- Inside UNM
Bryan Bell, founder and executive director of Design Corps, established in 1991 with the mission "to provide the benefits of architecture to those traditionally un-served by the profession," is delivering a public lecture on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the George Pearl Hall auditorium, located on the corner of Central and Stanford NE. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Bell's presentation precedes a two-day course he is leading at the School of Architecture and Planning that will provide architecture and other design professionals in public interest design with in-depth study on methods of how design can address the critical issues faced by communities. Training in public interest design is a way of enhancing an existing design practice and learning skills to become pro-actively engaged in community-based design. The curriculum is formed around the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) metric, a set of standards that outlines the process and principles of this growing approach to design. This process provides a step-by step aid for those who want to undertake public interest design. Certification in the SEED process will be given.
In 1985, Bell worked as project director with Samuel Mockbee on three houses for rural families in Mississippi. The project received a Progressive Architecture Award in 1986. He has also worked at Steven Holl's and Richard Rogers's offices. He holds degrees from Princeton and Yale and is currently a Loeb Fellow at Harvard.
At Design Corps, Bell started a fellowship program with the AmeriCorps national service program for young designers interested in the social application of architecture. Design Corps has organized 45 fellowships for students and graduates of design from twenty universities including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, and the University of Virginia. The Design Corps' summer design/build studio teaches critical community organizing skills to designers.
His effort to share ideas with the newest generation of architects led to series of conferences hosted at universities. Structures for Inclusion has been a forum for students and recent graduates to learn about grass roots efforts making architecture more accessible. Selected presentations from these have been presented in two publications: Good Deeds, Good Design, was published by Princeton Architectural Press published in 2003 and Expanding Design: Architecture as Activism, published by Metropolis Press in October 2008.
Bell was chosen as one of two Finalists for the 2010 National Design Awards in Architecture. He has been selected for the ID Magazine Design 50 and Metropolitan Home Design 100. In 2007 he received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects.
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