Two designers with a deep commitment to public engagement and social good will speak at the Alberini Family Speaker Series in Design presented by the UC Davis College of Letters and Science Department of Design.
Damon Rich, awarded a MacArthur Fellowship last year, and Rosten Woo will speak at the event titled “Building Power: Designing for Democracy Involving Communities in Design.” The two are founders of the Center for Urban Pedagogy, a nonprofit that promotes civic engagement in design and creates programs to engage community organizations and young people in understanding affordable housing, infrastructure design and zoning.
The event will take place in the Ann E. Pitzer Center on May 30 at 4:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
“Our department cares a lot about sustainability — which includes social equity as one facet —and human-centered and socially responsible design,” said Christina Cogdell, design department chair. “As part of that, we have courses that include public interest and community-based design.”
Damon Rich is a designer, visual artist and partner at Hector, an urban design, planning and civic arts studio. He is former chief urban designer for the City of Newark, New Jersey, where he oversaw completion of the city’s first riverfront park and the first update of its zoning regulations in 50 years.
Along with the MacArthur Fellowship, he has won the American Planning Association National Planning Award, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, and the Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Rosten Woo is an artist, designer and writer whose aim is to help people understand complex systems and participate in group decision-making. He is consultant to many grassroots organizations including Little Tokyo Service Center, the Black Workers Center, and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation in the Los Angeles area, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and California State Parks. His work has been exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial, the Venice Architecture Biennale, and various piers, public housing developments, shopping malls and parks.
“The Alberini Family Speaker Series is an amazing opportunity for our students to learn from and interact with national leaders in design fields,” Cogdell said. “We want to expose our students to established professionals and up-and-coming thinkers and makers who are transforming design today.”
The Alberini Family Speaker Series in Design is supported through an endowment by the Carlos and Andrea Alberini Family Foundation. The series presents renowned innovators and thinkers in design to inspire student and community engagement and learning.
— Jeffrey Day, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science