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Public interest design

In this Longhorn Network academic content preview, watch how Architecture students use good design to make a positive impact on a local community.

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This summer students from the School of Architecture, under the leadership of Barbara Brown Wilson, director of the Center for Sustainable Development, and Bryan Bell, a visiting professor and director of Design Corps, set out to use sustainable and practical design to make a positive impact on a local community in just five weeks.

As part of the first-ever Public Interest Design course, student teams met with East Austin residents, nonprofits and members of the City of Austin’s offices of Sustainability and Public Works, to identify four unique design projects that could benefit East Austin communities.

The projects varied in size and scope, but their purposes were unified to have a positive impact on the residents with which they worked and to provide designs that could be modified and used by the larger community.

At the culmination of the five-week course, the public was invited to an “alley blitz” party where they could view the four projects and watch the last-minute frenzy accompanying their completion.

View a Know photo slideshow — Change by design — to learn more about the four design projects.