currently working on submissions for a new journal of urbanism I got an email about.

and also this art+design for social justice symposium:

According to the link, The symposium focuses on how the tools and inherent abilities within the areas of art and design can be utilized in addressing issues confronting less advantaged groups within our local communities, states, regions or world. Somehow they have worked in an emphasis on aging...i'm not sure if i get that one i think they pick one 'social issue' a year for instance last years was about homelessness...i'm still going to send the stuff in.

and just finished a course proposals for marwen foundation which seems to be going toward acceptance.

check out: links galore in guerilla interventions here

and i ran across an interesting class 'social architectures':Interventionist Art, Social Design, and Cultural Change at UC San Diego. this looks like something i could maybe teach were i ever to be so lucky to land a faculty position...even adjunct.

contemplating ph.d....i know....i know...


Unexpected Value

upon the invitation of public allies, a leadership development program which i am a 10th yr alum of i spent the last two days in a training on fundraising facilitated by the Grassroots Institute for fundraising training. i was sort of ambivalent about going to this training even though i voluntarily registered for it. i guess i was thinking that it never hurts to pick up a new skill. a fundraiser i am not, a fundraiser is not something i've ever had the desire to become and furthermore who isn't perpetually annoyed by being asked for money right? but hey, i'll go and see what knowledge i could gain....there are initiatives within my own job that i don't have the funding to do and i have my own ideas for organizations and social enterprises and can't do it for free. what i wasn't prepared for and was pleasantly delighted by was the paradigm shift and analysis of the political framework of money + fundraising. we even had an exercise where we examined our first memories of money and where our fear of asking for it comes from. i shared with my partner about my first memory being when i was about 7 when my parents finally got divorced after several years of separation. we spent some time without utilities and it was the first time i understood that you needed money for almost everything. my mom told us that we were going through Jedi training so what could have been a really embarrassing and uncomfortable experience got shifted in our minds to something special and fun. so, it was also a time when i learned that you do NOT need money to have fun or be happy. anyway,

the biggest things i walked away with were:

a) working class people give more of a percentage of their money than wealthy people
b) people who give usually give to 7 causes or organizations.
c) i too am a philanthropist! this year already i have given over 1500 to 5 orgs.
d) more giving comes from individual donors than foundations or corporations
e) we need to OWN our own liberation and not depend on capitalist enterprise to fund social change.

i connected with some interesting folks. and had some compelling conversations about the impact that public allies alum are having and could have. one thing of interest i found was that at this event, in the context of mostly community organizers i felt (either because of my own self consciousness or because of the quizzical looks following my introduction of name and employer) obligated to explain what working in public education has to do with social change. this seems odd since there is an education for liberation conference going on right now that many of the same people will be attending...but still, i followed with "I'm doing this because i want to connect students studying architecture and construction in their schools to neighborhood redevelopment corporations in the same community so that students can become engaged in the physical redevelopment of their communities...eventually, i'd like to work with youth to start a youth-advised-oriented development corporation that designs + builds affordable housing in re-developing areas." i don't know, maybe i was telling myself as much as telling others what my purpose is and how its related to the grassroots struggle. education is as much an empowerment issue as any other, employment is not just about capitalism but about empowerment too...we can talk about all the social justice we want but if people don't have jobs and aren't able to put food on the table...its hard to get people to hear what you're talking about...and housing. whoa. one of THE most critical issues. i was even listening to a program about ending violence against women and girls and it was noted that the SINGLE most important factor in a woman or girl exiting protitution is access to but safe and affordable housing. that really hit me. not trying to get off on a tangent but its true...as activists we cant just take the outsider approach to everything. we have to work both within existing systems+institutions+policies to push agendas of change as well as outside those paradigms. we also have to invest in our own issues...and not just with time.



so. i have to do an "externship" for work in my program areas of architecture, construction so i'm thinking of doing this...inaugural design/build archecamp that archeworks does. its going to be led by Randy Kober of anarchitectures. looks like good times. it results in a small structure installed at franconia sculpture park in minnesota. if you care to join, i hope to see you there!


so late...

i know. i'm totally getting my blogging card revoked for endless stagnation. well whatever i'm back for at least a moment!

pecha kucha was friggin AWESOME. i presented the typology for 'direct action activist architecture' that i did during thesis and am writing a chapter on for a book on placemaking forthcoming from Dr. Sharon Sutton and Dr. Susan Kemp. Martyrs turned out to be a great venue. the crowd was very supportive. food and drinks were abound so it was a chill atmosphere...and my sweaty palms and nausea prior were totally uneccessary. the tech guy from visualized concepts was AMAZING (and just announced to me today that I was too creative to be administrating..i think that was a compliment.ha!)...presentations were diverse and transdisciplinary which allowed for never a dull moment. my favorites from the group were:

mark teer, who presented an installation/performance piece with this 'apparatus' that responded to the body's movements (sorry I know I'm butchering that description) but it was quite lovely and innovative.

cody hudson, who of course andres was enthralled in and schooled me on prior to the event because he so enjoys this genre of artwork. my favorite project was one where he used a conglomerate of images of signage from various communities into a new composition and titled them by zip code. i totally want to see if he did one from my hood. not likely because its LITERALLY the hood but hey i might ask.

peter exley, who's work as i mentioned before i very much appreciate and admire. mostly because i think that A) design for children is a critical need area...speaking as an employee of the public school system, as a parent and also from I guess someone who is sensitive to environmental psychology issuesa. B) design for children is so often obnoxious and "dumbed" down as if children are idiots. he and his partner do it in a sophisticated way that is both child appropriate and adult friendly as well.

a guy who's name escapes me because he was added last minute (maybe his last name was BEER?...no seriously this is not the liquor talking) but who had a VERY compelling project proposal on the israeli|palestinian border and then of course...

mark dytham which i was most stricken by the pet architecture-esque "billboard" building and the heidi house (built for 200,000). This in particular because I spent the last week or so ago totally engrossed in a grant proposal to the state for a design|build and dual credit program for arch and construction students in which they would design and build a house and get a certificate from a local trade school for carpentry. i'm interested in how to do this with compelling design but affordably. looks like so far the dual credit is most fundable but i will continue to seek funding sources and inkind opportunities to make this happen.

on another note, how sad am i that i am not in NewO right now for what I'm guessing is going to be a conference of all conferences ADPSR, ACD, Planners Network etc. we REALLY wanted to make it down...however between kindergarten graduation (YAY!!!) and the end of the school year at CPS AND the opening events of the Newhouse highschool architecture competition which is managed by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (and their ROCKSTAR education specialist Krisann Rehbein) but ultilizes students from the city-wide architecture and construction programs that i oversee...it just wasn't going to happen. If you're in Chicago though go check out in particular the 25th anniversary exhibit in which there are 25 stories of alumni from this program who have ended up working in architecture...this is 25 out of hundreds. This program is becoming more and more progressive and I am so excited to see where it goes from here.