Public Interest Design Education Guidebook : Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies book cover
1st Edition

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook
Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies

ISBN 9781138646650
Published September 4, 2018 by Routledge
366 Pages 122 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies presents the pedagogical framework and collective curriculum necessary to teach public interest designers. The second book in Routledge’s Public Interest Design Guidebook series, the editors and contributors feature a range of learning competencies supported by distinct teaching strategies where educational and community-originated goals unite. Written in a guidebook format that includes projects from across design disciplines, this book describes the learning deemed most critical to pursuing an inclusive, informed design practice that meets the diverse needs of both students and community partners.

Featured chapter themes include Fundamental Skills, Intercultural Competencies, Engaging the Field Experience, Inclusive Iteration, and Evaluating Student Learning. The book consists of practice-based and applied learning constructs that bridge community-based research with engaged learning and design practice. SEED (Social Economic Environmental Design) academic case studies introduce teaching strategies that reinforce project-specific learning objectives where solving social, economic, and environmental issues unites the efforts of communities, student designers, and educators. This comprehensive publication also contains indices devoted to learning objectives cross-referenced from within the book as well as considerations for educational program development in public interest design.

Whether you are a student of design, an educator, or a designer, the breadth of projects and teaching strategies provided here will empower you to excel in your pursuit of public interest design.

Table of Contents



Foreword: Can Public Interest Design Be Taught?

Rahul Mehrotra

Introduction: Public Interest Design Pedagogy

Lisa M. Abendroth and Bryan Bell

Part 1: Public Interest Design Curricula
1. Whole-Systems Public Interest Design Education: Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington

Jeffrey Hou, Ben Spencer, and Daniel Winterbottom

2. Educating the Next Generation of Social Innovators: Designmatters at ArtCenter

Mariana Amatullo, Dan Gottlieb, Penny Herscovitch, and Susannah Ramshaw

3. Changing Practice, Practicing Change: The Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design at Portland State University

R. Todd Ferry and Sergio Palleroni

4. A Comprehensive Public Interest Design Curriculum: College of Design, North Carolina State University

Bryan Bell, Robin Abrams, and Gene Bressler

5. Connecting Classrooms and Publics: The University of California, Davis, Center for Design in the Public Interest

Susan Verba, Sarah Perrault, and Tracy Manuel

6. Design (Education) to Create Meaningful Change: The Design for Social Impact Masters Program at the University of the Arts

Anthony Guido with Jeremy Beaudry, Jamer Hunt, Sharon Lefevre, Michael McAllister, and Jonas Milder

7. Collaborating for Change in New Orleans: Small Center for Collaborative Design

Maggie Hansen and Emilie Taylor Welty

8. From the Ground Up: Envisioning an MFA in Public Interest Design at Metropolitan State University of Denver

Lisa M. Abendroth, Kelly Monico, and Peter Miles Bergman

Part 2: Educating the Public Interest Designer
Fundamental Skills
9. Fundamental Skills: Developing Social Literacy through Practice-Based Learning

Lee Davis and Mike Weikert

10. The Edge Effect: PROJECT RE_

John Folan

11. Preparing to Design With: IMPACT Orientation

Megan Clark and Shalini Agrawal

12. Democratic Civic Engagement: The USAER XXXIV Training Center for Special Education

Pedro Pacheco

Intercultural Competencies
13. Intercultural Competencies: Teaching the Intangible

Ursula Hartig and Nina Pawlicki

14. Creating Design Leaders: The African Design Centre

Christian Benimana

15. Teaching Intrapersonal Development, Improving Interpersonal and Intercultural Skill Sets: The Transforming Mindsets Studio

Lisa Grocott and Kate McEntee

16. Addressing Air Pollution Impacts on Senior Citizens in Beijing, China: The International Urbanization Seminar

Deland Chan

Engaging the Field Experience
17. Engaging the Field Experience: Integrated, Interdisciplinary, On-Site, Enduring

Benjamin R. Spencer

18. iZindaba Zokudla (Conversations about Food): Innovation in the Soweto Food System

Angus Donald Campbell and Naudeì Malan

19. Building Partnerships and Awareness: Healing an Urban Stream

Brian Gaudio

20. Advancing Resiliency: The Huxtable Fellowship in Civic Engagement and Service Learning

Benjamin Peterson

Inclusive Iteration
21. Inclusive Iteration: Participation as Method in Design Theory and Practice

Eduardo Staszowski

22. "Making" Change Together: Rust to Green’s Placemaking Praxis

Paula Horrigan

23. Building User Capacity through Iterative Processes: Ten Friends Diner

Edward M. Orlowski and Julia Jovanovic

24. Examining Collaborative Efforts to Visualize Community Transformation: Alexandra Youth Precinct Project

Chris Harnish

Evaluating Student Learning
25. Evaluating Student Learning: Engaging Experience to Create Agents of Change

Nadia M. Anderson

26. Assessing Experiential Learning in Design Education: The Practice Department at The Boston Architectural College

Bethany Lundell Garver

27. Merging Research, Scholarship, and Community Engagement: Roche Health Center

Michael Zaretsky

28. Reflecting through Razor Wire: The Environmental Justice in Prisons Project

Julie Stevens

Part 3: SEED Academic Case Studies
29. The SEED Process for Academia

Lisa M. Abendroth and Bryan Bell

30. SEED Academic Case Studies

Lisa M. Abendroth and Bryan Bell

  1. Design in Partnership with the Lama Foundation
  2. Pleasant Street Pedestrian Project
  3. A Social Approach to Design
  4. Cooperative Education at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center
  5. Com(m)a
  6. The Farm Rover
  7. On Site: Public Art and Design
  8. South of California Avenue
  9. With Sacramento

31. Afterword: A Public Interest Design Educational Platform

Thomas Fisher

Part 4: Appendix



Reading List

Appendix A: Learning Objective Index

Appendix B: Program Considerations Index

Image Credits


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Lisa M. Abendroth is a professor in the Communication Design program at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado, USA. She is a SEED Network founding member and a recipient of the SEED Award for Leadership in Public Interest Design. Her work focuses on the social, economic, and environmental impacts of design created within the contexts of underserved people, places, and problems. Abendroth is a coeditor of the Public Interest Design Practice Guidebook: SEED Methodology, Case Studies, and Critical Issues (2016). 

Bryan Bell founded Design Corps in 1991 with the mission to provide the benefits of design for the 98 percent without architects. Bell has published three books on public interest design. His work has been supported by the American Institute of Architects Latrobe Prize and through a Harvard Loeb Fellowship. His designs have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Bell holds degrees from Princeton University, USA, and Yale University, USA. He teaches at North Carolina State University, USA.


"This book fills an important gap for Public Interest Design educators.  It includes essays and case studies on design projects at a wide range of scales, prepared by designers that truly understand public interest work.  It is likely to become required reading for anyone committed to serving the public through design."
John Quale, Chair, Department of Architecture, University of New Mexico
Founder and Director of the ecoMOD Project


"The Public Interest Design Education Guidebook is a practical and detailed collection of essays, case studies, and critical assessment of community-engaged teaching methods and approaches in architecture and design. Faculty, administrators, students, and community members  will find inspiration, lessons learned, and practical teaching and assessment techniques to inspire and challenge the learning and teaching of design for the public good."
Liz Kramer, Associate Director, Office for Socially Engaged Practice, Washington University in St. Louis.


"Abendroth and Bell have provided an important and inspiring public interest design roadmap. They use case studies to help others understand the efficacy of diverse strategies in a variety of settings. Effective planning and design become far more impactful through engagement and empathy."
Kenneth Schwartz, FAIA
Michael Sacks Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship
Tulane University