March 15 – April 26
All Lectures: 6:00 PM | Falvey Hall, MICA Brown Center | FREE
Empowerment, Access, Co-Creation, Ethics
At the core of many of our social challenges is an asymmetrical power dynamic. This series explores the role of power in design and what it looks like for designers to facilitate its redistribution. We begin with Dr. Thomas Seager, a professor researching the moral and ethical implications of infrastructure design. Better Block facilitates self-organizing neighborhood improvements by lowering the barrier to entry on fabrication through their open-source Wikiblock platform. Hector Design looks at how social relations and conflicts materialize through the design process. Orkidstudio focuses on the process of construction to affect social change and empower people through the sharing of skills and knowledge on site. Collectively understood, these perspectives offer pathways for us to consider as design continues to take on greater challenges and seek greater impact.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Spring Lecture Series. All lectures begin at 6:00 pm followed by a reception.
Dr. Thomas Seager, Arizona State University, School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Tempe, Arizona.
Dr. Thomas Seager will be speaking about his research into the moral and ethical implications of infrastructure design. Dr. Seager leads research teams working at the boundaries of engineering and social science to understand innovation for resilient infrastructure systems, including the life-cycle environmental consequences of emerging energy technologies, novel approaches to teamwork and communication in socio-technical integrative settings, and engineering ethics education. Current research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, the US Army Corp of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several industry partners.
Better Block Foundation is a nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. The organization facilitates self-organizing neighborhood improvements by lowering the barrier to entry on fabrication through their open-source Wikiblock platform: A toolkit of designs for benches, chairs, planters, stages, bus stops, beer garden fences, and kiosks that can be downloaded for free and taken to a makerspace where a CNC router (a computer-aided machine) can cut them out of a sheet of plywood. Most products can then be assembled without glue or nails, and used instantly to make a block better.
Hector Design is an urban design, planning & civic arts studio whose work shows how social relations and conflicts materialize through the design process. Hector partner Damon Rich was awarded a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, recognizing him as “a designer and urban planner creating vivid and witty strategies to help residents exercise power within the public and private processes that shape our cities.”
Orkidstudio focuses on the process of construction to affect social change and empower people through the sharing of skills and knowledge on site. The firm’s mission is to create high quality and affordable buildings that significantly impact health and promote education and equality. Orkidstudio works collectively with the local community, hiring workers living closest to sites, investing in workforce development, and building with local materials from local suppliers.
Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors
American Cedar & Millwork***
Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.*
Design Collective, Inc.**
Hord Coplan Macht*
K.C. Company – Pella
Merritt Construction Services*
Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects
Penza Bailey Architects, Inc.
Site Resources, Inc.*
Swirnow Building Systems
Vision Technologies, Inc.*
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company*
Ames & Gough*
Anne Gummerson Photography
The Blue Book Network*
Cho Benn Holback + Associates, Inc., a Quinn Evans Company*
DoublEdge Design, LLC*
Floura Teeter Landscape Architecture*
Hope Furrer Associates*
MAG – Lighting Design, LLC
NFMT (National Facilities Management & Technology)*
Rickert Engineering, Inc
Tremco Roofing & Building and Maintenance*
Ziger Snead Architects, LLC*
*denotes annual sponsor
**denotes annual + LS
***denotes diamond annual sponsor