Design in the Public Interest
This seminar is an introduction to the field of Public Interest Design through readings, case studies, and small projects that will be designed and executed in teams. At the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, we are working to expand the role of designers and the impact of good design in our home, New Orleans, by creating a space for more voices in the design process. We believe that all citizens are impacted by our built environment and should be empowered to participate in the decisions that shape it. We use the design process as a powerful coalition building tool and our role in many projects extends beyond architecture to diplomacy, education, and facilitation. Through this process we are also able to prove the value of design excellence in our city and shift conventions (both in perception, and reality) around who architects serve and what they work on. In short, the Tulane City Center brings together creative makers and doers, working for a better city. We advance community-driven ideas through collaboration, design education, and scrappy problem-solving.
This course will introduce students to the why and how of public interest design and will provide a chance to learn through doing by working with community partners on their design projects. The specific projects and community partners for this spring have not yet been selected but will be chosen from an open call for ideas from community groups and local non-profits and will fall within our Inform, Explore, or Imagine project categories. A Reflection paper and discussion will follow conclusion of the design/engagement work.