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Let WiD be your Presentation Sponsor at ABX 2017


The Women in Design Symposium theme at the 2017 ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABx) is Envisioning the Future and will explore the process and applications of large-scale planning on the communities they serve

As designers, we shape our built environment in ways to benefit its inhabitants. We collaborate with the public to understand their needs, we meet with government officials to outline the process, and we reach across disciplines to propose solutions. As community demographics shift so do the needs of the people in that neighborhood, city, or town; so careful consideration must be placed on projecting that vision to the future. In an ever-evolving landscape of varying interests, it is critical that we work creatively and collaboratively toward a common goal of providing spaces for people to not only live and work but to thrive. 

Cities and towns, to remain successful, continuously undergo change and adapt to the needs of its residents. Envisioning initiatives serve to guide the process and convey to decision makers the interests of the community. These can vary in scale from resident advocates working with businesses to lobby for street improvements to government-initiated citywide revitalization. Citizens and design professionals when working together can make impactful changes through these urban transformations. Boston is currently undergoing an envisioning process, Imagine Boston 2030, with input from all sides of the table and every corner of the city. It is a long and at times frustrating process but necessary to define the priorities of the project. Other smaller towns are repeating this nationwide as public policy makers and members of the design community aspire to best serve the public. What can we learn from these processes to best guide our own pursuits in shaping our own communities to better serve the needs of all? How can we engage the public most effectively in conveying those needs? and what does that future look like, how do you go from policy to a better built environments?

We are seeking session proposals related to the topic of “Envisioning the Future”, which may include:

PROJECTS            What are examples of envisioning initiatives that serve as successful case-studies, and what are the long-term effects that these have had on the communities they serve?

What are the tools and methodologies one uses to incorporate social and cultural initiatives into a built work or landscape?

What role does critical design play within the policy initiatives? 

How do you educate the public on the importance of design aspiration?

PROCESS             How do designers navigate the social and political aspects of the public input process and envisioning policies to achieve successful results? 

 How does envisioning secure and maintain financial backing?  What are channels for alternate funding, or role of pro-bono services within the design practice?

How might a public-centric design process impact professionals that work exclusively within the private realm?

How can private entities be most effectively brought into the engagement process?

PARTICIPANTS   How do design professionals engage with other disciplines– law, economics, cultural anthropology, politics – in order to address critical issues of a given community?

How do trans-disciplinary partnerships strengthen the viability of an envisioning initiative?  How might a professional develop and foster those relationships?

How might collaboration between the professional and academic fields foster innovative solutions that impact the envisioning process?


Submit proposals online to and be sure to list WID as your Presentation Sponsor. Proposals are due March 31st.

If you have any questions contact Mary McCarthy at or Charlotte Bouvier at