Design Sketches

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July 25, 2013: Design Sketches

Reception begins at 5:00 PM, with talks at 5:30. Please RSVP.

Speakers will offer short talks about their work, how it intersects with design, and what they believe is essential to make Dallas a healthier, more vibrant, livable city for all. Confirmed speakers: Ann Bagley, Rob Colburn, Bang Dang, Wanda Dye, Omar Hakeem, Anna Hill, Tipton Housewright, Christa McCall, Cynthia Mulcahy, and David Preziosi.

Presentation themes: What is the true value of preservation in revitalizing communities? How can public art serve as a mirror and amplifier of community identity? When are physical design solutions needed to meet social needs? How can grassroots organizing booster the work of local governments?

Public Design in the Crescent City

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June 20, 2013: Public Design in the Crescent City

Maurice Cox is an urban designer, architectural educator and civic leader. Cox serves as the Associate Dean for Community Engagement at Tulane UniversitySchool of Architecture and Director of the Tulane City Center where he oversees a wide range of initiatives with Tulane architecture faculty and students throughout the New Orleans community. He joined the faculty of Tulane from the University of Virginia where he was an Associate Professor of Architecture, and served as mayor of the city of Charlottesville, Virginia from 2002-2004. Cox also served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010. In that capacity, he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the United States.

Over his 17-year career at the UVA, Cox merged architecture, politics and design education to define a new role for the designer—that of civic leader. Nationally respected for his ability to incorporate active citizen participation into the design process while achieving the highest quality of design excellence, Fast Company business magazine named him one of America’s "20 Masters of Design" in recognition of his practice of "democratic design." A founding partner of RBGC Architecture, Research and Urbanism from 1996-2006 the firm was acclaimed for its partnerships with communities traditionally underserved by architecture. Their design for a New Rural Village in Bayview, Virginia received numerous national design awards as well as being featured on CBS’s "60 Minutes" and in the documentary film "This Black Soil". A recipient of the 2009 Edmund Bacon Prize, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design 2004-05 Loeb Fellowship and the 2006 John Hejduk Award for Architecture, Cox received his architectural education from the Cooper Union School of Architecture.

At Tulane, in addition to directing the Tulane City Center, Cox works with the highly successful programs of URBANbuild, the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center, the preservation program and the school’s new Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program, all which are community outreach design initiatives of the university.

Academic Influences Panel

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June 7, 2013: Opening Reception and Panel

On Friday, June 7th, bcWORKSHOP hosted a panel on the relationship between academic institutions, professional design practices, and the national public design movement. The panel was moderated by bcWORKSHOP's Associate Director Benje Feehan, and included Yasenia Blandon, the co-founder of Latinos in Architecture and Associate at Perkins + Will, Danny Samuels of the Rice Building Workshop, and Don Gatzke, Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Public Design by Texas Students

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Texas Design Schools: Exhibiting Public Interest Projects

bcSHOPFRONT is pleased to announce its summer 2013 series of programming anchored by the exhibit, Texas Design Schools: Exhibiting Public Interest Projects. The exhibit will be open June 7th- July 25th and highlight projects by Texas university architecture and design students. Chosen works, selected by a jury of nationally recognized public design practitioners, showcase the current impact of the public design movement on regional architecture education practices. A diverse range of programs including panels, talks, and casual design socials are free and open to the public.

David Perkes at Shopfront

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Public Interest Practices in Architecture

David Perkes is part of a four person national team with Bryan Bell, Roberta Feldman, and Sergio Palleroni to receive the 2011 Latrobe Prize from the American Institute of Architects, a biennial prize dedicated to broadening the perspective and scope of architecture to include cross-disciplinary fields and expertise. Their project is entitled, "Public Interest Practices in Architecture" and seeks to address three questions.

  • What are the needs that can be addressed by public interest practices?
  • How are current public interest practices operating?
  • What is necessary for public interest work to become a significant segment of architecture practice?

The Latrobe Prize is awarded by the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Founded in 1952, this organization is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. The College of Fellows seeks to stimulate a sharing of interests among Fellows, promote the purposes of the Institute, advance the profession of architecture, mentor young architects, and be of ever-increasing service to society. Toward that end, the College seeks to encourage research that broadens the perspective and scope of architecture to include cross-disciplinary fields and expertise through its biennial competition: the Latrobe Prize.

David Perkes is a licensed architect and professor for Mississippi State University.  He is the founding director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, a professional outreach program of the College of Architecture, Art + Design, Mississippi State University. The design studio was established in Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and is providing planning, landscape and architectural design support to many Gulf Coast communities and non-profit organizations.  The design studio has assisted in the renovation of hundreds of damaged homes and over two hundred new house projects in Biloxi and other communities.  The Biloxi house projects were awarded an Honor Citation from the Gulf States Region AIA in 2007, a Terner Award for Innovative Housing and a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2009.  The Bayou Auguste restoration project received a Mississippi AIA Honor Citation in 2012.  In 2011 David was selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his work on the Gulf Coast.

Before creating the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, David was the director of the Jackson Community Design Center and taught in the School of Architecture’s fifth year program in Jackson, Mississippi.  Under his leadership the Jackson Community Design Center assisted many community organizations and received numerous national and local awards, including a Mississippi AIA Honor Award for the Boys and Girls Club Camp PavilionDavid has a Master of Environmental Design degree from Yale School of Architecture, a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.  In 2004 David was awarded a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Transforming Communities Through Art

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On March 19, 2013, bcSHOPFRONT hosted Rick Lowe of Project Row Houses. Rick Lowe is an artist who works and resides in Houston, Texas. His formal training is in the visual arts; over the past twenty years he has worked both inside and outside of art world institutions by participating in exhibitions and developing community-based art projects. Rick's work has been exhibited internationally including the Phoenix Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles; Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York, Kwangji Biennale, Kwangji, Korea; and the Venice Architecture Biennale. His community building projects include Watts House Project, Los Angeles, CA; and a project for the Seattle Art Museum in their new Olympic Sculpture Park with David Adjaye. Rick has been honored with the Rudy Bruner Award in Urban Excellence Silver Medalist; the AIA Keystone Award; Loeb Fellow at Harvard University; Skandalaris Award for Excellence in Art Architecture; USA Booth Fellowship; and the Creative Time Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change.

In commemoration of the Nasher Sculpture Center's 10th anniversary, Rick Lowe will participate in Nasher XChange, a dynamic art exhibition consisting of 10 newly - commissioned public sculptures by contemporary artists at sites throughout the city of Dallas from October 19, 2013 to February 16, 2014. Covering a diverse range of sites and approaches to sculpture, Nasher XChange represents the first citywide, museum-organized public art exhibition in the United States.

Project Row House (PRH) is a non-profit arts organization in Northern Third Ward, one of Houston’s oldest African-American communities. Lowe's belief that artwork can serve as a tool to both voice social issues and also create resolutions was the foundation of this project . This idea engaged the community, encouraging local residents to see value and opportunity in their neighborhood as the Project reinvented damaged, abandoned row houses in an isolated Houston neighborhood. Since inception, the PRH location has expanded from 22 properties to 40 over 6 blocks. The reinvented properties house artist residency programs, housing for young mothers in need, additional residences for low-income families, affordable office spaces, a community arts gallery, park, and other community centers. As PRH has grown, the impact on the community has multiplied- the neighborhood is more connected to the larger surrounding area, members of the neighborhood have organized to implement and establish their ideas, and a community development corporation was spawned, producing nine low income housing units to date.

Announcing bcSHOPFRONT

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Public design is an international movement which emphasizes community planning and creates positive changes through the built environment. bcWORKSHOP employs design to deliver and advocate for more livable communities. Local experiences and interests direct our work. We form strong relationships through place based product development, and work daily ensuring design is accessible and in service to all communities no matter their economic resources.

bcSHOPFRONT is an initiative of bcWORKSHOP featuring exhibits, talks, and activities related to the national public design movement and its impact on Dallas. It examines work of all scales- local, regional, state, and national- which promotes public design as a commonplace process. To position Dallas within the larger movement, the inaugural Spring 2013 series relates WORKSHOP’s local work to influential national institutions and practitioners.

TEDx SMU + TEDx Kids

Learn more about POP Dallas.

On November 30 and December 1, 2012, bcWORKSHOP was invited to participate in the TEDxKids @ SMU (a special TED event for local middle school students) and TEDxSMU conferences to showcase our POP [People Organizing Place] Dallas initiative. Now in its fourth year, TEDxSMU brought a multitude of creative thinkers to the City Performance Hall in the Arts District to share and discover innovative ideas in technology, entertainment and design.

Following the conference's theme of re:TH!NK, over 400 attendees on both days shared their ideas for re-thinking the neighborhoods where they live, learn, work and play through activity cards, video interviews and good old-fashioned conversation. During the day, bcWORKSHOP created a compilation of Neighborhood Stories collected throughout the conference as well as a map of representing attendees' neighborhoods, which was screened at the end of the conference.

Conference participants were eager to share ideas for their own neighborhoods and absorb the ideas shared by others from around the city. With the POP City Map as a guide, attendees left armed with a strengthened understanding and commitment to place-making in Dallas.

La Bajada Stories

Learn more about Neighborhood Stories and POP Dallas.

The event celebrated this century-old Mexican American neighborhood.
The event celebrated this century-old Mexican American neighborhood.

View more photos of the event on our Facebook page.

On the evening of  November 17th, the first exhibit was held in La Bajada, a residential neighborhood dating back to the 1930s just west of Downtown Dallas. La Bajada's story was told through an exhibit of the events that shaped the neighborhood and a short film that featured interviews with neighborhood residents: Pete Martinez, Anita Martinez, Gloria Lopez, Ysidro Huerta, Sr. and Ysidro Huerta, Jr., John Zapata Gonzalez, and Felix Lozada. Guests had opportunities to contribute their own personal stories and memories about the neighborhood through recorded interviews and enjoyed tacos, tamales, and pastries from Taquería La Chilanga and La Estrella Bakery. By far the most popular activity was sledding down the slopes of the Trinity River levees, a common neighborhood recreation first enjoyed more than 60 years ago.

Neighborhood Stories: La Bajada was presented with the assistance of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League and the West Dallas Community Centers.

BigBang! 2012

Learn more about POP Dallas and Neighborhood Stories.

bcWORKSHOP provided a variety of activities concerning Dallas neighborhoods at the 2012 bigBANG!, organized by Dallas Social Venture Partners. Located in Union Station, this day-long forum convened the thinkers and doers of the city for an opportunity to catalyze positive impact. Many components of the POP Dallas initiative were engaged by event participants, including the POP City Map which allowed attendees to identify and mark their neighborhoods. The Story House also made its debut, and new interviews were collected inside of it in collaboration with educational nonprofit Commit!, an organization dedicated to realizing children's full potential. Fifteen different neighborhoods were represented with 30 new recorded interviews. Next door, bcFELLOWs led two high-energy work sessions utilizing the POP Toolkit, empowering participants to think about the changes they can affect in their own communities.

Park(ing) Day 2012

Learn more about our work in Dallas, and our Neighborhood Stories initiative as part of POP Dallas.

PARK(ing) Day is an international one-day celebration of people re-purposing parking for other activities not centered on the car. For Dallas's second annual PARK(ing) Day, we brought our 20-foot long commissary container over to the one of the parking spaces along downtown Main Street. Inside the container, we displayed the POP City Map along with a map locating green spaces in Downtown Dallas. A small theater was set up for projecting our collected Neighborhood Stories, while we also recorded new ones them from passersby on the street. Outside, visitors played board games and placed notes on the exterior of the container sharing what they love about Downtown.

Down the road on South Ervay, we also set up Dallas's first Parklet in front of our office. Created in partnership with Downtown Dallas, Incorporated, the parklet carries the spirit of PARK(ing) Day by making the transformation from vehicle parking to pedestrian space more permanent.

Homeowners Bootcamp

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As a continued effort to strengthen the social, economic, and physical health of Dallas’s neighborhoods, bcWORKSHOP brought the POP [People Organizing Place] Dallas initiative to the 14th annual Dallas Homeowners' League (DHL) Neighborhood Bootcamp at City Hall on Saturday, August 25. Bringing together community leaders in an exchange of ideas for the betterment of Dallas's neighborhoods, DHL invited bcW to share three elements of POP: a workshop that introduced and applied the POP Toolkit;  the confirmation, adjustment and addition of neighborhood names and boundaries to the POP City Map; and the collection of Neighborhood Stories.

During the interactive work session, 21 neighborhood leaders learned about the Toolkit as a grassroots approach to addressing neighborhood issues through a four-step process. Following an introductory presentation, budding and battle-tested activists alike used the Toolkit to identify an issue, choose a scale, determine a method, and select tools to address an example concern from a volunteer. The session ended with robust discussion in breakout groups in which participants discussed local issues, swapped success stories, and shared strategies for unifying and activating their neighborhoods.

While the Toolkit presented strategies for how neighborhood leaders could direct their energy and efforts, bcWORKSHOP asked that they share their expertise in other ways. Throughout the event, residents of 27 different neighborhoods from across the city confirmed, adjusted, or added their neighborhood names and boundaries by drawing on enlarged sections of the City Map. Amidst the day’s activities, 7 new contributors to Neighborhood Stories took the time to share what they love about where they live and challenges they had overcome through collective action.

Welcome Diana Kichler!

Diana Kichler is a designer whose career goals include community integration and collaboration, interdisciplinary design, and assisting with the built environment. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she received an education from Kent State University with a Master’s of Architecture. During her time in school, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy, which ignited her passion towards cultural immersion. After graduation, Diana moved to Los Angeles and held several internships, the most important with a non-profit organization called Materials and Applications. With this position, she gained experience focusing on community involvement and volunteering, became interested in installation design and sparked conversation within the neighborhood about new ways to understand public art. Diana is very excited to continue her pursuit of non-profit design and become an integral part of the Dallas community.