Chapter 579: TWIGCCDS


We're going to get back to basics here just to get everyone up to speed. I'm going to be going out to San Francisco next week for the Association of Community Design/Planners Network joint conference entitled "Towards a Just Metropolis" and I'm hoping to welcome more people to the site and use it as a tool to produce material, gain knowledge and share experience with others in the field as well as disseminate some of the information and resources we may have at our disposal for people interested in looking to work in a subsidized practice or community design setting. Although we don't sit around listening to old-timey bluegrass here on the Gulf Coast, the video below of our Director, David Perkes is a great introduction to the work we do and the history the Studio.

Regarding San Francisco, here is the intro to the conference from the website:

"A conference for planners, designers, activists, policymakers and citizens dedicated to a just future for all human settlements.

This joint conference of Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), New Village Press, Planners Network (PN), Young Planners Network, Association for Community Design (ACD) and The Center for theLiving City merges the annual conferences of these national and international organizations, which have brought together progressive urbanists and innovative ideas for more than three decades. The June 2010 conference will unite planners, architects, designers, urban activists, educators, journalists, policymakers, academics, students and concerned citizens from diverse backgrounds across North America who share a passion for social, environmental and economic justice. All are committed to exchanging their experiences and visions for robust civic engagement, innovative planning and inclusive community building.

These same organizations coordinated joint national conferences in 2007 to address social justice and community-initiated rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina--a week-long event in multiple cities that connected grassroots partners with visiting urbanists.

Building on this experience, Toward a Just Metropolis brings us together under one tent again, this time together with numerous innovative and progressive organizations and agencies who call the San Francisco Bay Area home.

Toward a Just Metropolis will be hosted by the Department of City & Regional Planning and the College of Environmental Design (CED) at the University of California, Berkeley, under the leadership of new dean, Jennifer Wolch, herself a longtime advocate of just and sustainable cities. The College will be the site of many core conference activities, including classroom workshops and some plenary sessions. Mobile workshops, long a hallmark of Planners Network conferences, will take place throughout the region in cooperation with local community-based organizations and regional advocates and policy analysts. In order to increase community access to some of the major events of the conference, we are choosing sites with easy access to public transportation in the San Francisco East Bay Area, particularly in Oakland and Richmond."

As for the GCCDS presence at the conference itself, David will be speaking along with our former colleague and current director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Christine Gaspar as well as Dan Pitera, the head of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center in a panel entitled: Just Beginnings: Alternatives to the Clean Slate. Personally, I can't wait to see them all together in discussion. All three are such brilliant people that I'm sure it's going to be a great session.

As for myself, in lieu of Bryan Bell of DesignCorps/SEED Network/2010-2011 Loeb Fellowship fame presenting at the conference, I will be stepping in to present the SEED Network in a paper session entitled: "Digital and Web‐Based Resources for Planners and Designers" in a talk about SEED and the benefits of digital media in sharing resources and expertise of designers in a variety of disciplines working with communities and how a commitment to setting goals with and for the work in the community will create positive growth.

Other presenters in my session and their topics are:

"The Open Source City: Civic Engagement and Digital Technologies," Francisca Rojas (MIT)

"Los Angeles_REDCAR," Gerry Tierney (Perkins+Will), Benjamin Feldmann (Perkins+Will), Tyrone Marshall (510 Collective), Katie Handy, Dinesh Perera (Format Design Studio), and Thérèse Tierney (TT_Studio)

"Local Code: Real Estates", Nicholas de Monchaux (UC Berkeley)

As for additional work at the Design Studio. I have one house in construction and a number of others coming through construction documents and redlines. A house that I have been working on for quite some time is in the process of procuring a final bid and then will start construction which I'm quite happy about. Other than that, I'm rushing like a mad man to get all my IDP backlogged before July 1st and cranking away on other research based projects in the studio. More as it becomes available regarding the GCCDS and I'll be sure to take pictures at the conference.