This is mostly a picture post – click below for more! I also wanted to quickly elaborate on some of the themes that came out of the conference:
Top-down vs. bottom-up: There was a lot of discussion about top-down (centralized) versus bottom-up (grassroots) approaches to planning and architecture. One strong point of view held that bottom-up work best engages the community and produces the most useful results. However, I think a large number of people also realized that architects and planners are uniquely able to mediate between top-down and bottom-up approaches. This theme came out in Teddy Cruz’s talk as he discussed the potential of working in border conditions and areas of conflict. It came out in Jim Diers’ advocacy of Neighborhood Matching Funds Programs as a way to support neighborhood initiatives without trying to control them or make them dependent on the central government. It also came out as Dan Adams talked about the role of architecture and art in creating a dialogue between industry and community.
Money: The question of funding came up several times, and it’s a critical one for alternative practices. The conference highlighted a number of opportunities, including the Rose Fellowship, Loeb Fellowship, New York Prize Fellowship, the newly created SEED Grants, and of course the Design Corps Fellowship. More generally, the presenters emphasized that young professionals can’t be timid about talking money; you need to ask for money, particularly if you’re seeking out your own projects. Design services create value. As Teddy Cruz put it, “The problem is not a lack of resources, it’s the stupid way the resources are often applied.”
Collaboration and networking: The Structures for Inclusion conference itself makes this theme very clear: sharing ideas and knowledge within the field is an extremely valuable thing. In terms of non-profit practice, David Perkes in particular emphasized the importance of developing as many partnerships as possible. Other speakers addressed the need to coordinate among non-profits in order to avoid duplicating the same work. Simon Trace and others spoke about ways to build and share institutional knowledge.
And now, on to the pictures!
Rooftops near the Boston Architectural College:
The sign-in table at SFI (from left: Betsy Ramaccia, Ella Scheuer, Patrick Jones)
The line extends for the Shigeru Ban lecture:
Conference announcement outside the GSD:
Panel I – David Perkes:
Panel I – Liz Ogbu and Carin Smuts:
Panel II – John Fetterman and Amy Balkin:
Panel III – Jim Diers:
Panel III – Simon Trace, Jennifer Toy and Chelina Odbert:
Panel IV – Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner:
Panel IV – Teddy Cruz and Alfredo Brillembourg:
The audience members near the end of Saturday’s panels:
Ryan Bollom, one of the GSD students who organized the conference:
Saturday night reception:
The most important landmark in Cambridge – the offices of Car Talk:
Running into Samilton outside of Curious George’s with Jody and Sarah:
Best picture ever. Good to the last drop eh?
Jody has intense eyes:
Hooray for Boston: