Portland State University

Portland State University

Portland, OR


PSU School of Architecture & Center for Public Interest Design to Host "Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion 2017," April 6 - 9, 2017

By PSUArchitecture
Feb 3, '17 12:32 PM EST

Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design and School of Architecture are proud to join with Design Corps, Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED), DesignBuildXchange, and Live Projects Network to host Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion Conference 2017, April 6 – 9, 2017. The conference brings together the best ideas and practices from around the world for reaching those currently underserved or unserved by architecture, including awards for excellence in public interest design.

For the first time, three international networks, SEED, DesignBuildXchange, and Live Projects Network, have joined forces with this conference to support and promote systemic change in the practices of design, with the intent of building on the common ground they share. Recognizing design projects with exceptional social, economic, environmental, and pedagogic impact, each of the three networks will present two awards to projects that exemplify excellence in public interest design. In addition to these six awards, 17 projects will be recognized for excellent with Honorable Mentions. The winners will present at the conference, which will also include papers and projects submitted by practitioners, researchers, students, professors, professionals and experts in the field and across disciplines. 

The six award winners are:

Selected by the designbuildXchange Network:

Landwirtschaftsschule, Bella Vista, Bolivia
Guga S ‘Thebe Children’s Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

Selected by the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network

Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP), Accra, Ghana
The Vertical University Project, Kathmandu, Nepal

Selected by Live Projects Network

New Wortley Community Centre, Leeds, UK
Street Society 2016, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, UK

Learn more about the awards and honorable mentions here.

The schedule for the multi-day event, which combines the Structures for Inclusion conference, Public Interest Design Institute and additional discussions and engagement opportunities, is as follows:

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Public Interest Design Institute Day 1
Case studies and professional-level training on Public Interest Design.
Includes SEED Certification and CEUs for architects.

Friday, April 7, 2017
Structures for Inclusion Day 1 and Public Interest Design Institute Day 2
Presentations, panels, and discussions.

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Structures for Inclusion Day 2
Award presentations and discussion of each networks principles/takeaways.
Evening social event at a new public park created in part with the involvement of PSU Architecture’s Center for Public Interest Design.

Sunday, April 9, 2017
Field trips and takeaways
Discussion of results, common ground, a joint statement/pronouncement.
Field trips to visit Portland-area public interest design projects with practitioners.

Paper proposals are being accepted for presentation at the conference.

To register to attend the conference, attendees should visit or Special pricing is available for AIA, ASLA, and SEED members and for students. Discounts apply for early registration. Registration costs range from $25 to $75.