Observations from Wandering Cities

In 2015, I attended the Growing in Place conference in Raleigh, NC to address how children can learn and play in urban environments: How can urban design expose and restore urban nature so children and youth engage with compelling, equitable places for creative play and learning? How can nonformal education in nature enrich playful learning… Continue reading Observations from Wandering Cities

Philly Monuments

I added my voice to Philadelphia's monument conversation in PlanPhilly's "Eyes on the Street" segment, which is discussing "What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” My essay here: Mural Arts' Monument Lab wants to know, “What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” It’s a great question, but I want… Continue reading Philly Monuments

PARK(ing) Day in Philadelphia, Roots in San Diego

I love PARK(ing) Day because it showcases how quick, cheap, and mobile solutions can vastly improve our quality of life. By reducing vehicle speeds and reclaiming streets as people spaces, these temporary parklets build community and prove that a tiny respites from city life is welcome. Philadelphia's PARK(ing) Day includes 52 businesses, designers, and organizations co-opting… Continue reading PARK(ing) Day in Philadelphia, Roots in San Diego

Using Design to Address Homelessness through Transitional Housing

Last spring Activate14–an outreach initiative I co-founded–jumped on the tiny home craze in an effort to address Raleigh's underserved homelessness community. We wanted to prove our belief that good design is accessible to everyone and can radically change a community. The transition out of homelessness is more successful when services like job training, medical attention, and other support are provided through… Continue reading Using Design to Address Homelessness through Transitional Housing

The Case Against Major-League Sport Stadiums in Urban Areas

Before leaving Raleigh, a conversation emerged around bringing a major-league sports team to the capitol city. Several people–all men–thought a football or basketball stadium near the amphitheater would be THE BEST THING EVER. Let me tell you why it’s not: 1. Stadiums are dead zones. The NBA plays 41 home games per year, the MLB has… Continue reading The Case Against Major-League Sport Stadiums in Urban Areas

Ten Principles for Good Design from Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams is a German industrial designer whose design approach is "Less, but better". He believes good design: Is innovative - The possibilities for progression are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs. But imaginative design always develops in tandem with improving technology, and can never be an… Continue reading Ten Principles for Good Design from Dieter Rams

Quick Ugly Housing = Future Affordable Housing?

Is Raleigh getting ugly, or is it just me? Raleigh is quickly looking like a second-tier replica city dictated by developer's profit margins. All of our new housing developments are plywood wrapped in terrible materials; they're poorly designed, unfriendly to the street, and, frankly, an eyesore. Elan City Center could be one of those at Clark+Oberlin, on N Boylan, S… Continue reading Quick Ugly Housing = Future Affordable Housing?