PDII 2017 Projects Completed!

Learn more about the Public Design Impact Initiative!

For the two projects selected this year, filmmaker Tony Pena filmed and produced two videos for Equal Voice Network, and graphic designer Nayelli Bautista designed essential handouts and informational materials for Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos. 

These projects will both assist each organization with their outreach to residents of the Rio Grande Valley, ensuring they are informed about their rights as citizens or non-citizens. It also positions each organization as a resource for their communities. We hope these design works enable both groups to reach a wider and more diverse audience. 

You can see the products of each project by following our recipient organizations: Equal Voice Network and Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos on their social media. 

Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos now has brochures, posters, flyers, and business cards to distribute that inform Rio Grande Valley residents of their rights and provides resources in case these rights are violated.

Equal Voice Network now has two short videos regarding the impacts of legislation like SB4 and how we can all work together to advocate for the interests of individuals and families in the Rio Grande Valley.

These Public Design Impact Initiative projects were made possible by support from the Ford Foundation. Thank you to our designers, nonprofit partners and supporters!

Cool & Connected Oak Cliff

Learn more about our Smart Growth for Dallas related work!

We've had a blast working with The Texas Trees Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and The Nature Conservancy; and working together with Oak Cliff residents and schools to implement large-scale tree planting projects in a targeted “heat island” area in southern Dallas. 

Science has shown that healthy urban tree canopies provide cities and communities a broad range of environmental and health benefits. Trees help combat extreme heat and harmful air pollution, both of which contribute to public health concerns like asthma and heart disease. They also regulate water quality, reduce storm water runoff and provide habitat for wildlife. Increasingly, urban forests and other forms of green space are recognized as an important strategy for increasing a city’s resilience to the impacts of climate change and, a growing body of research shows that students benefit from close proximity to green space around schools.

Unfortunately, parks, trees, and green space are in short supply in parts of Dallas—particularly around schools. Research from The Trust for Public Land indicates that only 58% of Dallas residents have a park or trail within a half-mile walking distance from their home; and a recent study from the Texas Trees Foundation indicates that 95% of schools in the Dallas Independent School District lack adequate canopy cover. Additionally, Dallas has the 3rd fastest growing urban heat island in the country.

Project partners are using data driven analysis to identify and advance tree planting in neighborhoods and school campuses with the greatest need. The Trust for Public Land’s recent “Smart Growth for Dallas” analysis identified portions of the historic Oak Cliff community, in southern Dallas, as a high priority for urban heat island reduction, connectivity enhancements, equity improvements and efforts to improve public health.

Over the course of the next several months, project partners will work alongside community volunteers and students to plant over 1,000 trees in a target area of Oak Cliff. Trees will be planted on two Dallas Independent School District (DISD) school campuses and in the surrounding neighborhood, including linkages to the Honey Springs-Cedar Crest Trail.

Join us! There will be more tree plantings and community meetings in 2018. Find out more about the project and the next opportunity to contribute your time and input into this work here: http://www.texastrees.org/projects/cool-connect-cedar-crest/

Lessons from the Field: Reflections on Rural Placemaking

Find our more about our Rural Placemaking work! 

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Over the past year, [bc] and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) have had the opportunity to investigate how tools of arts and community building can be used in rural communities, funded in part by a generous Knowledge Building Grant through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

This partnership has brought resources to existing local efforts and enabled our organizations to better understand how ‘creative placemaking’ works in practice in rural communities and why it is a valuable tool for rural community development now. Through webinars, an internal working group, two pilot projects (in Kinston, North Carolina and Thomas, West Virginia) and a peer-to-peer exchange, we’ve seen the value of vivid local examples in understanding that ‘creative placemaking’ has been happening for a long time in rural communities across the country. Modest increases in resources coupled with capacity building hold vast potential for rural and tribal communities.

We've published a report, Lessons from the Field: Reflections on Rural Placemaking describing our yearlong initiative and reflecting on the last year of our work, outlining key outcomes and lessons learned valuable to the larger practice of rural creative placemaking. Read the full report here

Several resources were developed during this partnership to expand knowledge and practice of rural creative placemaking, including: 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

 

Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas Recap

For the Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas, a National Endowment for the Arts-supported project in partnership with Downtown Dallas, Inc., two artist teams worked with community members to create works of public art to activate spaces in Downtown Dallas. Through a call for proposals, artists were tasked with devising a project in response to public space priorities, identified through our Community Audited Public Space (CAPS) process and a Community Advisory Committee. Two series of works were created through a community-engaged process: the WonderPhones and MAY I // a blessing project. Project teams engaged with community members through a variety of workshops and community gathering events, which included project tours and a culmintaing public interview with the artists. 

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WonderPhone

The WonderPhone is an interactive payphone that connect the people in downtown Dallas to the city and each other. The team combined old and new technology to allow people to listen to content and play and record their stories. Five WonderPhones were created, placed in colorful enclosures in various locations downtown and popping up at events.

The WonderPhone team (Rickey Crum, Gray Garmon, Katie KrummeckEdward Li, and Justin Childress) worked with local high school students, architects, historians, designers, urban planners, musicians and essayists to create and record engaging Dallas- or phone-related content for participants to enjoy. Audio content ranged from personal stories of memories downtown to future imaginings of new possibilities for Downtown, as well both curated and newly created pieces that focus on the history and architecture of downtown Dallas. Interactive prompts ask participants to share reactions to specific questions (and hear responses live) as well as follow instructions to participate in immersive experiences exploring downtown.

The artists said, "We hope that the WonderPhone will inspire participants to listen and think deeply about the lived experiences of the citizens of Downtown Dallas as well as engage participants in activities to help them observe Dallas in a new light and reflect on their own participation in the city."

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MAY I // a blessing project

MAY I // a blessing project is a walkable installation of blessings written by local young women for the Dallas community, manifested large-scale. The artists Ruben Carrazana and Janielle Kastner worked with a group of young women (ages 12-18) who wrote specific declarations of hope for themselves (MAY I), for their community (MAY WE), and for their spaces (MAY THIS SPACE).

The team issued an exhortation to the city: "We believe these young women don’t need us to 'empower' them, they need us to acknowledge they already have the power to speak life into their community. We call these declarations blessings as they begin with the word 'may' - a word that summons into existence that which isn’t here yet. Our work as artists has been taking their words and manifesting them in unexpected places downtown in a bold, surprising, even defiant manner. In a world that asks them to shrink, MAY I radically insists young women take up extraordinary amounts of space. We encourage you to join these young women and manifest your own blessing in your spaces, tagging #mayiblessdallas."

Our partner DDI will continue to use the artworks to activate spaces in downtown Dallas. Check out photos of the artworks and the AVDD events below!

This project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about the National Endowment for the Arts visit www.arts.gov.  

To find out more about our project partner Downtown Dallas Inc., visit www.downtowndallas.com.

Pre-Construction Clean-Up at 1208 E. 10th Street

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[bc] received a Safety Grant from Texas Mutual to support our purchase of ergonomic office equipment and safety equipment to keep our staff safe at the Tenth Street Neighborhood Resource Center construction site. 

In the Tenth Street neighborhood—one of the last remaining and perhaps the most intact of Dallas's historic Freedmen's Towns—we’re working with residents to help build local capacity.  We're renovating a historic home at 1208 E. 10th Street to serve as a Neighborhood Resource Center.  When completed, it will become a repository for essential resources, a site for activities that promote technical learning among residents and strengthen community cohesion, and a residence for a [bc] architectural designer who will hold open office hours to assist the community with technical advice.

The Neighborhood Resource Center will support residents in their efforts to address the pressing issues they've identified in their community, such as vacancy, redevelopment pressures, and the disrepair of historic homes in the neighborhood.  

In preparation for construction activities, [bc] and community members visited the property to conduct preliminary site clean-up.  Activities included leaf-raking, trash pick-up, and bamboo and brush clearing.  Check out the photos below!

Staff benefitted from the use of coveralls, safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, and hardhats purchased through Texas Mutual's generous grant.  We're so grateful for this support!

[bc] is grateful to all those who have provided support for the Tenth Street Neighborhood Resource Center: The Real Estate Council Foundation, The Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation, Inc., the Hillcrest Foundation, the Hoblitzelle Foundation, and Bank of America

Dallas Afterschool Access Map

Learn more about bcANALYTICS  and read the full Dallas Afterschool Access Report

There are 570,000 children aged 14 and under in Dallas County. All of these children qualify for afterschool programs. Funding, physical spaces, operations, staffing, materials and curriculum development are all needed to keep afterschool programs alive. More than 1,000 afterschool programs operate in Dallas County, each finding their own method for covering these costs and serving their students.

Dallas Afterschool has established the After the Bell Alliance to improve access to seats in afterschool programs for children across Dallas County. This partnership of community members, funders, afterschool providers, and advocates envisions that all students will have access to enriching and educational activities after they leave school each day. 

Two barriers to achieving this vision exist: costs associated with attending afterschool programs and students' physical access to program sites. Dallas Afterschool aims to increase access to free and low-cost programs for an additional 16,000 students in Dallas County. 

This report uses a multi-criteria model to analyze data within five areas: Existing Afterschool Environment, Current Neighborhood Conditions, Local School Environment, Accessibility + Proximity, and Change in Neighborhood Conditions.  10 clusters of Census tracts are identified for the After the Bell Alliance to expand afterschool programs. This approach provides an opportunity to enhance access for low-income students in some of Dallas County's least affluent neighborhoods. 

 

 

 

Casitas Los Olmos is finished!

Learn more about our Making work!

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Casitas Los Olmos, completed in October 2017, is a neighborhood of 80 single family rental units and six community amenity structures where families can thrive and have a sense of ownership of where they live.  Porches create spaces to enjoy the outdoors, shaded windows help keep the hot sun out, and energy and water efficient construction help keep utility bills low. Each home has parking spaces immediately adjacent to the front door.

The 8.72 acre site incorporates low impact development (LID) strategies such as bioswales, partially permeable driveways, and native landscaping to filter and absorb as much stormwater on site as possible. Community amenity structures (including leasing offices, a learning center, a community space with a prep kitchen, a BBQ pavilion, mail kiosk, laundry and playground) define the larger public green areas. Steel roofs encompass the amenity structures and provide large shaded areas for comfortable gathering and play areas. The shade structures take a cue from Raymondville’s agricultural history. 

From the project's inception, the design team challenged itself to create a place that engages residents and engenders a sense of community. The neighborhood was developed via a community engaged design process, resulting in a collection of sequential green spaces, varying in scale from pocket neighborhood areas to community greens. The integration of pedestrian paths allow residents to move throughout these spaces of gathering and play. 

Expanding Choice in Affordable Housing

Learn more about sustainABLEhouse, and our sAh RGV work.

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sustainABLEhouse utilizes design as a tool to address issues of equity within the Lower Rio Grande Valley by providing affordable single-family housing that is durable, efficient, contextually appropriate, and community & resident informed.

The sustainABLEhouse design process is broken down into simple steps so that a family can confidently make decisions about their home. The design of each home begins with a family filling out a Design Starts Here homework booklet. The simple questions in the homework helps a family think about the factors that will go into the design of their home. [bc] staff meet the family at their property and together measure the property to fully understand how to work with existing infrastructure, trees, and other important factors. This interactive early step helps to build trust between [bc] and the family, an important part of the sustainABLEhouse process.

Since beginning sustainABLEhouse in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in late 2012, [bc] has worked with Community Development Corporation of Brownsville to build homes with 63 families. Each of the families designed their home via a custom design process, or via a customizable catalog process. You can watch a short film documenting our process here!

sustainABLEhouse has fit into four different funding programs and sources in the LRGV. Three of these programs are administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) - Colonia Self Help Center, HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance, HOME Persons With Disability, and the City of Brownsville’s HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance program.

sustainABLEhouse acts on the belief that choice empowers, and a home designed by the family that lives in it will work better for that family, and help to maintain and build viable neighborhoods.

Rural Placemaking Peer Exchange in Thomas, WV

Learn more about our work Activating work! 

On October 3rd and 4th, [bc] co-hosted a peer learning exchange with the Housing Assistance Council and Woodlands Development Group in Thomas, West Virginia to share knowledge and best practices for creative placemaking in rural communities. The peer learning exchange included a range of site visits, conversations with local stakeholders, and workshops. 

[bc], HAC and Woodlands were joined by rural affordable housing developers, artists, educators and local nonprofit organizations to discuss topics including funding, partnerships, program design, cultural equity and community engagement. 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

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The Cottages Win AIA Design Award

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AIA Dallas has announced its 2017 Design Award recipients, including the Cottages at Hickory Crossing. 

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing were completed at the end of February of 2017, and is now home to 50 residents. Located on a three-acre site less than a half-mile from downtown, the Cottages at Hickory Crossing provides permanent supportive housing and support services for the fifty most chronic cases of homelessness in Dallas. The integration of thoughtful design and robust services become a comprehensive approach to overcoming the chronic challenges residents face. To best understand the needs of future residents and service providers, the pre-design process included a combination of research, focus group charrettes, and a comprehensive engagement of stakeholders in the decision-making process. 

The design is comprised of fifty, 430-square-foot cottage residences. Individual homes encourage stronger personal identity while promoting a sense of community for residents. Homes are arranged in clusters of 6-8 units to create semi-public spaces or “micro-neighborhoods”.  The 4,000-square-foot support-services building is a series of small buildings under one “porch” roof. While this building forms an urban edge at the street, it maintains a level of porosity for ease of access by residents. A series of courtyards and a common green provide flexible space for activities, from urban farming to outdoor recreation, encouraging interaction between neighbors. 

The project seeks to serve as a model for sustainable urban living by maximizing open space, incorporating on-site rainwater collection and community garden space. LEED for Homes Platinum certification is expected to be completed in early 2018.

Beyond housing, the “wrap-around services” model and its architectural responses work to break the chronic challenges that residents face. 54 formerly homeless individuals living in permanent supporting housing facilities or shelters participated in a series of focus groups during the design process. Through collaboration with support services professionals and homeless individuals, the proposed design is an alternative typology that employs small and efficient individual homes for each resident. Transitional exterior spaces enable one to navigate through varying spatial experiences, from the more secluded porch to the shared courtyard, before reaching the common green.

Project Partners

CitySquare Housing
Communities Foundation of Texas
Caruth Foundation
City Square Housing
Metrocare Services
Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance
Dallas County
UT Southwestern

 

Project Consultants

Permitted Development
Henley Johnston & Associates
Design & Construction Solutions, LLC
Kadleck Associates
MEP Systems
Hocker Design Group
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Making Little Free Libraries

Read more about [bc]'s Little Free Libraries!

One year after five Dallas Police Officers were killed in Downtown Dallas, we celebrated the opening of five libraries in their memory. We hope you take a book or leave a book at one of the five locations. Read in Peace. 

Thank you to filmmaker Mark Birnbaum for volunteering his time to make this video. 

Growing Dallas’ Housing Options through Accessory Dwelling Units

What’s an accessory dwelling unit? How does it grow housing options in Dallas? Learn about Dallas’ affordable housing challenges, and how accessory dwelling units can be a great first step in addressing them.

In [bc]’s State of Dallas Housing Report - 2017, we recommended amending current regulations on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as a strategy for expanding access to housing. “Promoting Housing Choice and Affordability: Exploring Accessory Dwelling Units” offers an overview of ADUs, and why they are a great tool in addressing Dallas’ housing affordability challenges.

After you read this, make sure you check out Opportunity Dallas’ third installment of their “To the Point” series: How "Granny Flats" Can Help Solve Dallas' Housing Affordability Woes.

 

ACD40 Conference Report

Learn more about the Association for Community Design and #ACD40!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Association for Community Design annual conference in June. ACD40’s theme, CommUNITY, sought to ignite conversations about the different models of practice that the field of community-engaged design uses to operate successfully. We envisioned a conference that would connect people from across the country who are working in and around public interest practices.

You can read our ACD40 Conference Report here. It contains a recap of the schedule, speakers, and sessions. It also includes results to the ACD40 Post-Conference Survey, the ACD 2017 Questionnaire, the Fellowship Survey, the Gender Equity Survey, and the Community Design Survey.

A big thank you to all of our funders, partners and supporters that made this conference possible: 

Funders - Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. & Surdna Foundation

Supporters - UT Arlington, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, Mallory Baches, Jessica Blanch, Thor Erickson, Gilad Meron, Nikia Hill, Theresa Hwang, Mark Matel, Kevin Singh, Edward Orlowski, Stephen Goldsmith, & Alex Salazar

Venues - AIA Dallas / Dallas Center for Architecture, CallisonRTKL, Dallas Public Library, HKS, & Thanksgiving Square

Promotional Partners - AIA Austin, AIA Dallas / Dallas Center for Architecture, APA North Texas Chapter, LRGV AIA, SMU Design Council, & USGBC Texas

Volunteers - Bi’Anncha Andrews, Farida Rafique, Hannah Plate, Shani Dixon, Victoria Brown, [bc] Staff & Fellows, & Neighborhood Design Center

Equal Voice Network

Read more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

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Equal Voice Network amplifies the voices of local poor and working families, ensuring that they have a say in the decisions and discussions that affect their lives. The organization builds a network of advocates for families in the Valley from multiple partner organizations and all areas of expertise, including civic engagement, immigration, education, employment, housing, and health care. With this project, the Equal Voice Network hopes to address these issues with educational films that will be accessible to the audiences who need them most. We are excited to begin working with the Equal Voice Network and filmmaker Tony Pena in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Equal Voice Network’s beliefs include:

  • Public policies should promote everyone’s ability to reach their fullest potential and advance the common good.
  • Families should have an equal voice in shaping policies and the future of their communities.

And they are committed to:

  •  Protecting the rights and opportunities of all families
  • Holding elected officials accountable to the common good

Tony Pena is a local filmmaker who is bringing his design and film expertise to the project. His work will assist Equal Voice Network in finding creative ways to get across their message to the right audiences.

Together we will create two short videos that engage Rio Grande Valley families and residents on topics and policies that affect their everyday life. The subject of the first two videos will be Texas’ Senate Bill 4, going into effect on September 1, 2017. The videos will help residents understand and prepare for the implications of the legislation in their region. In addition to creating these videos, we hope to generate a process model for making similar informative videos as social, cultural, and political shifts occur, so that the Equal Voice Network can continue to effectively generate and distribute relevant content to residents of the Rio Grande Valley.

The aim of our PDII program is to use local design talent to increase the impact of  our peer nonprofit organizations and community groups. The 2017 PDII program selected two projects to complete in the calendar year. Read about our other project selection, Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos.

Artists Selected for Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas!

[bc] is excited to announce the selection of two artist teams for Activating Vacancy Downtown Dallas, the duo Janielle Kastner and Ruben Carranzana, and a collective formed by Rickey Crum, Gray Garmon, Katie Krummeck, Edward Li, and Justin Childress. We're excited to spend the next few months working with them and the stakeholders of downtown Dallas to create exciting and fun works of art that challenge current notions of "public space" downtown. Please join us on Saturday, August 19th, 3 pm - 6 pm at 416 S Ervay, for a mini-block party to meet the artists and talk to them about their proposals. If you can't make it this week, we'll be having a presentation and feedback session the following Saturday, August 26th, 1 pm - 3 pm at 416 S Ervay. Read on for more information about the selected artists and their project proposals!

Ophelia Underwater. Features Zoe Kerr, photograph by Carson McCain Gray

Ophelia Underwater. Features Zoe Kerr, photograph by Carson McCain Gray

Janielle Kastner and Ruben Carranzana: Janielle Kastner is a writer, actor and performance deviser, whose social engagement work centers around the role young women play in shaping their communities, and vice versa. She was recently named Best New Playwright 2016 (Dallas Observer), and her plays include OPHELIA UNDERWATER (The Tribe, L.I.P. Service), FEED ME (Stella Adler Theatre/Playworks) and HEAVEN’S GATES, HELL’S FLAMES. Her social engagement work includes: PROJECT: BLESSING, one-on-one performance art, and PROJECT: GIRL, a trans-media installation based on interviews with young women from disparate communities. Additionally, she co-runs Dallas cult classic Shakespeare in the Bar. She holds BAs in Theatre & English from Southern Methodist University.

Shots Fired. Image courtesy of Cry Havoc Theatre

Shots Fired. Image courtesy of Cry Havoc Theatre

Ruben Carrazana is a local actor, director, and teaching artist. He co-directed SHOTS FIRED, a show exploring the Dallas police shootings with local youths. Ruben directs and assistant directs for JESTERS, theatre and film created and performed by adults with special needs. He has performed locally with Second Thought Theatre, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Dallas Theater Center, Undermain Theatre, Stage West, and Cara Mia Theatre. His play STACY HAS A THING FOR BLACK GUYS was recommended for the American Theatre Critics Association/Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Award, and his play SHE was awarded an Honorable Mention from the Southwest Playwriting Festival. He holds a BFA in Theatre from Southern Methodist University.

Together, Janielle and Ruben are two of the co-founders of performing arts incubator The Tribe, for which they were named 2016 Dallas Masterminds (Dallas Observer).

Project Proposal:
Together, Janielle and Ruben will transform an outdoor space in downtown Dallas, repurposing it with giant, individual, original blessings written by young women in the Dallas community (ages 12-18). First, they will draw upon their devising experience and lead young women through the creative process of writing a “blessing” for their city (a short, powerful, irreligious but specific declaration of hope). Then, they will work with community partners to determine an appropriate outdoor route. Finally, the project will culminate as a walkable installation of 8-10 aesthetically unified pieces, starting and ending with blessings projected onto buildings a few blocks from each other, with transformed “blessed” objects to be found along the way (ie. large text painted on a bench, length of sidewalk, dumpster, etc). Since young women are often taught to take up less space, projecting their words large-scale onto community spaces is a radical, inherently subversive act. Rather than seeking to “empower” young women, these pieces assert that young women already possess the requisite power to speak life into their community. As a result, the installation both realizes local young women’s visions for their city’s future, and designates a walkable space in an otherwise unwalkable city.

Mod Pod

Mod Pod

Rickey Crum, Gray Garmon, Katie Krummeck, Edward Li, and Justin Childress: The artist team is a collective of designers from a variety of backgrounds (architecture, human-centered design, graphic design, engineering, and education) with experience working all over the world on projects of various scales. The diverse backgrounds of the team members allow them to bring an interdisciplinary perspective to design challenges, and the nature of their work has given them the platform to use creative expression and human-centered design methodologies for social impact. The whole team (Rickey Crum, Gray Garmon, Katie Krummeck, Edward Li, and Justin Childress) are all affiliated with the Design and Innovation programs (like this and this) at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

Project Proposal:
We propose to create an installation of “redesigned” payphones at various public spaces in downtown Dallas. The payphone, although antiquated, can be digitally altered with new technology and pivot to be a vessel for connecting people with their city. We will work with the downtown community to understand their needs, interests, and stories to help design the payphone interactions. As a passive listener or an active contributor, people will have the ability to choose the way that they want to engage with the installation. Ultimately, this installation aims to inform people about their city, suggest ways to experience their city, inspire deeper connections between people, and encourage them to participate in the future of their city by sharing their voice.

The internal systems of the payphone will be altered with new digital technologies to allow for the keypad to provide a series of audio interactions. When a person interacts with the payphone by picking up the receiver, they will be greeted with a message that prompts the user to engage in different activities. For instance, the user might be prompted to hear the history about a nearby building, or a historical event. An informational option could provide recommendations on local dining or entertainment offerings. They can press a number that asks the user a question about their opinion on a current civic topic and records their response.  There could be an option to leave recorded stories that others can listen to and share then personal experiences.

These projects are part of [bc]'s Activating Vacancy initiative. Activating Vacancy is an art and public interest design initiative where residents work alongside artists and designers to investigate, strengthen, and share a community’s unique history; engage in the development of a physical and social framework for cultural activities; and plan for the renewal and growth of the neighborhood. Collaborations included art installations, performances and other artistic actions that explore the cultural, social, political and economic life of a neighborhood. 

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Additional support is provided by Downtown Dallas, Inc.

11th Street Bridge Park Working Group

See more posts about our work in DC

[bc] is supporting the 11th Street Bridge Park with developing cultural strategies to include in its Equitable Development Plan. On July 20th and 25th, [bc] and the 11th Street Bridge Park facilitated two small working group meetings. Local artists, arts organizations, and national leaders drafted initial strategies that identify how the Bridge Park can support arts, culture and heritage in its impact area. 

These draft strategies will be shared with the public at an open house on Wednesday, August 16th. 

Welcome Hafsa Ambreen!

Learn more about Hafsa Ambreen here!

Hafsa Ambreen is a Design Associate for buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. She plays a dynamic design role in the office and is part of several projects taking place in and around Dallas.  

Her interests include design research, community based design, and design as a tool for advocacy. Her professional work has included working on the design and fabrication of an entirely cardboard set for a production of Rose and Cavalier by Victory Hall Opera. While working for the Charlottesville-based research initiative Thriving Cities, she completed research, created diagrams, and designed layouts for a series of city case studies.  

Hafsa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia.

Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos

Read more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

We are excited to begin working with Movimiento del Valle por los Derechos Humanos and local graphic designer Nayelli Bautista as a part of our Public Design Impact Initiative. Movimiento del Valle is a community organization that educates and organizes the community around human rights issues. 

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Movimiento del Valle is currently teaching community members about their constitutional rights and training them in strategies to combat anti-immigration attacks at the State and National levels. The Moviemento del Valle recognizes that the Rio Grande Valley is a very vulnerable geographic area that requires thoughtful and effective educational materials on rights and immigration.  The organization seeks support in creating dynamic resources that communicate information effectively through clear and accessible design and graphics.

Through a design process that engages both community stakeholders and partner organizations, Nayelli will work with Movimiento del Valle to update their educational and organizational materials, making them relevant and accessible to the audience Movimiento del Valle would like to reach. Together, we will update and refine Movimiento del Valle’s teaching tools to meet their current needs, and we will generate an online platform to make important information accessible to organization members and the public. 

The aim of our PDII program is to use local design talent to increase the impact of our peer nonprofit organizations and community groups. The 2017 PDII program selected two projects to complete in the calendar year. Read about our other project selection, Equal Voice Network.

Welcome Josh Bremer

Learn more about Josh Bremer here!

Josh Bremer is a Design Associate for buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He works on sustainable housing and low impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi.

He was born and raised with the understanding that you should never look down upon someone unless you’re helping them up, hence his desire for public interest design and architecture that focuses on the inhabitants of the space. After participating in several mission trips that fueled his already creative mindset, working with people through architecture became his passion.

He began his architectural studies at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. He holds a Master’s Degree for Architecture and a Master’s Degree for Urban Design. He is a Michigan native, having been raised in the small village of Middleville, Michigan.