more
question for tonight. Yeah? I’ve been observing the huge
amount of wealth creation happening in Silicon Valley, and
how there’s so much exclusion just in that micro zone. And when you look at the
scale, it’s just tremendous. How can some of the ideas
you’ve been talking about be used in that
industry, you think? [laughter] [laughter] I don’t know anything
about the problem. Can you say a little more? I’ve been in venture
capital industry for the last two years. And I’ve been observing
how there’s so many biases built into it. Who gets to get
funded, who’s funding. And I’m not sure if it has
anything to do with the built environment. But I’ve been curious
about everything you talked about in terms of frameworks. And the frameworks
you’re talking about are just so
different than when I hear about inclusive
frameworks in Silicon Valley. So have you ever probed that? Apparently not. So sorry about that. [laughter] I don’t have a really
specific answer for you, but it’s ironic
you mentioned that. Because there’s actually
a little docudrama on– not docudrama. Sorry. Like a mini documentary
on HBO right now called San Francisco 2.0. And it’s speaking in some
ways about the boom of Silicon Valley, and the way in
which it has shifted some of the spatial and social
dynamics of San Francisco, and why that sector’s
starting to move into the city and why it’s pushing on it. At first it was staying out
and creating these colonies out there, which was doing
a lot of the same things that Diane said, was that you
have all these municipalities, and so this is not
a singular city. It’s a regional problem, right? And what was happening is they
were creating their own bus systems to move their
employees who wanted to live in the city to work. So it was like this
whole new economy of a transit system that was
not a part of the public system. So you created this
separation of classes just by that infrastructure. Sort of a distributive
justice issue, perhaps. But now– then the mayor
changed policy and said, well, I want them. So sort of creating
incentives for those companies to move into the city. And now you’re seeing a city
where its black population is somewhere between
6% and 3% perhaps in a very small
part of the city, creating other kinds
of spatial challenges. So while I don’t have
a solution to it, I think it’s a good example,
and you might check out this documentary. Because it’s helpful to
relate these economic trends and the effects that
they have on place and the policies of place. Can I add on to that too? Thanks for– well, I was
thinking about the same example Toni said. It was amazing. I guess I want to say that what
I didn’t– it makes me think– so the problem here is
the corporate world. Silicon Valley, the
venture capitalists. Not you personally,
but, you know. [laughter] The corporate world. Because ultimately, it’s
like eating into not just the spatial justice in the
city into the public sector. It’s, like, colonizing
the public transportation system, other sets of things. What didn’t come
up in our panel, not that we could do everything,
but hopefully will come up tomorrow or in
more conversation, is a little bit about the
public versus the private sector context of the
work that happens. I know it’s a huge question,
much more so for architects. Most planners work
for the public sector, although many do work
for the private sector. But I do think when
we start looking at the complexity
of these issues that we have to
also understand, how does that division of those
domains– what attention needs to be paid to that kind of axes
when we’re also understanding issues of injustice and
inequity and lack of diversity in our disciplines? Actually an issue in
Boston– are you from Boston? No. But here in Cambridge,
we’ve got Area Four, which is a neighborhood nearby,
and it’s in Kendall Square. And there’s been a lot
of tech development, and there’s been a lot of
investment in the neighborhood. But it’s clear that a lot of
the residents from Area Four and some of the housing
projects around there are not benefiting in any
way from some of the growth. So you can assume that
growth is good for everyone automatically. So I think there’s a
role for us as people who think about these
issues, is trying to make sure that to
the extent that we have this kind of investment in
our cities, and we should, that people who live
in these neighborhoods where this investment is forming
become a physical benefit, right? And these things
create jobs for people who live in these places,
and that these places don’t escalate property
values to such an extent that people get displaced. So it is an issue. It took a while for the gears
to turn on that one, but yeah. So let’s thank our
speakers again, and then I’ll ask
Courtney to come up and– [applause] Where’s Court– oh, sorry. Cara. [laughter] So thank you all so much. Those are really
amazing presentations. Really great to hear. I think all very
important insights for us to keep in mind, especially as
we move forward as designers and continue to think about
some of the conversations we’re going to have during
the course of this conference. So thank you all once again. [applause] And now we’re going to
start a workshop where we’re going to talk about what our
responsibility is as designers and as non designers, people who
deal with the built environment everyday, towards addressing
issues of social justice and race, as well as
gender, class, sexuality, and all characteristics that
can be attributed to someone and are used as forms
of discrimination. So we want to think about, what
are our responsibilities moving forwards? And what kind of
pledges are we going to make to ourselves
to continue to address these issues of social justice? So I’d like to invite
Phil Freelon up. [applause] Thank you so much
for joining us, Phil. If you wouldn’t mind just
introducing yourself. Well, my name is Phil Freelon. I’m an architect,
a practitioner, a teacher down
the street at MIT, and also an advocate for
what’s going on here today. And I just want to congratulate
the students for putting together a terrific program. And let’s give them a hand. It’s been terrific. [applause] I’d just like to say, for
those of you who don’t know, Phil Freelon is
really someone who has paved the path for a lot
of African American architects and designers in
general in the field. He is working on the Smithsonian
Museum of African American Art, as well as the new
Studio Museum in Harlem. No. Oh, sorry. [inaudible] Oh, just the– But that’s enough. [laughter] You’ll hear from
me later tomorrow where we present
some of our work and talk about it in the context
of all that’s going on today. But what I want to do– it’s an
abbreviated workshop because we don’t have a lot of time, right? And so things have been
lagging just a bit. So while we have you
here, the students have started a statement,
a manifesto, if you will, which you can read
parts of it here. And the idea s to get
additional ideas as they try and flesh this out and turn
this into a document that can be carried forward
here at the GSD. And we have several
groups that are going to be providing facilitation. So if you need
help at your table, you’re unclear about the
topic or where we’re headed, these groups will help. First is the Women in Design. Can you raise your hand if
you’re part of that group? The Women in Design? So they will be rotating
around to the tables. And this is a form to
integrate dialogue and action advancing gender inequity. And they’ve been set
up here at the GSD, and so they’re going to be
part of the facilitation. There’s also the Working GSD. Where are those members? OK. They are also going
to help facilitate. This is a group that advocates
for financial diversity and affordability
here at the GSD. And finally, our
last facilitator is someone we all know, and I’m
just tickled that he’s here. M. David Lee, FAIA NOMA. David, where are you? [applause] David is the Principal
with Stull and Lee here in Boston where he
directs a wide variety of architectural and urban
design and planning projects. And he’s been an adjunct
professor here as well as MIT and the Rhode
Island School of Design. He has served on many
juries, and has just been a champion for architects
of color and urban design. And so we’re delighted
to have him here. He’s a Chicago native,
South Side, OK? David earned his B.
Arch from the University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana. And then after working in
Philadelphia for a time, he came to Boston and
joined Don Stull’s office, and now has been a leader
there for many, many years. And so I know it’s late,
but let’s take 30 minutes, if we can, and focus on
these scales of action. And you can read
them for yourselves. And at each table I
think you’re designated for one of those scales. And begin to think
about the issues that are started in the manifesto,
and give the students more ideas. And let’s build on that so
at the end of this conference is something powerful
and meaningful that we can carry forward. And I’ll be roaming around
too and trying to help. And so we’ve got
30 more minutes. Sorry things are running late. And if you could say, each
table has a facilitator. Each table has a facilitator,
so you’ll get some direction from someone at your table. So let’s get started. So thank you all for
participating in the workshop. We are going to take
the notes that you all have gathered today
and aggregate them into a manifesto, which Women
in Design and Working GSD are going to
collaborate with the ASU to prepare and release in
an open letters document. It’s a biweekly publication
that comes out at the GSD, and we will share it
online with all of you. And before we move onto
Beer n’ Dogs, which is a weekly
tradition at the GSD, Katherine is going to
introduce a brief presentation. Hi, everybody. I just would like to
introduce our next speaker, of a person that’s going to
introduce a great opportunity for young designers. And so she asked
for an opportunity to present one of
the fellowships that her organization
is privileged to offer. And so Katie Swenson is the Vice
President of the [inaudible] for Enterprise Community. And she will percent an
opportunity for young designers to participate in. Thanks. [applause] Hi. Thank you so much. What an absolute
treat to be here. And I was really pleased. First Jonathan Evans,
who I knew at UVA, told me this conference
was going on. And then I got an
email from Katherine asking if we would help
support the conference. And honestly, I’ve been
so thrilled and impressed by all of these students, and
couldn’t resist the opportunity both to support them
and also to really talk about student leadership. I work at Enterprise
Community Partners. There are a couple, I
understand, a couple of alumni here from
Enterprise, people who got their start– now
Loeb Fellows, et cetera. Enterprise is a national
community development and affordable
housing intermediary. We have been lucky to sponsor
a program called the Rose Fellowship. And we’ve had two
GSD grads who I want to talk about tonight
who have been in our program. And I thought it
was great, actually, to be right between pedagogy
and practice tomorrow. Because our program
sort of is feeling this very important moment in
a career path out of school. But when– and I would
say to Dan– when issues of addressing
race, place, power, and privilege through
practice on the ground are so critically important,
Theresa was a member of SOCA at the GSD, for those of
you who remember that. She got her MArch here in 2007. SOCA who was called Students
Of Color Association when she was first here. But at that time, there were
not enough students of color to make an association,
and they changed the name to Social Change and Activism. By the time Laura got here– she
got her masters of urban design in 2008– she actually
says SOCA was continuing. Here’s Laura. And at that time, it was
really a very interesting time to be at the GSD because
the GSD was actively recruiting students of color. And she worked with Steve
Lewis, and they planned a trip to South Africa. So there was a lot of energy
around sort of recruiting students of color at that time. So I want to just talk a little
bit about these two examples. At Enterprise, I would say
the community development field as a whole, we
heard a little bit about affordable housing. You heard about
Dan’s presentation. These are the kinds of projects
that we work in practice on. So imagine the
presentation that Dan made, only you’re on the
ground for three years trying to make that happen. But I would say in the
community development field, we’re very focused on affordable
housing and affordable housing, kind of what it means in terms
of connecting to opportunity. But we desperately need a
way more nuanced dialogue around the issues
facing our communities. There’s not enough
discussion about race. There’s not enough discussion
about incarceration and all of these
sort of patterns that are shaping our world. So meanwhile, I would
also say that happily, the question about whether
good design and doing good is possible is like, it’s done. We’re roommates with MASS
Design Group, one of your most proud moments, I would assume. We know that the world in
which good design, doing good, is no longer a question. This is Via Verde in New York,
a spectacular project that is incredibly dense and
wonderful for its community. So there are a few
things that are shifting. And I would say if you’re a
student looking to sort of make this next path, how do you
kind of carry your identity and your particular focus
into practice and communities? So for Theresa, when
she left here actually, she didn’t think she
wanted to be an architect. She worked with an Asian
arts organization in Boston. And she thought, architecture is
not for me necessarily, right? And so she kind of went
off the architecture path for a few years. The Rose Fellowship
actually kind of allowed her to bring these
fields back together. So she moved to LA. She was working with
Skid Row Housing Trust. Here she’s pictured with
Michael Maltzen, who was the architect on her project. So she’s really his
boss in this scenario. But she was the translator
between the architect and the community
needs, and really understanding and developing
a sort of methodology for understanding what the
specific needs of community members are. So she not only has sort of
reengaged in architecture, but is also developing sort
of her own personal version of this, which involves a
highly engaged community design process. And she’s now opened a
design center on Skid Row, and she’s doing a
plan for Skid Row, basically a landscape and urban
design plan– it’s not just the buildings– for all
the people who don’t even have a house to live in. So it allowed her to
kind of integrate this. Laura worked in San Francisco. Here she’s pictured with David
Baker and Amit Price Patel, architects with whom she
worked on this project, which someone was talking
about NIMBYism earlier. This is affordable housing for
chronically homeless, right across from the City Hall. And an exquisitely high level of
design in each manner, but all targeted to these
human outcomes. Jobs, health, well being. All of these very
targeted sort of outcomes. So I wanted to just share with
you a few examples of this. I was so thrilled to hear
from one of the Loeb Fellows who was an early enterpriser,
that coming to Enterprise sort of allowed
her to really spark a different kind of career path. And whether it’s
the Rose Fellowship or some other program, I
think as you get out of school and merge out of school,
there are a couple of things that this
program and others really can allow you to do. And the first thing
is to give yourself some time and some
space to figure out how your identity and your
kind of personal perspective can play out in your
professional life. And Toni referred to this. She said that your
voice is going to be needed in really
difficult situations, and that you might have
to change the station. So allowing yourself to
try different stations, to try things a little bit
outside your comfort zone. The next thing I would say
that the Fellowship does, but it’s not unique
to the Fellowship, is create this
culture of mentorship. And my guess is that you could
call almost anyone in this room today if you’re looking
for advice or consult, and that you should be providing
that kind of mentorship to others. And the last thing
I would just say is that the kinds
of conversations that are happening
in this room need to really influence our
community development sphere much more broadly. We have focused
very much on sort of a sense about
design and design quality and affordable
housing, as you kind of see in some of these examples. But that conversation and
the kind of conversation that was represented
here tonight has so much more opportunity
to grow and deepen. So I really invite
you all to join us. Thanks. [applause] So hello, everyone. Thank you so much for your
participation this evening. And Katie, thank you so much
for sharing the opportunity with us. We would like to invite
you all to join us for Beer n’ Dogs, which
will be on the basketball court in the backyard. And for the food that
will be provided, you’ll use your blue tickets. And before you leave,
also want to let you know that
tomorrow morning there will be a yoga workshop before
the session really kicks off. Wear your normal clothes. It’s something yo can do seated. And you can sign up for that. And we will meet you outside. Thank you so much. [applause] Oh. And we want to let you know
that the food was being provided by Fresh Food Generation, which
is a local food truck that is based out of Dorchester. And it is run by
Cassandria Campbell, who is Master of Urban Planning. And she’ll be speaking tomorrow
during the lunch panel. Thanks.

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