Expand Your Boundaries

7 Strategies Operating Public Interest Design

    Public interest design practitioners are professionals at thinking outside of the box. They work to serve the community and find the best way possible to overcome all the obstacles that get in their way. The ways at which they go about overcoming these obstacles is as diverse as the myriad of projects that the industry sees as a whole every year. While from one practitioner to the next they each have their own way to go about getting involved to serve the community, there are seven general strategies they all employ to get the job done. Those strategies include:

  1.  Focusing on Social, Economic, Political and Environmental Impact
  2.  Engaging the Community
  3.  Identifying Projects
  4.  Expanding Disciplinary and Professional Boundaries
  5.  Overcoming Funding Limitations
  6.  Advocating For Equity
  7.  Educating the Profession 

As outlined above there are many different avenues a practitioner can take to engage in public interest design. All it could take is one strategy to start making a difference and serving the community. From there it’s easy to see increased involvement would occur which would allow the rest of the strategies to be utilized and better serve the community as a whole.

The American Institute of Architects awards a prize every two years for innovative research in architecture. In 2011 the AIA awarded funding to research Public Interest Design which was influential to the development and awareness of public interest design practices. Because of this funding I think the AIA has played a huge part in telling not only the profession but the public as well that venturing out from conventional roles is not something to be frowned upon anymore but welcomed and encouraged because at the end of the day great design isn’t for one but for all and everyone has the right to have access to it.

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