The UNM School of Architecture and Planning hosts, "Economic Development through Design Innovation: Three Kentucky Case Studies," a lecture by Michael Speaks, on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the George Pearl Hall auditorium. The event, sponsored by the school's Town Design Program, is free and open to the public. George Pearl Hall is located on Central and Stanford NE.

Speaks, professor of architecture and dean of the University of Kentucky's College of Design, is a theorist and educator, proposes that design thinking can redefine problems to produce new opportunities through an iterative process of production and analysis.

While at UNM Speaks will help attendees think about design as an important tool for economic development in New Mexico communities, and the role of the School of Architecture and Planning in helping communities realize design's catalytic potential.

The three case studies he shares in the public lecture will be of interest to designers, students, developers, public officials and others interested in economic development.

Speaks is former director of the graduate program and founding director of the Metropolitan Research and Design Postgraduate Program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

Outside the classroom, the influential Los Angeles based writer and critic has published and lectured internationally on art, architecture, urban design and scenario planning. Speaks has also played an important role in recent debates about city branding and alternative models of city planning, authoring a number of essays and advisory studies as well as overseeing scenario studies commissioned by city and regional governments in the Netherlands.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; e-mail: