See hOW community-centered design  is transforming the rust belt.

  • Freedom By Design at the urban scale
  • Socially conscious housing
  • Grassroots gentrification
  • Creative class economies

Public interest design is an interdisciplinary practice that engages a participatory, community-centered design practice. Projects often tackle economic and social issues within a broader context of urban design, addressing the lack of fundamental necessities like access to food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, and art in neighborhoods without such resources. This type of design is crucial for community development and is one of the key steps in addressing urban blight and economic depression.

The Public Interest Design Track will focus most specifically on Braddock, a historic steel town that like many industrial towns has fallen from its former glory. The PID Track will engage with issues of sustainability, resource scarcity, social and economic tensions, and the transformative effect art and design can have on communities in need. Currently, Braddock is in the midst of a massive grassroots redevelopment effort and has begun the process of rebranding itself as a prime location for urban farming and sustainable living. The activities of this track will follow several grassroots projects in and around Braddock that have helped to forge new communal bonds and promote a sense of civic pride, progress, and ingenuity. Tours will focus on urban agriculture at Braddock Farms, fine cuisine with an agenda at Superior Motors, and how beer is bringing people closer together in the heart of downtown at The Brew Gentlemen Brewery.