Welcome Ucha!

We are excited to welcome Ucha Abbah, our Dallas bcINTERN this summer!

From Dallas, Texas, Ucha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Environmental Studies from Southern Methodist University and is in the process of completing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia. You can read more about Ucha here.

Thus far, Ucha has worked to research Freedmen's Towns in Dallas and how urban development has impacted them to support future storytelling work.

Ucha says, "My experience so far has been great, I have gotten to see completed projects while learning about the processes that lead to the completion of the projects that [bc] works on. I have enjoyed getting to know the different personalities here and how they come together to make the office unique and fun."

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Welcome Alison!

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We are excited to welcome Alison Katz, our Houston bcINTERN this summer!

Alison is from Saratoga Springs, NY and currently pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University as part of the class of 2020. You can read more about Alison here

Alison has been supporting our RAPIDO work in Houston. This summer, she will be working on marketing for upcoming projects, as well as assisting with community meetings that are happening here in Houston regarding the local needs and priorities for recovery since Harvey.

Alison says, "So far, my experience at [bc] has been really eye opening. Houston is a new city to me, and talking to people who have lost everything because of Harvey has been really impactful. In a short amount of time I have learned a lot about the way policy has specifically affected the way the city has recovered (or not) from the hurricane, and the ways community centers are advocating for people in need."

Welcome Sara!

We are excited to welcome Sara Taketatsu, our RGV bcINTERN this summer!

Sara is from Antonito, Colorado and is currently a junior at the CU Boulder Program in Environmental Design working on her Bachelor of Environmental Design, specialization in architecture. You can learn more about Sara here

Throughout the summer, Sara will be working on creating materials, documenting, and attending meetings for the El Sonido del Agua project, as well as helping out with architectural design and low-impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Sara says, "It's been amazing to meet so many wonderful people in the [bc] community and in the LRGV. There's a depth of knowledge and experiences here that is truly remarkable and exciting to learn from."

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Welcome Lilith!

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We are excited to welcome Lilith Winkler-Schor, our DC bcINTERN this summer!

She received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tulane University in social policy, political science, and studio art. Born in Munich, Germany, and raised in Seattle, Washington, Lilith now lives in New Orleans. You can read more about Lilith here

This summer, Lilith will be conducting interviews and research to discover best practices for community engagement and stakeholder inclusion in Business Improvement District formation and implementation, as well as building on site for the DC Public Library Container Lab project. 

Lilith says, "I love the interdisciplinary nature and fast-paced energy of [bc]. With a background in policy and sculpture, it's rare to find opportunities that exist in both worlds, but at [bc] I get to bounce between conducting interviews on policy implementation to grinding metal on site for a maker space."

Welcome bcINTERNs!

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This summer, for the first time ever, [bc] will host an intern in each of its 4 offices.

Our Summer 2018 bcINTERNs are:

Ucha is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Environmental Studies from Southern Methodist University.

Sara is working on her Bachelor of Environmental Design, specialization in architecture, at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alison is pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lilith is a recent graduate of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Policy and Practice, Political Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine and Studio Arts.

We are excited to welcome these four new interns to our team! Follow the links to their bio pages to learn more about them and what they'll be working on this summer!

Welcome Sara Gordon!

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Learn more about Sara here!

Sara Gordon is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP in the Washington, DC office. At [bc], Sara works to support a variety of design and equitable development projects.

Sara’s journey began in a small design-build firm working to modernize once run down single family homes in the northeast neighborhoods of DC. In addition, she has worked closely with youth educational groups to teach the foundations of architecture, interact with the local professionals, guide site visits to monuments, and create design-build learning environments. Originally from New Jersey, Sara has adopted DC as her new home city where she has a strong connection with community involvement and local crafters, artisans and farmers.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Architecture with an Urban Practice Concentration from The Catholic University of American (CUA) in Washington, DC. She also participated in The School of Architecture Foreign Studies Program in Barcelona, Spain working closely with Makers of Barcelona (MOB).

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.

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.

Welcome Kristy Ramirez

Learn more about Kristy Ramirez here!

Kristy Ramirez is the Operations Administrative Assistant for buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. She brings over 20 years of nonprofit operations management experience to [bc] where she assists in the day-to-day operations with [bc]’s four offices.

She leads the behind-the-scenes efforts at [bc] to stay organized and to help staff and fellows at [bc] to be able to accomplish their work. Her vast nonprofit expertise ensures that all offices stay in working order.

Welcome Luis Murillo!

Learn more about Luis here!

Luis Murillo is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He works on sustainABLEhouse and low impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley. As a Brownsville native, Luis has personally experienced the multifaceted issues that the community faces. Through the implementation of new ideas and thoughtful design he works to solve environmental and social issues in the community. He aspires to make an impact and create positive change in the RGV

Luis began his architectural studies at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Texas Tech University College of Architecture and gained experience in building code analysis through interning for the City of Lubbock Building Inspections Department.

Welcome Lucy McGuigan!

Lucy McGuigan is the Development Manager at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. She relishes telling [bc]’s story and cultivating relationships with key stakeholders in [bc]’s work, including individuals, organizations, and communities.

Originally from New JerseyLucy has enthusiastically adopted Dallas as her home. She is a proud resident of the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood, residing in a structure designated as a Dallas Landmark. She is passionate about preserving Dallas’s rich cultural history; Lucy previously served as Production Manager and Graphic Designer for Dallas Mexican American Historical League and Dallas Jewish Historical Society exhibition “Uptown’s Pike Park: Little Jerusalem to Little Mexico, 100 Years of Settlement” at the Latino Cultural Center. Her experience in exhibitions has also included work on the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition “Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th Century Dutch Painting” and museum-based public presentation. Her work as an art historian has been largely driven by her view of museums as community centers and her belief that educational programming is a key channel through which to engage and invest local audiences.

Prior to moving to Dallas, she lived in Greater New Orleans region, serving as a Teach for America Corps Member and later as an evaluative observer through The New Teacher Project Academy. Through an educator’s perspective she learned that each local community faces unique challenges which can only be understood through first-hand experience. This solidified her conviction that socially just planning and design begins with community engagement.

Lucy holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University’s Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture (RASC/A) program and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. At SMU, she served as Secretary of the Meadows Graduate Student Council, a granting body which provides funds to the students of the Meadows School of the Arts for the completion of artistic and academic projects.

Welcome Jennifer Furtney!

Learn more about Jennifer here! 

Jennifer Furtney is the Operations Administrative Assistant for buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. She brings over 15 years of executive and administrative assistance experience to [bc], where she assists in the day-to-day operations for all four of [bc]’s offices.

She leads the behind the scenes efforts at [bc] to help staff and fellows stay organized and accomplish their work. Her administrative expertise ensures that all of the offices stay in working order. With a background in art history, Jennifer also continues to work in filmmaking as a producer.

Born and raised in Oak Cliff , she lives in the Western Heights neighborhood of Dallas with her family and 5 dogs.

Welcome Evan Hildebrand!

Evan Hildebrand

bcFELLOW

Evan Hildebrand is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.  Evan is a part of the People Organizing Place (POP) initiative, working in the Tenth Street Historic District of Dallas on the renovation and programming of a house in the neighborhood as community resource and engagement center.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin and living for the past five years in Minneapolis, MinnesotaEvan has experience working with community-engaged design at a variety of scales, from a small workshop focusing on activating a single vacant lot in a downtown neighborhood, to a field guide examining how public interest design is viewed and practiced across the Twin Cities.

Evan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota’s College of Design.  

Welcome Skyler Fike!

Skyler Fike is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. As a Dallas native, he brings with him a strong understanding of Dallas and Fort Worth, and a commitment to these cities for the foreseeable future. He is primarily working on making projects in Dallas.

In his other time, Skyler is a photographer, and hopes to use this medium in tandem with his practice of architecture, and service to the greater community. His greatest desire is to see homelessness and poverty come to an end, and to use these practices to tell compelling stories and empower communities.

Skyler holds a BA in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma.  In 2012, Skyler attended a small liberal arts school on the eastern shore called the Trinity Fellows Academy, where he received a year-long fellowship to study under some of the greatest minds in the arts, religion, culture, and sociology, as well as alongside a community of diverse peers. This time spent in the northeast profoundly shaped his understanding of architecture, people, and why remaining grounded in one place serves to better a community and a the city at large.

 

Welcome Christina Houle

Learn more about Christina here!

Christina Houle 

bcFELLOW

Christina Sukhgian Houle is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.  She works with the PeopleOrganizing Place initiative to foster art and community partnerships in Brownsville.  As a producer, educator and artist Christina has extensive experience in developing platforms for civic expression, imagination and engagement in NYC and throughout Texas.

Before working with [bc] Christina worked with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (NYC) developing short films with youth about local policy practices, Creative Time (NYC) creating large scale public art performances, and at596 Acres (NYC) educating the public on their land advocacy rights. ‘The emphasis of her work has been placing power in the hands of communities to solve local problems and develop programatic strengths.

She holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and an EdM in TechnologyInnovation andEducation from the Harvard School of Education.  Additionally Houle’s short film and protest performance series, Migration Patterns During Wartime, was awarded the Andy Warhol Foundation Idea Fund Grant and screened in the US and Mexico in 2011.

Welcome Michaela Accardi!

Learn more about Michaela here!

Michaela Accardi

Design Associate

Michaela Accardi is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOPMichaela’s work is focused on city design and engagement projects as part of the People Organizing Place (POP) team in the Washington, DC office. She is supporting the development of a large city wide planning initiative focused on building increased cultural participation as well as developing innovative methodologies to support creative economies and creative placemaking initiatives within select neighborhoods.

As a DC native, Michaela has experience in the public and nonprofit sector in master planning, community engagement, site design, and natural resource management. Her graduate research and design work focused on the making of healthy and equitable cities through the use of community-interest design in several Virginia localities. 

Michaela holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and a Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Virginia in Environmental Sciencesand Environmental Thought & Practice.

Welcome Patrick Blaydes!

Patrick Blaydes is a Housing Associate with buildingcommunityWORKSHOP.   Patrick's work revolves around expanding the quantity, improving the quality and broadening the pervasiveness of affordable housing in Dallas, thereby allowing for a greater degree of personal housing choice for residents of affordable housing.

With roots in Dallas that go back five generations to the first century of Dallas's history, Patrick has had both personal and professional experience with a number of different communities throughout Dallas.  Patrick has worked in private, public and non-profit organizations throughout the past decade with experience in comprehensive planning, transportation planning, neighborhoods planning, affordable housing development, CDBG programs, and working with the homeless in the community.

He attended Austin College majoring in History and Political Science, and graduate school at the University of Texas at Arlington focusing on Urban Affairs.

Settlements to Districts - Tracing the Identities of Downtown Dallas Neighborhoods

By Amruta Sakalker

Over the last decade Downtown Dallas has diversified its offerings from a single use office district to include cultural, residential, and entertainment opportunities 24/7. Today’s Downtown Dallas has a rich history of neighborhoods with unique identities and wide range of uses. As Downtown continues to evolve and strengthen its neighborhoods, it is critical to understand the lineage of socio-cultural character, design, and urban fabric that has given the neighborhoods their unique identity. While these identities are malleable, they can impact the direction of development in neighborhoods. Knowing the narratives of identities empowers neighborhoods to evolve stronger representational identities that emerge through their own stories and adds value to them. To illustrate the variety of these evolutions, we trace back Downtown Dallas Districts through this blog post.

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POPonymy - An Interpretive Typology of Dallas Neighborhood Names

By Thomas Simpson

Dallas neighborhood names speak volumes about the city’s complexion. Just as our words offer insight into our character, the way the city describes itself and names its parts- its toponymy- offer insight into its anatomy, its aspirations, its values, and its history. Rather than a study of the origin of individual place names, this is a typology of toponymy, revealing the city’s values through categories of place names. Neighborhoods are the building blocks of cities; what information can we elicit about the city collectively from the kind of names it gives it components?

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Welcome Amruta Sakalker!

Check out Amruta's page for updates on future projects!

We're excited to welcome Amruta Sakalker as our newest bcFELLOW!

Amruta recently graduated from Penn State with a Masters in Architecture. She received the University Graduate Fellowship from Penn State in 2013, the highest level of award given to incoming graduate student. Her research interest lies in understanding the role of various cultural desires and urban networks in the evolution of a city, especially in urban public spaces. Her master's thesis focused on studying the impact of transient methods of design for civic spaces around extensively used train stations. Before pursuing her masters she was working as a cartographer and project assistant for an urban research and art project called "Cinema City" in Mumbai, India. Working with an interdisciplinary team of artists, architects, film makers, photographers and planners the study focused on how cinema making processes impact the urban fabric of the city through the unorganized small scale industries, settlement patterns, labor flow and development policies. She was also a part of the team exhibiting the project at Berlinale in Germany for an international audience. She was an Associate with SJK Architects in Mumbai for two and a half years where she worked on many hospitality and office projects. Taking forward her experience working in parallel with community based institutions and direct engagement with citizens as clients, she is excited to join [bc] Dallas team.