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BSA News

Mar 07, 2024

Event Recap: Community + Collaborative Design Networking and Launch

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All featured photos by Wandy Pascoal.

Over 50 representatives from local non-profits, design firms, universities and municipalities gathered at the BSA for the C+CD Launch event on February 22. The evening aimed to spark new collaborative partnerships focused on elevating community voices and tackling pressing issues through innovative design approaches.

Welcome remarks from Danyson Tavares, Executive Director of YouthBuild Boston and newly elected member of the BSA Board of Directors, emphasized the need to reinforce participatory processes that engage broader publics as partners and leaders in envisioning, prototyping, and decision-making about the future of the built environment. He encouraged attendees to advance community design approaches that move beyond superficial engagement towards transformational practices that redistribute power, meet real community needs, and foster spatial justice.

Danyson Tavares giving welcome remarks.

Community Design Director at the BSA, Ben Peterson, provided an overview of C+CD’s approaches to collaborative design from quick design consultations to more extensive coalition-building efforts across many stakeholder groups. David Silverman of STA Design shared his experiences collaborating with Susi Sanchex from UX Studio and hundreds of engaged Malden residents to envision a new Center for Arts in Culture to be housed in a former courthouse. He highlighted the importance of negotiating the realities of budgets, timelines, and building conditions as fundamental to the implementation of vibrant, collective imaginations of community-defined futures.

Ben Peterson, Community Design Director, addressing the group.

After reflecting on past C+CD projects across the region’s neighborhoods, from Mission Hill to Mattapan, from the landscapes of Chelsea Creek and Mass and Cass, the evening concluded with lively conversations on forging new partnerships and new opportunities for bringing community design to life. Many valuable connections were made that hold promise to launch the next collection of community-driven design projects across Greater Boston.

It was inspiring to see such a diverse, committed group come together to explore new approaches to collaborative design. The attendees represented a variety of stakeholders from different publics and communities across the region. This array of perspectives reflected the importance of establishing ways for those most affected by design decisions to have a meaningful voice in how those decisions are made. Communities and architects each bring unique expertise to the table - together, their impact is far greater than what either could achieve alone.

Attendees networking at the BSA Space.

Join C+CD

If you’d like to join this network of collaborators as a designer or an engaged resident of one of Boston’s many neighborhoods, please visit the Community + Collaborative Design Program.

Go to C+CD page