Design as Activism
Edited by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford. Foreword by Thomas Fisher. Texts by Steve Badanes, Roberta M. Feldman, Sergio Palleroni, John Peterson, Katie Swenson, et al.
Expanding Architecture presents a new generation of creative design carried out in the service of the greater public and the greater good. Questioning how design can improve daily lives, editors Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford map an emerging geography of architectural activism–or “public-interest architecture”–that might function akin to public-interest law or medicine by expanding architecture’s all too often elite client base. With 30 essays by practicing architects and designers, urban and community planners, historians, landscape architects, environmental designers and members of other fields, this volume presents recent work from around the world that illustrates the ways in which design can address issues of social justice, allow individuals and communities to plan and improve their own lives and serve a much larger percentage of the population than it has in the past. This new inclusionary practice must define new services and new processes, and these are illuminated in the generously illustrated texts as well.
Building on the momentum of Bell’s Good Deeds, Good Design and other recent landmark publications such as Rural Studio and Design Like You Give a Damn, Expanding Architecture examines evolving notions of socially conscious practice and serves as a guide for designers who are willing to take on the social, economic and environmental challenges we face today.
Bryan Bell is the Executive Director of the Raleigh, North Carolina-based Design Corps, which he founded in 1991 to provide community service through architecture. His other initiatives include the Design Corps Fellowship program, the Design Corps Summer Studio and the Structures for Inclusion annual conference. In 2007 he received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Katie Wakeford received her M.Arch from North Carolina State University School of Architecture, where she became interested in community design. She began working with Design Corps in 2002, and currently serves as an intern architect with the North Carolina State College of Design’s Home Environments Design Initiative, a research and community outreach endeavor focused on affordable and sustainable housing.