New MoMa Exhibition on ‘Uneven Growth’


A new exhibition on formal and informal urban development in six global metropolises has just opened at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Following the same model as previous exhibitions Rising Currents and Foreclosed, six interdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners were invited to examine new architectural possibilities in Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. The Uneven Growth exhibition features ‘tactical urbanism’ proposals that each team developed in a series of workshops over a period of 14 months. Along with the museum exhibition, the Uneven Growth website invites practitioners from around the world to submit their own ‘tactical urbanism’ ideas.

Uneven Growth seeks to challenge current assumptions about the relationships between formal and informal, bottom-up and top-down urban development, and to address potential changes in the roles architects and urban designers might assume vis-à-vis the increasing inequality of current urban development. The resulting proposals… will consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.

Click here to learn more about Uneven Growth exhibition, online at Uneven-Growth.MoMa.org.

Nominations Open for 2015 National Design Awards


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is now accepting nominations to the illustrious 2015 National Design Awards. Conceived in 2000 by the White House Millenium Council, the annual awards program celebrates design as a “vital humanistic tool in shaping the world” through ten jury-selected categories. The deadline for nominations is December 8, 2014. In conjunction with the awards, National Design Week will take place Autumn 2015 to offer a suite of public educational programs.

The National Design Awards were conceived by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life. As part of National Design Week, the public is invited to vote for the People’s Design Award. The winning design is announced live at the National Design Awards Gala in New York.

Click here to learn more and submit nominations to the National Design Awards, online at CooperHewitt.org.

Design+Culture Lab Call for Interviews


Launched by alumni and current graduate students at Parsons New School for Design, the Design+Culture Lab is a new research-based social enterprise dedicated to addressing complex spatial issues associated with cultural, racial, and ethnic inequality. Based in Portland, Oregon and New York, New York, D+C Lab is an African American women-owned firm led by Joy Alise and Renae Reynolds. D+C Lab has an open call for interviews for a forthcoming research publication, The People of Color Survival Guide to Public Space, scheduled for release in 2015.

Design+Culture Lab ask people of color to submit stories, encounters, and reflections that you have had as a person of color moving within the city. What happened, how did you feel, what can you recall about the space? With the consent of the author all stories will be collected and shared in a periodical zine. D+C Lab encourages all people of color to participate making this a truly intersectional body of work only as strong and rich as the variance of our identities and experiences.

Click here to learn more about Design+Culture Lab on DesignCultureLab.org or click here to learn more and submit your stories to The POC Survival Guide.

Code for America Announces 2015 Fellows


Over the last four years, 103 people from across America have taken leave from jobs at large and small tech companies, their own businesses, and government agencies to use their skills for good during a year of public service with Code for America. In 2015, twenty four impressive Fellows will be joining CfA’s fifth cohort to partner with 8 cities: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Indianapolis, Indiana; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Somerville, Massachusetts; Vallejo, California; West Sacramento, California; and Richmond, Virginia.

Code for America believes government can work for the people, by the people in the 21st century. We build open source technology and organize a network of people dedicated to making government services simple, effective, and easy to use.

Click here to learn about all twenty four 2015 Fellows, online at CodeForAmerica.org.

bcWORKSHOP Releases ‘Out of Deepwood’ Film

A new short documentary film–released free online–reveals “the cold shoulder the city of Dallas gave to the black neighborhood next to the notorious Deepwood Dump, the largest illegal landfill in the state of Texas.” Produced by design non-profit buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, OUT OF DEEPWOOD follows the neighbors of the Deepwood Dump who, after 25 years of protesting, sued the city in a landmark case. The film is an example of the impact design can have on terrible situations while simultaneously bringing attention to this not-so-distant history. The film’s director, Craig Weflen, says,

“This story is a prime example of what can happen when a neighborhood isn’t given the attention it needs, and how difficult it is for some neighborhoods to get this attention. The Deepwood neighbors protested for 25 years, but nothing changed until the courts got involved. As citizens, we cannot stand idly by with the attitude ‘it’s not in my neighborhood.’ We need to care about justice and equity throughout our city.”

Click here to watch OUT OF DEEPWOOD, online at Vimeo.com.

Redefining Home Design Challenge Launches


In an effort to ensure that “every American lives in a safe, nurturing environment with access to education, healthcare, public spaces and community services,” the Home Matters initiative is inviting multidisciplinary teams to respond to the Design Challenge on affordable housing. Design submissions should go beyond housing and “animate the connections between housing and other important social factors of community life” including health, education, individual success, public safety, and economics. A total of $18,000 will be awarded to three final projects. Registration for the Design Challenge opens December 2nd and submissions are due May 1st, 2015.

The challenge is part of a larger, ten-year initiative between eleven design organizations–AIA Austin, AIA Chicago, AIA Los Angeles, AIA New Orleans, American Architecture Foundation, Autodesk Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Public Architecture, SPUR, and Urban Land Institute.

Click here to learn more and submit your interest, online at HomeMattersAmerica.com.

Unexpect Hosts Kids’ Global Design-a-Thon


Dutch design agency Unexpect recently hosted a Global Design-a-Thon for kids in five cities–Amsterdam, Dublin, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi and Berlin. The one-day event took place on November 15th with 150 children designing solutions to improve food, waste, mobility, and play in their hometowns. Covered in FastCoExist, Unexpect launched the event to teach kids how to use creativity and design with new technologies–essentially “design thinking adapted for children.” Unexpect founder Emer Beamer explained the concept for the event:

“A big impetus for the project is the way children learn or don’t learn. Often schools are teaching kids things they might never need to know again, and we’re not teaching them how to be creative, or design, or how to hack new technologies or deal with unexpected situations. A lot of people are aware that we really need to change education, but they don’t know how. This is one method that could inspire people.”

Click here to learn more about Unexpect’s Global Design-a-Thon, online at GlobalDesignAThon.com.

Tipping Point Announce 9 T Lab Fellows


Bay Area funding organization Tipping Point Community recently announced nine fellows who will be joining the 2014-2015 T Lab cohort. Bringing experience in public health, government, arts, education and more, the fellows will collaborate on three poverty-related issues in the Bay Area: child care, pre-k education, and prisoner re-entry. During the year-long fellowship, solutions will be designed, tested, and iterated on with community members. T Lab has a great blog that shares the 2013-2014 learnings and more on each fellow.

So many organizations in the philanthropic sector have their hearts in the right place, but when it comes to fighting poverty, good intentions aren’t enough. Low-income families deserve access to the most effective services that can help them break the cycle of poverty for good, and donors deserve a return on their philanthropic investments… the groups we fund deserve a new and improved funding model, one that respects their expertise and meets their needs. We count on our groups to tell us what’s working and, more importantly, what isn’t working, not only at their organizations, but throughout the sector. Our community deserves new solutions to longstanding issues of poverty.

Click here to read more about the 2014-2015 T Lab cohort, online at TippingPoint.org.

PUBLIC Journal Releases Third Issue


Our friends and collaborators at PUBLIC Journal have just released the third issue of the beautifully-designed quarterly publication. The latest edition features articles on resiliency, including an expert analysis of the Rebuild by Design competition, an interview with D-Rev‘s Krista Donaldson, and an in-depth look at Norwegian firm TYIN tegnestue. If you have yet to subscribe, the PUBLIC team has recently teamed up with the AIA and AIAS to offer members free digital subscriptions.

PUBLIC Journal provides an unprecedented platform for the expanding Public Interest Design movement; where the world of architecture intersects the voices of activism, exposing a determination to provide good design for those that need it most, but most often do not get it. PUBLIC is put together by an impassioned group of humanitarians in the fields of architecture, environmental design, and public policy change who are actively working to provide built projects to disadvantaged communities throughout the globe.

Click here to read snapshots of PUBLIC and subscribe, online at ThisIsPublicJournal.com.

BUILD Health Challenge Call for Applicants


The BUILD Health Challenge–a collaboration between The Advisory Board Company, de Beaumont Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation–is a new national award program aimed at supporting projects that are improving community health and equity. With $7.5 million in grants, loans and investments allocated, BUILD Health is offering two types of awards: planning and implementation. They are seeking multidisciplinary teams addressing health challenges in cities with populations greater than 150,000. The first round of applications are due January 16, 2015.

BUILD Health will award up to $7.5 million in grants, low-interest loans, and program-related investments over two years. Awards will support up to 14 community-driven efforts addressing health-shaping factors that individuals can’t control – such as neighborhood safety, so kids can go out and play, or whether there’s a grocery store in the area, so residents have the opportunity to buy healthy food.

Click here to learn more and apply to the BUILD Health Challenge, online at BUILDHealthChallenge.org.