Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts - (Page 34)

feature Social Innovation by Design Three educational programs use design as an essential tool in linking citizen need to social change BY JUL I A VA N DE N H O U T M ©Pragya Mahendru any in the architecture community were taken aback when Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects concluded that the overarching message of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial was that "contemporary architecture ceased to exist, the discipline's guilt and bad conscience has sapped its vitality, driven to self-annihilation, and architects have now en masse dedicated themselves to doing good via basic social work." "Doing good" never sounded so negative. Social consciousness in design, whether it stems from a feeling of guilt or not, is, for many designers, part of the social compact architecture makes with the public. Yes, too many project descriptions rely on increasingly empty buzzwords - sustainable, green, innovative, public. Stairs are suddenly "social condensers," lobbies are now "gathering spaces." It's clear: public good sells. But is this really, as Schumacher's assessment of the title of the biennial would suggest, the "State of the Art of Architecture" today? Or rather, when such social work is done well, may we finally be on the right path to acknowledging that architects and designers can truly make people's lives better? Three New Yorkbased educational initiatives aim to help designers see the compelling possibilities of socially innovative design. Design has the ability to drive positive social change, but the work of these institutions shows that the most successful projects engage design as a tool, rather than as a final result. 34 Oculus Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts

Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The Intersection of Technology and Walkability
The Challenges of Expansion
A Win-Win at Rockefeller University
Course Requirements
1,087 Windows (and a Unique Focus) on the City
Tech Time
Playing a New Tune
A More Perfect Union
Social Innovation by Design
In Print
117-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts

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