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Architecture is a manifestation of culture. On the occasion of AIA Baltimore’s 150th anniversary, the AIA Baltimore and Baltimore Architecture Foundation 2021 Lecture Series will explore how the built environment simultaneously reflects and influences culture, in Baltimore and beyond. Each lecture will expose how cultural values shape design. The three lectures are focused around themes with specific local resonance in Baltimore, a city in which the arts and culture are key to community identity, history, and future vitality: Architecture and Identity, Art and Architecture, Architecture and Social Justice. Visiting and local speakers will examine and highlight the built environment and its relationship with the arts, community initiatives, sustainability goals, preservation, equity, the vernacular, and more, as we reflect on how these have been shaped by design practice throughout AIA Baltimore’s 150 year history.
Our first lecture will explore the overall theme and how architecture and the built environment are directly influenced by cultural values. It will examine this through the lens of community-based design initiatives nationally, and projects specific to Baltimore.
Stephen Luoni, Associate AIA, Director of University of Arkansas Community Design Center will address public-interest design and its role in producing public goods, the very definition of what it means to be a profession. Placemaking platforms in housing and food will be discussed through urban design projects underway.
Architects are asked with greater frequency to solve for complex public-interest problems, or “wicked problems” with multi-variate challenges characterized by social complexity. The University of Arkansas Community Design, a teaching office with professional staff, has developed building blocks for a new ecology of the city. A repertoire of eight placemaking platforms triangulates public policy, best practices, and design in agricultural urbanism, missing middle-scale housing, context-sensitive street design, development-oriented transit, watershed urbanism, and low impact development. Our focus on expansive problem-solving through new design tools and pattern languages address the public good in addressing the grand challenges that enlarge the design professions.
Becky Slogeris, Associate Director at the Center for Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will present Made You Look: Design as if People Mattered.
The Center for Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is dedicated to demonstrating and promoting the value of design in advancing equity and social justice, and to inspiring and preparing the next generation of creative changemakers. In July 2018, a team of students and staff at the Center launched Made You Look, an ongoing initiative to create a safer Baltimore for pedestrians and bicyclists. In collaboration with community stakeholders and the support of Maryland Department of Transportation, Made You Look aims to make Baltimore a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists by increasing visibility on two levels: (1) raising the visibility of individuals walking or biking in the city and (2) making local safety concerns visible to policymakers.
About the Presenters
Stephen Luoni is Director of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC) where he is the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies and a Distinguished Professor of Architecture. UACDC is one of a few university-based teaching offices in the United States dedicated to delivering urban design work. His work at UACDC specializes in interdisciplinary public-interest design combining ecological, urban, and architectural design. UACDC has developed several place-making platforms to shape civic design and public policy, including work in missing middle housing, agricultural urbanism, transit-oriented development, context-sensitive street design, watershed urbanism, and low impact development.
Under his direction since 2003, UACDC’s work has won more than 175 awards for urban design, research, and education, including Progressive Architecture Awards, American Institute of Architects Honors Awards for Regional and Urban Design, Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, American Society of Landscape Architecture Awards, Environmental Design Research Association Awards, American Architecture Awards, and the international LafargeHolcim Awards.
Luoni directed production of the center’s books: Houses for Aging Socially, Conway Urban Watershed Framework Plan, and Low Impact Development: a design manual for urban areas—which has been translated into Chinese. His work has been published in Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Architect, Places, and in international journals. He was appointed a 2012 United States Artists Ford Fellow. Luoni has a BS in Architecture from Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University.
Becky Slogeris is Associate Director at the Center for Social Design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where she brings MICA students together with outside partners to advance equity and social justice through design. Her work touches many of the most pressing challenges in Baltimore – from hearing healthcare for older adults to underage drinking prevention, reproductive justice for women to smoke free homes, HIV stigma to pedestrian and bicyclist safety. She is a graduate of MICA with a BFA in graphic design and an MA in Social Design.
Quinton Batts & Vilde Ulset are Associates at MICA’s Center for Social Design and graduates of the MA in Social Design program. As leads of the Center’s Made You Look initiative in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Highway Safety Office, they work to equip communities with the tools needed to create safer places for pedestrians and bicyclists.