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Toward an Architectural Education with an Awareness of Advocacy event Image
9/14/23, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

In this third and final panel of the three-part Advocacy and Agency in Architecture series organized by the AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee, we will explore a range of learning opportunities for students and educators in the realm of advocacy. Panelists will highlight how educators, practitioners, and community-based organizations can best engage and teach students advocacy skill sets as part of their formal education, both in and out of the classroom. The panel will discuss models of advocacy in educational settings and through community immersion or partnerships. Questions about whether current methods are working and how they can be improved upon will be addressed. The panel will also cover new ways to accomplish this goal with input from attendees. The outcome will be a thorough understanding of educational methods being used, lessons learned, and new approaches to inspire future professionals to advocate for themselves and others as they grow in their careers.

Kristen Chin, Director of Community and Economic Development, Hester Street
Kelsey Jackson, M. Arch Candidate at Columbia GSAPP; Junior Designer, FXCollaborative
Sanjive Vaidya, Chair of the Department of Architectural Technology, CUNY New York City College of Technology; Board of Directors, The Architectural League of New York
Jieun Yang, Founding Principal, Habitat Workshop; Assistant Professor, CUNY New York City College of Technology; Leadership Group, Design Advocates

Sara Grant, Partner, MBB Architects

About the Speakers:
Kristen Chin
is the Director of Community and Economic Development at Hester Street. An architect and community collaborator with experience working in community development, affordable housing, and disaster recovery, she finds strength in partnering with community-based organizations, policymakers, and government agencies to equip those on the front lines with the resources, tools, and technical assistance to advocate for more equitable and just communities. Chin has served as an Enterprise Rose Fellow and previously worked at the Pratt Center for Community Development. She is a member of the AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community Advisory Group and has served on the board of the Association for Community Design. She holds a Master of Architecture from Parsons School of Design and an undergraduate degree from Brown University.

Kelsey Jackson is a Master of Architecture candidate at Columbia GSAPP and a Junior Designer at FXCollaborative's cultural and educational studio. After earning her B.A. in Interior Design from NJIT in 2014, Jackson spent six years in Madrid, Spain, where she became deeply engaged with self-directed education, developing a love for teaching. Her unique experiences as an educator helped her conceptualize the roles that culture and the built environment play in how people learn, develop, and interact. Despite her departure from full-time work in education, Jackson maintains her passion for advocacy in education. She works with the Black Student Alliance at GSAPP and is dedicated to helping her peers access the resources, support, and community they need as they navigate their time at GSAPP. She also regularly interacts with the education department at the Center for Architecture.

Sanjive Vaidya has 25 years of professional and field experience, working for Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and then Davis Brody Bond Architects. His work under J. Max Bond included research institutes, performing arts centers, and master planning projects for the Department of State Overseas Building Operations. Vaidya’s studio, established in 2005 in Brooklyn, is engaged in residential and commercial architecture and interiors. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Architectural League of New York. Vaidya role as an educator and department chair has evolved into an inquiry of how a design student’s good intentions are supplanted by economic forces that bend their will and erode optimistic agendas. This process sacrifices a designers most radical potential. Public design programs function as incubators for positive action on behalf of the displaced and underserved. Cultivating a designers agency must be the singular goal of design education.

Jieun Yang is the founding principal of Habitat Workshop, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice based in Brooklyn, NY. With projects ranging from arts and civic spaces to homes and interiors, the practice promotes design as an accessible framework for positive changes by creating spaces, objects, and interactions that activate human connections, build resiliency, and reveal the intrinsic value of a place. Yang is a fellow at the Urban Design Forum and completed residencies at the Institute for Public Architecture and Art Omi: Architecture. As a LeBrun Grant and SOM Prize recipient, her research explores comparative studies on urban infrastructure and housing models across continents. Yang actively collaborates with Design Advocates and teaches at CUNY New York City College of Technology and Parsons School of Design.

Sara Grant is a Partner at MBB Architects who designs equitable, healthy, and sustainable environments that empower communities. In her planning and design work, Grant promotes well-being through active design principles and the accommodation of different minds and bodies. She also uses data-driven research to develop flexible program and planning frameworks that enable future growth and change. Grant serves as chair of the Young New Yorkers Alliance, a mentor in the GSAPP Alumni Mentorship Program, and on the AIANY Committee on Architecture for Education. Recognized as an innovator in active school design, and as an advocate for the design of equitable public spaces, she has spoken at numerous schools and conferences. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and earned her Master of Architecture from Columbia University’s GSAPP.

Organized by
AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee
Toward an Architectural Education with an Awareness of Advocacy event Image
9/14/23, 6pm - 8pm
Center for Architecture
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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