2023 SEGD Conference Highlight “Re-Framing Community and Cultural Revitalization: A Focus on Equity and Sustainability”
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The upcoming 2023 SEGD conference session titled “”Reframing Culture and Community through Experiences that Nurture Equity and Sustainability”” will be a dynamic discussion, with panelists Ashley Lukasik and Jarred Howard sharing their unique insights on community-centric projects, focusing on their initiatives’ broader implications for the design community.
Ashley Lukasik, Founder, Murmur Ring, is recognized for her globally-inspired projects, from Chicago to Oaxaca, aimed at fostering equity and sustainability. In her work, Ashley emphasizes the power of immersive experiences to spotlight and address issues around local economies’ interaction with the global marketplace. Notably, in Oaxaca, her project highlighted resilience against resource extraction, demonstrating how design can impact local communities in profound ways.
Jarred Howard, CEO of the National Juneteenth Museum, is a steward of change in North Central Texas, working on a transformative placemaking project. His initiative centers on the National Juneteenth Museum as a catalyst to uplift a predominantly African-American neighborhood currently facing significant socio-economic challenges. Jarred’s initiative reaches beyond the museum to include a broad mixed-use development, with facilities such as a food hall, a theater, a business incubator, and a community garden. These elements aim to address the community’s immediate needs while fostering cultural expression and economic growth.
Jarred, a firm believer in community-led transformation, advocates that the genesis of change begins with individuals. This belief initiated his journey to establish the National Juneteenth Museum, a project driven by community engagement and which received a $15 million grant from the city of Fort Worth.
In discussing the takeaways from the session, Cybelle Jones, CEO of SEGD, underscores the importance of reframing how design projects are approached. She encourages designers to move beyond merely constructing buildings to contemplating their broader impacts on the community.
Both Jarred and session moderator L’Rai Arthur-Mensah, Project Director, Local Projects, stress the importance of partnerships and authentic engagement, highlighting the need for designers to listen genuinely and immerse themselves in communities they aim to uplift.
Ashley Lukasik notes an industry-wide shift in design intent, with the process becoming increasingly community-led and design-enabled. She stresses that the role of design is transitioning from creating products for consumption to adding collective value, bridging disparities, and fostering equity.
This SEGD conference session aims to both challenge and inspire its audience. Ashley and Jarred’s projects exemplify how design can reframe culture and community, serving as models for initiatives promoting equity, sustainability, and resilience.
You can find out more information on Jarred’s work on the National Juneteenth Museum here. Ashley will be hosting a upcoming Oaxaca Immersion trip this coming February 2024, you can connect with that project here.
To learn more about Jarred and Ashley’s talk and our other prestigious speaker line up, check out our 2023 SEGD Conference website.