Welcome Matthew Young!

We are excited to welcome Matthew Young as a Design Associate, based in the Washington, D.C. office.

Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Matthew has gained professional experience working with architects in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Washington, DC, with a majority of his work focused around housing. His projects ranged from 150-unit mixed-use buildings to carefully crafted single-family residences.

Matthew studied at Virginia Tech where he received a Bachelor of Architecture and was an Honors Scholar. While at Virginia Tech, he spent a semester studying abroad at the Steger Center in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland and was a participant in an inaugural two-week study abroad program to Japan.

Learn more about Matthew here.

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DC Public Library Fab Lab Pop-Up at NoMa Now Open

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Read more about the Fab Lab here.

[bc] believes in the public library's critical role as a hub for democracy. We are excited to support the DC Public Library in extending services into neighborhoods, expanding services to facilitate the work of makers, and fostering community spaces for individuals to utilize their hands and access the tools to shape the future of their cities. 

In June, the DC Public Library NoMa fabrication lab ("fab lab") pop-up officially opened! The completion of this shipping container-turned-makerspace, which houses maker equipment and easily adjustable work stations, was celebrated with an opening event on June 17, attended by the project partners.

Attendees were free to roam around the courtyard and inside the container, and to enjoy the interior craftsmanship of custom-designed maker walls and furniture and the mural on all sides of the containers. Even the tops of the containers were painted, viewable from the surrounding tall buildings.

Following the tour and open house, Executive Director of the DC Public Library, Richard Reyes-Gavilan gave a closing thank you to all partners. Reyes-Gavilan spoke about the programming and new perspective public libraries can offer, noting, "Libraries are more than just books."

The Public Library has already started hosting free DIY classes and workshops. You can learn more about upcoming events at the Fab Lab Pop-Up at NOMA on the DC Public Library website here. More information about the Fab Lab and Pop-Up can be found here. 

Thanks to all of our partners and volunteers who assisted with this project!

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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!

Cottages Featured in Two Exhibitions

A view of The Cottages at Hickory Crossing in Dallas, TX. 

A view of The Cottages at Hickory Crossing in Dallas, TX. 

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing, the 50-unit permanent supportive housing complex in Dallas, TX for which [bc] served as architect, will be featured in two new exhibitions this summer.

Re-opening June 14, 2018 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at George Washington University is the Sustainable Native Communities Collective (SNCC) Bridging Boundaries exhibition. The exhibition, which runs through August 19, demonstrates "how art and design can create space for unification and negotiation." Join us for the opening reception!

This October, Design for Good: Architecture for Everyone will open at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). The exhibition is curated by the author of the eponymous book, John Cary. 

We are thrilled to have our work featured in these important exhibitions. If you have a chance to visit them, engage with us on social media, snap a picture, and let us know what you think!

Cultivating Connections Final Presentations

See more posts about our work in DC!

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On May 1, students in Professor Barbara Brown-Wilson's Ecological Democracy course at the University of Virginia School of Architecture gave their final presentations for their Cultivating Connections project, through which they explored how to connect the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens—a National Park—to the surrounding Kenilworth-Parkside community. Students presented via video conference to a group which included representatives of Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the National Park Service, and the DC Office of Planning. The presentations wrapped up a semester-long project for the students, who received guidance  and mentorship in public interest design and community engagement practices from [bc]'s Washington, DC team.

Over the course of the semester, activities that informed their project included visits to the park and design activities with visitors. As part of NatureFest—a weeklong camp at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens—UVA students asked young participants to  draw maps of how they get to the park and representations of plants and animals they've encountered there, learning about where campers come from and how they interact with the park. 

Check out images from the final presentation day below!

This project is supported in part by a grant 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.

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).

[bc] + UVA Community Design Partnership

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Supported in part by a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant, [bc] is partnering with the University of Virginia School of Architecture to train students in the practice of community-engaged, public interest design.

15 students enrolled in the semester-long Ecological Democracy class, a graduate planning course taught by Assistant Professor Barbara Brown-Wilson, will work with [bc]'s DC team to utilize community-engaged research and design methods to address a timely equitable development challenge.  Over the semester, students will build awareness of "the roles planning and design can play in supporting socio-economic vulnerable communities to increase their own social and ecological resilience."

[bc] and UVA are working with the nonprofit organization Friends of the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to develop strategies that help connect residents of the surrounding community to the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, a National Park though signage, way-finding and other physical interventions. 

In February, UVA students traveled to Washington, DC. Students, faculty, and [bc] staff visited Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens to gain insight from stakeholders, conduct a site documentation assignment, and learn about the history of the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood.

In March, [bc] visited the UVA campus to provide feedback on students' group presentations, which explored aspects of way-finding signage design, codes and regulations, mapping, and project coordinators. Check out our photos from these activities!

This partnership furthers [bc]'s efforts to advance the practice of public interest design through training and mentorship of designers and planners, while providing UVA students with experience learning from professionals in the field. 

This project is supported in part by a grant 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.

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. 

Rural Placemaking Call for Participants

See more posts about our Activating Vacancy work. 

[bc], with HAC, is excited to announce the launch of the call for participants for Rural Placemaking, a new creative placemaking initiative that will take place in two rural communities (with populations less than 50,000) in the United States. Creative placemaking is a way of working between community developers, housing organizations, artists and local stakeholders to strengthen communities. This initiative will implement two creative actions during summer 2017 that bring people together to share food, stories, art, experiences, and histories as well as enable neighbors to talk, learn, and organize.

Two partnerships between a housing or community development organization and an artist/art organization will be selected to implement a temporary initiative from May to August 2017. [bc] and HAC encourage housing/community development organizations without an existing artist/arts organization partner to submit an application. If successful, [bc] and HAC will facilitate selection of a partner artist/organization.

Successful applicants will receive up to $7,500 to support the development of an arts and community building project in their town. They will also receive training and support from national leaders in creative placemaking and community development on the implementation of their project. Throughout the Rural Placemaking program, [bc] and HAC will provide one in person peer-to-peer training session with other participants to share experience and problem solve, technical training webinars to guide participants through [bc]'s creative placemaking process, Activating Vacancy, and an on-site visit to assist in program implementation. [bc] will provide guidance and feedback to participants on creative placemaking throughout the implementation of Rural Placemaking.  HAC will provide organizational and technical assistance in sustaining long term impact throughout the implementation of Rural Placemaking.  

Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in social justice and desire to work collaboratively with community stakeholders to formulate proposals which unite residents from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. Applicants are encouraged to share examples of past work that exhibit community engagement/participation and the organization’s interest in bringing creative placemaking to their community.

More information on Rural Placemaking can be found here. Interested parties should apply via an online application here. We recommend reviewing the application requirements on pages 4-6 on the call for participants to prepare your materials prior to submission. Applicants cannot save and return to their applications.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on March 10, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to submit outside of peak website traffic time, (8:00pm-11:59pm CST on March 10th, 2017).  Finalists will be notified by March 30, 2017.

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

DC Cultural Plan

See more posts about our work in DC!

[bc] is leading the community engagement strategy for the District of Columbia's first Cultural Plan. In collaboration with the DC Office of Planning (DCOP), DC Commission on Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) and HR&A Advisors, [bc] hosted four "Community Conversations" across the District to better understand the concerns of residents and challenges they face in reference to the arts, culture and humanities. These conversations worked to evoke and develop potential strategies and solutions from participants. Over the coming months, HR&A Advisors and [bc] will be undergoing continued engagement and developing draft strategies for the plan.

Celebrating Ivy City Is...

Learn more about Crossing the Street: Ivy City and our work in DC.

Photos by Vinnie Accardi (top left), Lotanna Obodozie (top center-right) and Nando Alvarez (center and bottom rows). 

On Sunday, November 6th, we celebrated the opening of “Ivy City Is…”, a collaborative, resident and artist-led creative project that culminated in the creation of a three-dimensional, 5’ by 20’ screenprinted, plywood installation, spelling out “IVY CITY”. This project is intended to celebrate the neighborhood’s rich heritage and foster a dialogue about Ivy City’s identity in the face of rapid development and demographic change. Over 200 Ivy City residents, creatives, and community stakeholders joined us at this event with on-site screen printing, free t-shirts, food, and performances by local artists at Lewis W. Crowe Park.

Each letter was crafted using a collage of historic photos, maps, and portraits of residents who customized individual yard signs declaring what Ivy City means to them. A diverse community of local artists collaborated with area youth to host a series of free screen printing workshops, where residents learned how to screen print and helped create the seven large letters that spelled out “IVY CITY”. Prior to this celebration, these individual letters were on display in key locations throughout the neighborhood, including Bethesda Baptist Church, Louis Carryout, Hecht Warehouse, and Trinity Baptist Church.

This “place-keeping” installation serves as a landmark to the historic neighborhood and invites residents of all backgrounds to celebrate Ivy City and collectively envision its future. This project is a collaboration between Empower DC, The Sanctuaries, Open Studio DC, LISC, [bc], and the DC Office of Planning (DCOP). This project is supported by DCOP’s grant from the Kresge Foundation, “Crossing the Street: Building DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking”.

Ivy City Artist Selection

See more posts about Crossing the Street and our other work in Washington, DC

The Sanctuaries  artists and  Empower DC  youth community organizers screen print yard signs for residents. Photos (above and below) by  Rev. Erik Martinez Resley  of  The Sanctuaries .

The Sanctuaries artists and Empower DC youth community organizers screen print yard signs for residents. Photos (above and below) by Rev. Erik Martinez Resley of The Sanctuaries.

[bc] with LISC is excited to share the proposal selected for the Crossing the Street: Ivy City project. Crossing the Street: Ivy City is a temporary creative placemaking initiative in northeast Washington, DC. The collaborative team of EmpowerDC , The SanctuariesOpen Studio DC and resident Taylor Johnson have already been hard at work engaging residents in conversations about Ivy City's neighborhood identity and the community's desire for recreational amenities. Their project invites new and old Ivy City residents to customize a sign that expresses what "Ivy City Is" to them as well as to participate in a screenprinting and poetry workshop. The photos of residents with their signs, the poetry developed, and other curated images will be used to develop a large, screen printed installation. This installation will be unveiled at a community event on Saturday, October 29th. Be sure to stay connected with us on Facebook for future updates and opportunities to participate! 

 

Crossing the Street: Ivy City

See more posts about our work in Washington, DC

[bc] with LISC are excited to announce a call for collaborators for the Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City project. This art and creative placemaking initiative in the historic Ivy City neighborhood of northeast DC will implement a temporary, creative action that promotes community building, reflects the neighborhood’s rich heritage, and declares residents’ vision for the future of Ivy City.

Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City will be carried out over the next four months produced and curated by [bc] with LISC in partnership with the DC Office of Planning. [bc] and LISC believe collaboration of local and technical expertise is essential to quality placemaking.

Residents and artists, are encouraged to respond to the call for collaborators. If you have had a creative project in mind that will activate or inspire your neighbors or if you are a person who creates for a living and you want to do something creative and artistic in Ivy City then we want you to apply!

More information on Crossing the Street: Activating Ivy City can be found here and interested parties should apply via an online application found here. A neighborhood tour and Q&A session will be held on July 21st for applicants to familiarize themselves with Ivy City and the application process. We encourage you to attend this session. Applications are due by midnight on Thursday, July 28th. Finalists will be notified by Monday, August 1, 2016.

For more information on Ivy City, see these resources.

This project is supported by a Kresge Foundation grant awarded to the DC Office of Planning. To find out more about DCOP’s Crossing the Street initiative, visit: http://planning.dc.gov/page/creative-placemaking.

A Guide to the [bc] Request for Qualifications

Learn more about projects with Design Partners: PDII, Activating Vacancy, and Little Free Libraries/Libros Libres.

This year we've revamped our Request for Qualifications.  Below is a full look at the Request for Qualifications form, so that you know what information you will need to have ready before you begin.

Important things to note:

  • You cannot save your work while filling out the form. Draft your answers and materials before you start.
  • Active projects seeking designers will be listed in Question 1.
  • If you are applying for a specific project, the application may have more or fewer questions that the application form shown here. 
  • There are two (2) uploads required for most applications (Questions 7 & 13): 
    • Question 7 is a short narrative that describes your interest, experience, and qualifications for working with community groups. 
    • Question 13 is a document that contains photo or graphic samples of your work. 
  • References (Question 8) are not required for the general application, but strongly encouraged!
  • You may not hear back immediately. Projects and volunteer opportunities occur throughout the year at various times and frequencies.
  • If you have questions, email us at inform@bcworkshop.org or give us a call at 214.252.2900.

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.