Context - Spring 2016 - (Page 7)

EDITOR'S LETTER By Sally HarriSon, AIA, AssocIAte Professor, temPle UnIversIty tyler school of Art And elizaBetH Miller, execUtIve dIrector commUnIty desIgn collABorAtIve Context gUest edItors Design & Social Justice: Equity, Access, Innovation, Practice and Public Interest 2016...It is nearly 50 years since civil rights leader Whitney M. Young, Jr. addressed the AIA Convention. He excoriated our profession for distinguishing itself in "thunderous silence" and inaction on social issues, especially in the face of profound degradation of urban neighborhoods while most of our country thrived. His speech hit home. It was a call to activism for architects and our allied professions, and helped advance work already percolating in universities and ad hoc design groups around the country. Soon community design centers were funded and charged to offer professional design services; charrettes became the crucible for dynamic engaged design; and our partnerships with the newly emerging community development corporations were formed. Today we are experiencing an exciting second growth in our profession's commitment to design practice in the public interest. The Context editorial board chose "Design and Social Justice" as the focus of this issue in order to examine the evolving role of architects, and to highlight new models of community-engaged practice in our region. In Philadelphia - the seat of American democracy - there are vibrant coalitions of "old heads" and young advocates comprising not just architects, but also landscape architects, planners and artists - all working hand in glove with communities in true co-design partnerships. The issue reports on the Philadelphia Center for Architecture and Design and its affiliates the Community Design Collaborative (now in its 25th year) and the Charter School for Architecture and Design - two organizations engaged in on-going outreach to our broader community. We profile outstanding social impact projects of chapter firms that demonstrate the commitment to building innovative, humane, and beautiful work within the framework of limited budgets and complex processes. And we reflect on Philadelphia's most heralded polymath, Ben Franklin, who saw the purpose of design innovation as means of broadly advancing democracy through the "cultural commons." Our feature articles cast a wide net. We look at "Design and Social Justice" through the lens of Equity, Innovation, and Practice. We engage the next generation of leaders in the community development world in a roundtable discussion on the future of their sector, asking what it needs from designers. We look at how potent, innovative small-scale tactical interventions can catalyze social activity in neighborhoods awaiting long-term change. We zero in on design practice and the row house, Philadelphia's affordable housing typology that is sustainable, livable, and remarkably amenable to creative interpretation. Since 1968 we have made progress in engaging our profession in a quest to build a just city. But there is so much more to be done. ■ Whitney M. Young, 1968 AIA Convention keynote speaker. AIA Philadelphia | context | SPRING 2016 7

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Spring 2016

Editor's Letter
Community
Up Close
Equity: The Intersection of Community Development and Design
Innovation: Tactical Urbanism in Underserved Communities
Practice: The Rowhouse: Reimagined and Relevant
Opinion
Design Profiles
Index to Advertisers

Context - Spring 2016

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