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Public Emergency: Diversity, Design, and Pedagogy

Wed, Aug 5, 2020    11am

A discussion for incoming MSAUD students with David Smiley, Adjunct Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Urban Design Program; Justin Garrett Moore, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia GSAPP and Executive Director of the New York City Public Design Commission; Adriana Chavez, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Co-Founder of the Mexico City-based Office for Urban Resilience; and Jerome W. Haferd, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia GSAPP, and co-founder of BRANDT : HAFERD, a Harlem-based architecture and design studio.

The disciplines of Urban Design and Architecture are steeped in representations of neutrality, objectivity, and professionalism, all concepts which are themselves rooted in the history of exclusion and whiteness. This affects both the academy and practice in different ways. How do design and public space, land use regulation, social and physical infrastructure, and financial structures create conditions of inequality? How does systemic racism in education impact how and where we work? When we see design as a separate realm of professional knowledge, what and who are we excluding? This conversation focuses on the role schools take in shifting their pedagogies, and how architecture and urban design schools can advance justice in the built environment.

The links below are articles and research referenced during this discussion, which were entered into the chat and provide expanded information on the subjects discussed.

Recommended for understanding the term ‘Intersectionality’ coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, the theory refers to the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender: The Intersectionality Wars by Jane Coaston published in The Highlight on Vox media on May 28, 2019. Unlearning Whiteness A Statement from the Black Faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Three Scholars Discuss Racism and Whiteness in the Built Environment an interview with Mabel O. Wilson, Mario Gooden, and Justin Garrett Moore by Cathleen McGuigan, published in Architectural Record on July 30, 2020.

On Urbanism as a concept and field Urbanism Hasn’t Worked for Everyone published by Alissa Walker on Curbed.com on July 16, 2020 and Making a Difference: Reshaping the Past, Present, and Future Toward Greater Equity by Justin Garett Moore, originally published in Volume 21 No. 4 of the Forum Journal: ReUrbanism: Past Meets Future in American Cities, published on Medium on January 12, 2018 and case studies in an open course document from Justin Garrett Moore’s Fall 2019 seminar Difference and Design.

In reference to Cedric Price’s submission for the land now known as Hudson Yards: Big Visions for the West Side; Architects Turn Imaginations Loose on the Rail Yards by Thomas J Lueck in the New York Times, June 29, 1999 and CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK; Design Fantasies for a Strip of the West Side by Herbert Muschamp in the New York Times on October 18, 1999.

Also referenced on the topic of expertise - the artwork Only An Expert by Laurie Anderson.