READINGS + RESOURCES
by Rex L. Curry / From Good, Deeds, Good Design / Princeton Architectural Press, New York
"Over the last twenty years, Rex Curry has taught a variety of urban planning seminars and studios in Pratt’s School of Architecture, the Graduate Program for Planning and the Environment, and in the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development. As the former president of the national Association for Community Design, Inc. (ACD), he has furthered the development of this national organization by representing a combination of for profit and nonprofit planning and architectural practices in the United States."
Edited by Tom Angotti + Ann Forsyth / Progressive Planning is the Magazine of the Planners Network
"This issue of Progressive Planning deals with the community design movement, the field of design practices
which focus on social equity and environmental justice. From the very beginning of the community design
movement, community design has been characterized as interdisciplinary and collaborative.The earliest architects who identified themselves as “community designers” came to realize that design skills alone could not
fully address the needs of communities, and that other skill sets, resources and experiences were needed to
fully implement community design. Still dominated by architects, although involving some landscape architects
and planners, community design practice is the design equivalent of progressive planning,emphasizing
participatory processes, affordable housing and socially conscious ecological sustainability.As planners of all
stripes are returning to an emphasis on design in their work, it would seem that progressive planners and
community designers, who share an understanding of issues of race,culture,gender and class are natural allies
and have much to learn from each other.This issue of Progressive Planning magazine is an attempt to initiate
that dialogue in a meaningful way."
by Michael Rios / From (Re)constructing Communities - Design Participation in the Face of Change
"Initiated in the late 1960s as an alternative to the traditional practice of architecture and planning, community design can be defined by a commitment to building local capacity and providing technical assistance to low- and moderate- income communities through participatory means. While community design, built on a rich history of participatory practice is growing, substantive dialogue and reflection about its contribution to community development is lacking. This paper examines the efforts of university- based programs and presents an evaluative framework for community-based projects as a starting point. Treating universities and communities as coequals, a framework is proposed to measure the impacts of community-based projects as a starting point."
by Kathleen Dorgan / From Cityscape, Vol. 10, No. 3 (.PDF Download)
This article provides an overview of the benefits and challenges to universities and communities of design schools undertaking university-based community-design projects and suggests an ethical and practical framework for the planning, management, and evaluation of these studios.
by Mary C. Comerio / Journal of Architecture + Planning Research 1
"In the early 1960s, when a crisis of confidence in professional competence sparked a radical reevaluation of how professionals work, and for whom, many design and planning professionals rejected traditional practice. Instead, they fought against urban redevelopment, advocated for the rights of poor citizens, and developed methods of citizen participation. Community design grew out of these activities and was supported by a host of federal programs focused on the needs of the urban poor. But as the political climate grew increasingly more conservative, and funding diminished, the political model gave way to an economic model. As a result, community design became a more pragmatic in developing a multiplicity of economic and social agendas to help community groups gain some measure of control over resources in their environment. Thus, community design practice identifies and solves particular environmental problems in which the client is a special-interest group and the problem is social, economic, and/or political, as well as physical. Community design can be distinguished from traditional professional practice because it is client-, process-, and value-specific, yet remarkably nonspecific in terms of its professional tasks. These characteristics provide a framework for evaluating community design as a new area of professional activity."
by Zeynep Toker / Design Studies Vol 28 No. 3
"This paper reports a recent study asking current community design practitioners to identify the most influential people and key issue leaders in the community design field and to define the concept itself. The results of the study show that in addition to the continuing concepts such as participation, there are new concepts such as new urbanism and sustainability which are now associated with community design. The most important conclusion, however, is that community design field is in fact in search of new perspectives."