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Design By Any Other Name: A Conversation with Abir Ali and Norman Teague

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

Abir Ali and Norman Teague have invented design practices that radically depart from the design establishment. They work on their own terms by eschewing traditional distinctions between professional practice and social justice, art-making, and urban development. They forge new paradigms for what design can mean and do. Driven by a sense of mission and agnostic of scale, they are as facile at making beautiful objects as equitable cities.

Join Norman and Abir for a freewheeling, candid, and occasionally foul-mouthed conversation about their work in and outside of disciplinary design—and the ways in which nontraditional practices can influence the design conversation in Boston. Focusing on issues of access and equity in the public realm, the conversation will also feature Isabel Zempel, principal at Sasaki; Stephen Gray Assoc. AIA, Associate Professor at Harvard GSD; and Philip Barash, Fellow at The Boston Foundation.

Free and open. Refreshments will be provided.


Co-presented by the BSA Urban Design Committee and The Boston Foundation.

Bios:Abir is Director of Design and Culture at The Platform, an innovative real estate practice that is reshaping Detroit by focusing on community identity and civic life. She previously practiced architecture at a public-interest design firm in Chicago. In Detroit, she supported strategies for place-based investments at the Hudson Weber Foundation and led a grass-roots public ideas competition for the New Economy Initiative.

NormanTeague is a Chicago-based designer and educator whose design practice empowers black and brown communities. He is currently part of the exhibition design team for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. Previously, he worked on significant cultural and public art projects as part of Theaster Gates's Rebuild Foundation.

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