Where are the stakes?!

“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that that have nothing to lose. People, who have stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don’t have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

This was today’s quote from my MLK Daily Quote App. I found it extremely important as a designer and specifically for me as I am developing an interest in community development. It raises the question of how to develop space for people and make them feel that the space is for them. Is it through a genuine understanding of the people and there experiences? Is it through targeting the needs that are not being met and making them meet? Is it by participatory design tactics that bring the people together to talk about these things? Yes! I think it is all of these things… and plenty other factors too. What I do not know is where the balance is in the weight that each factor is considered. I believe that knowing where this balance lies is what makes any designer great and able to produce great designs that are respected and preserved by the very people the designers were for.Image

Image courtesy of http://worksheetsplus.com/mlk/mlk2.jpg


The informal as inspiration for rethinking urban spaces: architect Teddy Cruz shares 5 projects

Interesting, thought it was worth sharing…

TED Blog

[ted_talkteaser id=1920]In today’s talk, Teddy Cruz looks at San Diego-Tijuana border, where some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the United States are just a short drive from some of the poorest communities in Mexico. As used materials flow from San Diego to Tijuana, transforming the kinds of structures created there, people move from Tijuana to San Diego, retrofitting neighborhoods to accommodate their needs. Cruz is fascinated by how what was once a single family home can become a dwelling for an extended family, a home base for a small business, even a place of worship for many. He is deeply inspired by this multi-dimensional use of space. We were curious: how does Cruz design buildings with these big ideas in mind? Below, a look at some of his studio’s projects, along with Cruz’s notes on what you are seeing.

One of the most important issues underlying our research at

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