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Community + Collaborative Design

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Header image courtesy Anda and Jenny French of French2D.
Anda French AIA is BSA Vice President/President-Elect.

The design of the built environment—buildings, landscapes, and objects—deeply influences our everyday experiences. Designers of the built environment—architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, and artists—have the opportunity to imagine and create places that celebrate, inspire, and challenge us to think about the world in new ways.

Far too often, the processes and decisions that influence the making and remaking of our everyday experiences of the built environment remain inaccessible to broader publics. Moreover, from the legacies of red lining to environmental justice, decisions about city-making have often structuralized social, cultural, and economic inequity, by design. What would it look like to redesign these processes? Can the processes that shape the built environment account for a diverse collection of ideas, values, desires, and experiences?

Community + Collaborative Design (C+CD) projects at the Boston Society for Architecture recognize that the design of the built environment benefits from collaborative processes that celebrate a multitude of voices. In linking community partners to spatial designers, C+CD projects seek to create new partnerships and alliances, building coalitions in the pursuit of transformative change, and transforming our experiences of the built environment. C + CD projects aim to bring good design to broader audiences, to help community partners envision and create new places, and to amplify the knowledge, expertise, and narratives embedded in each of Boston’s vibrant neighborhoods.

To learn more about the collaborative process behind C + CD projects and how to get involved, visit the FAQ page here. View the status of each project at the links below.

Food for Free Malden Center for Arts & Culture Mission Grammar School Reconstruction
With assistance from Food for Free's experienced program and logistics team and supporters and donors in the community, the C+CD team partnered with Food for Free to provide operational and logistical space planning and assistance with design. The project will enable Food for Free to leverage more volunteers, expand its programming, and source more donations. The City of Malden is currently working with the Commonwealth to acquire the old Malden District Courthouse and convert it into the Malden Center for Arts & Culture. This project seeks to reverse the trend the pandemic has caused, providing a new, affordable space that celebrates the diverse cultures of Malden and its artist community. To better serve the community, make space for increased enrollment, and expand its presence as a neighborhood hub, Mission Grammar School wishes to develop new spaces on campus which will also host community and summer programs. This could include the possible addition of a gym/multipurpose room and additional classrooms. This project would also allow for the restoration of the school’s garden.

Advisory Committee.

Magdalena Ayed, Executive Director, The Harborkeepers

Dr. Taylor Cain, Director, Housing Innovation Lab (City of Boston)

Michael Chavez, Project Development Manager, YouthBuild Boston

Meera Deean, Assistant Deputy Director for Urban Design, BPDA

Sabrina Dorsainvil, Director of Civic Design, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics

Patricia Gruits, Senior Principal & Managing Director, MASS Design Group

Ayako Maruyama, Creative Engagement, design studio 4 social intervention

Killion Mokwete, Director of Operations, Adaptiv

John Peterson, Curator, Loeb Fellowship

Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin AIA, Executive Director, Boston Society of Landscape Architects

R. Kyle Warren, Founder and Director, Fallow / Faculty, Boston Architectural College

Ken Willis, Director of Housing and Community Investment, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston

Frequently Asked Questions.

We realize you may have questions about your eligibility or how to get involved. Please click HERE to read more.

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