Race Architecture

Race + Public Space Event

Race + Public Space panelists Ian Smith, Tya Winn, Majeedah Rashid and David Kyu (L to R)

Ian participated in the event Race + Public Space in December 2017 hosted by PlanPhilly, Urban Consulate, PhilaNOMA, Community Design Collaborative, and Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations. The event delved into conversations around race and design in Philadelphia and the disparity between the mostly white planning professionals and the mostly black residents. The panel discussion focused on how designers can widen their focus beyond mere aesthetic concerns.

Ian has been involved in design efforts to improve neighborhoods of color and strongly feels the need to get more involved in outreach to those communities. Here’s what he shared with the panel:

“[We need to] talk to more people, right? [We need to be] having good discussions that are tough. Don’t be afraid to get into it and be passionate… I find in the public sphere, it’s hard to be oppositional. But it’s the power of opposition that creates new meaning. We know that the dialectic is what creates meaning.”

Read more about the event here.

Photo Credit: Witty Gritty