The ACD Intensive Fellowship

The Association for Community Design is pleased to announce that their 2017 Fellow is architect Beau Frail, who will be working with host firm Latent Design in Chicago, IL for two weeks in November.

The ACD Intensive Fellowship is a short and deep dive focusing on the business of social design by exploring critical topics with community partners. The Fellowship gives an emerging professional in the community design field the opportunity to build a deep understanding of the various steps in the community design process. The 2017 Fellow, Beau Frail, is an architect based in Austin, TX who is currently in the process of establishing his own social impact architectural practice. He will be working collaboratively with the host firm, Latent Design and founder Katherine Darnstadt, to gain in-depth experience from a leading community design practice, develop his firm strategy, and progress a community based project in Austin.

During his Fellowship, Beau will focus on developing a strategy for implementing a community-based project with the East 12th St Merchants Association (ETSMA). ETSMA advocates for the preservation, sustainment, and development of the East 12th Street Corridor as a thriving and diverse cultural destination. They represent over 20 neighborhood businesses and work to organize, coordinate, and connect local merchants, businesses, and community organizations in the establishment of a strong community. Natasha Harper-Madison, a board member of the ETSMA, says “we’ve organized a diverse group of local business owners who are loyal to the neighborhood and encourage growth in the Corridor in the interest of commerce, community, and historical preservation.”

Beau will also be collaborating on this project with the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department’s Souly Austin Program. Souly Austin supports the creation and retention of stable, organized business districts through the formation of merchants associations. At its core, Souly Austin focuses on retaining, enhancing and preserving the unique, character rich business districts that provide access to day to day amenities and services, entertainment and community. Souly has been working with ETSMA after a group of business leaders expressed interest in forming a district merchants association. Together ETSMA and Souly Austin are creating a comprehensive set of priorities identified by the businesses that will enhance the district’s public realm and support the historical and cultural heritage that the district has to offer. Nicole Klepadlo, Redevelopment Project Manager with the City of Austin says “Souly Austin has been a platform for businesses to work together, create a cohesive vision and collaborate on activities that support unique experiences for patrons and promote economic growth in business districts”

Latent Design’s Activate! Chicago project featuring the micro retail prototype Boombox, will be a central focus for the Fellowship. Katherine Darnstadt says “place-based projects like Boombox can transform underutilized public plazas into cultural, community, and economic catalysts.” During the ACD Fellowship, Beau will further develop the community partnerships with ETSMA and Soul-y while engaging in research and formulating a strategy for implementing an Austin-based project. Beau says “I’m excited to spend time in Chicago conducting research around local business districts, including their strategies for innovating in the public realm and tools for making low-impact yet long-lasting design improvements. I plan to bring these findings back to Austin, supporting the East 12th Street district and working collaboratively with community partners to develop and implement the project.”