Civic Leadership and Hybridization of the Design Profession

i meant to post, that by invitation, April 28th i headed down to Austin, TX to participate as a panelist in this symposium "Rethinking the City, Rethinking our Role" orchestrated by designer/educator rockstar Alex Gilliam and two of his equally talented colleagues Stephanie Perrone-Freeborg (who lives in the uber-cool UT solar decathalon house) and Doug Cambell at the UT School of Architecture. it was just the inspiration i needed to keep my morale high and not get discouraged by the mundane aspects of my gig and keep striving for innovation and transgression beyond the status quo.

the purpose of the symposium was to show the multitude of ways that people with architectural education are impacting society within and outside the traditional path of architecture. i of course always like to talk about the work i am doing to facilitate real life design, build and landscape opportunities through hands-on education...but it was a treat to learn about the work of others and get inspired. i shared the panel with Michael Gatto ACDDC (Austin Community Design & Development Center), Brent Brown of Building Community Workshop based in Dallas...of particular interest was their Congo Street Initiative , Chris Krager of KRDB, and Damon Rich founder of CUP(Center for Urban Pedagogy)

austin is pretty awesome. i need to go back there.


38 block walk of alliance

Today students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the historic South Side Community Arts Center (SSCAC) engaged in a series of happenings geared toward building a stronger network between the two institutions.

The event began on the steps of the Art Institute (which is now a whopping 18 bux to enter...hot damn) at 4PM, with a 30-second public Flash-Mob...10 performers with cameras posed as pedestrians to create a large 'Flash' kicking off the event. A symbolic '38-Block Walk' commenced down Michigan Avenue to SSCAC @ 3831 South Michigan Avenue, highlighting places and events along the way.see their class blog here.

Beginning around 6 pm, the walkers joined in the bustling activities at the Center which included a tea ceremony of local herbal teas (plants found in the hood!), a participatory video installation portraying the history of SSCAC's vital artistic community, exuberant conversation, massages, the production of a large origami sculpture, tap dancing, a photo booth creating documenting living history, a Home Cooking' performance and recipe sharing, a dumpling workshop, and tours of the Center.

At 7:00, participants enjoyed a buffet of Southern Soul Food from Pearl's Place, a bonfire and light projections. At 8 pm, there was a live DJ, breakdancing, and various musical and dance venues. This event is supported by the Southside Community Art Center, the SAIC Sculpture and Art Education Departments, and the Office of Multi-cultural Affairs and numerous individuals. i had a blast...my 3y/o got the party going like no one else could. good times for a good purpose.