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The Architect as a Civic Practitioner: Reimagined Approaches for the Architecture Field to Advance Equitable Practice

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This thesis asks the question, 'How can equitable approaches be advanced within the architectural discipline in order for architects to make increasingly meaningful social and civic impacts on vulnerable communities?'

This thesis asks the question, 'How can equitable approaches be advanced within the architectural discipline in order for architects to make increasingly meaningful social and civic impacts on vulnerable communities?' It is a product of my experience working on a project for a low-income community of color, along with my realization that I did not possess the tools to be able to design in a way that fostered equity for this community. In an attempt to design those tools for myself and question how architectural practices can be used to enhance equity in one's work, the thesis features the reimagining of several architectural approaches. The approaches take inspiration from the discipline of equitable creative placemaking, drawing from concepts such as cultural asset mapping, co-creation, and fostering community agency.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Placemaking and Social Equity: Expanding the Framework of Creative Placemaking

Description

Artists play a seminal role in advancing humanity through place-based creative initiatives that change not only the aesthetics of place, but also the aesthetics of belonging. Creative placemaking initiatives should

Artists play a seminal role in advancing humanity through place-based creative initiatives that change not only the aesthetics of place, but also the aesthetics of belonging. Creative placemaking initiatives should provide authentic opportunities for community members to express their relationship with their physical and social environment. Current models of creative placemaking are tethered to the built environment and urban revitalization. An expanded model of creative placemaking is needed to address the complexities of today’s urban neighborhoods, a new model that develops places of belonging for the collective good; measures empowerment, cultural stewardship and community attachment as indicators of success; and is committed to addressing the root causes of social inequity through artist-led civic engagement activities. Artists develop arts-based initiatives that fully engage and empower a community’s capacity to self-express their distinct cultural identity through place. Artists equipped with nimble entrepreneurial skills who are guided by a spirit of authentic collaboration can be significant change agents in their communities. Established and emerging creative practitioners will benefit from identifying cross-sector collaboration that expands the role of artistic life into civic life.

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Date Created
  • 2014-01-20