28 MAR 16 | structures for inclusion

 structures for inclusion

Last weekend, I woke up at 5am, stumbled out of my apartment on Broadway and made my way to the Boulder Bus Station to battle US 36 towards DIA, where I took a 2-hour delayed flight in to Raleigh, NC (my hometown!) for the annual Structures for Inclusion conference.

Structures for Inclusion 1

Structures for Inclusion has been going on since 2000; it “features the best public interest design from around the globe, to bring together and share the best ideas and practices that are reaching those currently un-served by architecture”. (1)

Structures for Inclusion 2

Check out the entire infographic here by Megan Jett.

Public Interest Design is the next frontier of the sustainability movement. Taking a triple bottom line approach, it positions design more to consider economic, environmental, and social factors – creating better places, products, and systems for people to live their best lives. Inherently human-centered and participatory, public interest design seeks to improve the quality of life for all people, regardless of their socio-economic background.” (2)

Amazing organizations and amazing projects were represented at the conference. Here is just a sampling:


Ilima Primary School in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 2016 SEED Award recipient. MASS Design.


RAPIDO (Rapid Housing Recovery Pilot Program) in the Lower Rio Grande, Texas. 2016 SEED Award recipient. bcWORKSHOP.


Barrio Collaboration in Tucson, AR. 2016 SEED Award recipient. UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the Drachman Institute.


Parisite Skatepark in New Orleans, LA. 2016 SEED Award recipient. Transitional Spaces, the Tulane City Center design/build studio and Collectivo.

I was honored to present the 2016 SEED Awards and attended three awesome presentations and panel discussions:

Disaster Preparedness and Response including organizations: bcWORKSHOP, Tulane City Center and the Hester Street Collaborative;

Activist Architecture Firms including InSitu Studio, Leroy Street Studios and Michael Hsu Office of Architecture;

Public Interest Design Education including universities who exemplify Public Interest Design in the educational community, some of which have developed a Public Interest Design Certificate: University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati and University of Arizona.

I managed to fit a couple North Carolina breweries and some BBQ in. Spring has sprung in the southeast and it was great to visit a few friends and family.


From top left clockwise: Trophy Brewing, Raleigh mural, Lonerider, Spring in NC, NC BBQ, Le Corbusier at NCSU, College of Design.

(1) Design Corps website

(2) Arch Daily website


I’m looking forward to seeing some more warm weather soon (missing the NC spring weather from last weekend), but for now I’m enjoying making turns in the heavy pow we’ve been getting lately!

Thanks for reading and I welcome your questions and comments.

Emily Axtman
28 March 2016