About

Social Design Insights is a weekly podcast of conversations with leading designers who discuss innovative projects and practices that use design to address pressing social justice issues. The podcast is hosted by Eric Cesal and Emiliano Gandolfi, and produced by the Curry Stone Design Prize. Learn more.

Credits

Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our sound engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Taryn Turner, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation, for pulling everything together.
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Episode 1
Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman

Reimagining the Border, Part 1

Part 1
Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman of Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman discuss their practice at the Tijuana/San Diego border, and how design transcends politics.
How do Designers enter the world of policy? Can Designers be Policy-Makers?
How can Design empower communities?
24:58
Episode 2
Teddy Cruz & Fonna Forman

Reimagining the Border, Part 2

Part 2
Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman of Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman continue their discussion of design & politics at the San Diego/Tijuana border.
How does design decriminalize a border? Can Designers position themselves against anti-immigrant rhetoric?
Can Designers provide language which can bridge communities?
30:58
Episode 3
Mark Lakeman (City Repair)

The Street As a Revolution

Mark Lakeman of the City Repair Project discusses motives and methods for igniting neighborhood change, street by street.
How does Guerilla Practice become Policy?
Is the U.S. Exporting Sprawl to Developing Countries?
How has the CRP philosophy played out in the streets of Portland?
22:35
Episode 4
Arquitectura Expandida

Engaging Community, Engaging Practice

Arquitectura Expandida discusses its approach to working in informal communities alongside (and sometimes around) government.
How do Architects Engage Informal Communities?
How do you engage with the Government?
How do you convince a community to build something?
25:13
Episode 5
Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas)

Flirting with Illegality

Santiago Cirugeda - Spain’s 'Guerrilla Architect’ - explains how he challenges urban authority and makes neighborhoods work for everyone.
How did Recetas Urbanas get it's start?
How is Your Practice Shifting to Deal with Larger, Systemic Problems?
What do you do went public agencies won't let the public use public buildings?
20
Episode 6
Breaking Ground + Jonathan Kirschenfeld

Fighting for Dignified Housing

Part 1
Jonathan Kirschenfeld and Brenda Rosen share their thoughts on the right to housing, and methodologies for doing supportive housing well.
Is the Right to Housing Real?
Setting Aside Clichés, What Does Homelessness Look Like?
What is the Difference Between “Supportive” Housing and “Affordable” Housing?1
20:00
Episode 7
Breaking Ground + Jonathan Kirschenfeld

Fighting for Dignified Housing

Part 2
Jonathan Kirschenfeld and Brenda Rosen share their thoughts on the right to housing, and methodologies for doing supportive housing well.
How Can Housing Rehabilitate a Neighborhood?
What’s the Difference between a Community Facility and a Residential Property? Why is that Important?
Can Doing Good Work Inadvertently Encourage Gentrification?
20
Episode 8
Asian Coalition for Housing Rights

Growth, Equity & Asian Cities

The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights is a large broad­based coalition of like­minded groups fighting for housing advocacy throughout Asia; they share with us their strategies.
What Are the Main Issues Confronting Asian Cities?
What is a ‘ParaArchitect?’
How do you Ensure that New Housing is Done Well?
How Does an Architect Work with Other Disciplines?
26:34
Episode 9
Anne Lacaton & Jean Phillipe Vassal

Add, Transform, and Reuse!

Lacaton & Vassal Deconstructs Their Widely­ Acclaimed methods for the Re­adaptation of Modernist housing blocks in France.
Through the Lens of ‘Less is More,’ What are the Important Challenges Facing Architects Today?
How do you Create an Inclusive Community with Disparate Populations?
How Must Housing Evolve to Accommodate the Needs of Evolving Society?
24:45
Episode 10
Project H + Public Architecture

Emily Pilloton and John Peterson Argue for Design as the Great Equalizer

Part 1
John Peterson and Emily Pilloton share their practices and discuss how design can subvert structural inequality
What are the origins of Project H?

Windsor Farmers Market in Bertie County North Carolina 2010. One of the first projects completed by Studio H, the project was designed and built entirely by high school students.

How do designers respond to the needs of their community?

Public Architecture helped to develop an anchor strategy for University of Texas Rio Grande Valley that aligns with priorities of low-income communities and encourages equitable regional development throughout South Texas.

26:16
Episode 11
Project H + Public Architecture

Emily Pilloton and John Peterson Argue for Design as the Great Equalizer

Part 2
We continue our discussion with John and Emily about what role design can play in challenging rising economic and social inequality.
What does the future of social design look like?

Girls Garage participants with a sign that reads FEARLESS that they welded as a group.

Tell us about the Girls Garage?

Completed thesis projects by Girls Garage participants.

24:47
Episode 12
El Equipo Mazzanti

Why All Architecture is Social

Giancarlo Mazzanti shares his thoughts on transforming Medellin and how great architecture can bring neighborhoods together.
What’s the most important question to answer when engaging a community?

Pies Descalzos School, Shakira´s foundation in Cartagena by Sergio Gómez

How do we bring the lessons of the Medellin transformation out into the world?

Santa Marta´s park renovation, canopy by Rodrigo Dávila

23:20
Episode 13
Al Borde

How to Design a School for $200

David Barragan of Al Borde discusses how design can empower a community to become their own designers & builders.
How did you find a common language between the designers and the community?

Al Borde at work. Each project begins with an extensive consultation and the building of relationships within a community.

How do you translate the wisdom of the field into pedagogy?

Esperanza Dos, Under Construction. All of the Esperanza projects were made using materials local to the village, and expertise cultivated in partnership with its residents.

26:51
Episode 14
Active Social Architecture

Combining Ancient Traditions and Contemporary Social Design

Active Social Architecture is a Kigali-based architecture practice that designs and builds contemporary re-elaborations of vernacular Rwandan architecture.
How do you initially frame a project?

A celebration: handing over an open-air kitchen module to the community.

What are the most important findings in your research?

Interior view of a pre-primary classroom. Much of ASA's work focuses on the exploration of space, void, shape & color. It's their belief that the organization of space can itself be a tool of education, providing stimulation from the earliest ages.

How do you implement a project in remote conditions?

Aerial view of Mugombwa refugee camp, South Province, Rwanda. Active Social Architecture has worked extensively with communities affected by flooding in rural Rwanda.

25:23
Episode 15
Build Change

A Homeowner-driven Approach to Rebuilding After Disaster

Dr. Elizabeth Hausler of Build Change details a homeowner-driven approach to rebuilding after disaster.
What initially brought you into the field of disaster reconstruction and resilience?
Lola Gomez

Brickmakers at work in Indonesia. Addressing disaster requires intervention at all levels - often the best way to ensure sustainable recovery is to make sure that a community can make their own materials.

Why do we have so much trouble preparing for disasters which we know are coming?
Build Change

Build Change's Nepal staff explaining a housing retrofit. Build Change's model looks to strengthen existing structures in place, where possible. Even buildings undamaged in an earthquake can represent a future hazard if not addressed.

What strategies do you employ to disseminate the lessons which you’ve learned through your work?
Build Change

Here, Build Change leads a community awareness training program at a school in Port au Prince. Community education is critical to prevention, and features heavily in Build Change's ethos on disaster and resilience.

24:11
Episode 16
Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

Design, Development and Disaster Mitigation in Pakistan

Yasmeen Lari details the growth of resilient architecture and sustainable development in Pakistan.
How can designers be smarter about preparing for disaster?
What is the strategy to rebuild when communities are under future threats?
How do we counteract the risks created by rapid development?

Yasmine Lari, visionary architect and founder of the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan

25:50
Episode 17
Mohammed Rezwan

Mitigating Climate-Based Disaster Before it Strikes

Mohammed Rezwan of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha details his designs for floating communities.
How did Shidhulai get it’s start? What was the initial inspiration?

School-boat inventor Architect Mohammed Rezwan’s idea was to ‘combine a school bus with the schoolhouse, and use the traditional wooden boat to create a floating space to bring primary education at the doorsteps’.

How would you describe the reach of your work?

A floating farm measures about 56 feet long (including the duck coop, vegetable garden and fish enclosures) and 16 feet wide, and made of recycled materials including steel and plastic cylindrical containers, fishing net, corrugated iron sheet, and steel sheet along with locally-grown bamboo

What are your most urgent challenges?

A teacher teaches Bangla to the students studying in grade III on the lower deck of a two- tier school-boat where a circular bench is introduced for the teacher and student bonding.

23:12
Episode 18
Geohazards International

Unifying First and Third World Strategies for Disaster Mitigation

Geohazards International shares their groundbreaking methods for disaster mitigation.
What’s the difference between hard and soft resilience?

Planning tsunami evacuation routes in Padang, Indonesia. Residents will have roughly 30 minutes to reach high ground by foot after a major earthquake triggers a tsunami.

How do you adapt local materials into safe seismic design?

Schoolchildren learn about the physics of earth shaking and safe construction as a part of training an entire community to better prepare for earthquakes.

Where, globally, does the greatest risk lie?

GHI and Bhutan engineers at the Trashiyangtse District Hospital that can be isolated after a disaster. Doctors, nurses, and staff are learning how to continue to offer medical care after a major earthquake to the growing population of its 20,000 residents.

23:07
Social
Design
Insights
May 17

Can 

We 

Design 

Community 

Engagement? 

Social
Design
Insights
June 17

Can 

Design 

Reclaim 

Public 

Space 

Social
Design
Insights
July 17

Can 

We 

Design 

Slum-Friendly 

City 

July '17
Social
Design
Insights
August 17

How 

Do 

We 

Design 

With 

Scarcity 

August '17
Social
Design
Insights
September 17

What 

Can 

Design 

Do 

to 

Promote 

Peace 

September '17
Social
Design
Insights
October 17

Can 

City 

Work 

as 

an 

Ecosystem 

October '17
Social
Design
Insights
November 17

Does 

Design 

Create 

Politics 

or 

Vice 

Versa 

November '17
Social
Design
Insights
December 17

How 

Do 

We 

Democratize 

Design 

December '17