Eastern Market


Gaston Nash, Black Male Empowerment (BME) Community, http://www.bmecommunity.org/

Engineer Gaston Nash co-founded the College Core Block Club, a community group
dedicated to the improvement of the streets between the University of Detroit Mercy
and Marygrove College. The group seeks to rebuild a half-acre Lollo Tot Lot
playground in the Fitzgerald Community.

Issac Nzoma, Better Men Outreach (BMO)

Isaac is an employee of the Corporate Law Department at State Farm, while completing his third year of law school at Wayne State University. He was raised in, and is currently resides in the Northwest side of Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools from K-12th grade. Isaac graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2007 with a degree in Criminal Justice, minoring in legal Studies. For several years, he has worked in the legal and insurance fields. His passion however, is service to young people, particularly young men, and in 2009 he Co-founded Better Men Outreach, Inc (BMO) with his childhood friend Deangelo Moore. BMO provides a safe environment for young men to access to needed resources, express themselves, engage in regular service projects and play basketball. BMO continues its commitment to enhancing the social, ethical and physical growth of young men and improving the community through engaging in regular service projects. Isaac's organization has been recognized for its service projects, creating jobs for members and enrolling and impacting the lives of over 1,600 members. In 2013, Isaac and Dongelo were awarded the Black Male Engagement (BMe) Leadership Award. As a result, BMO was able to establish a second program location in Detroit in the 6 Mile and Livernois/Puritan area that has enrolled over 200 new members and completed several service projects within the last 7 months. Isaac contributes his development, first and foremost to this faith in God, and to the unyielding love and support of his family, friends, mentors and his community.

Jeff Sturges, 
Founder & Conductor, Mt Elliott Makerspace   

Jeff Sturges enjoys making things and connecting people. This passion drove him to start neighborhood-based hands-on learning spaces in Detroit such as the Mt Elliott Makerspace and the OmniCorpDetroit hackerspace.  His work on and in these communities is inspired by "anti-disciplinary" experiences at the The Sustainable South Bronx GreenFab MIT Fab Lab program, the NYCResistor hackerspace, Cranbrook Academy of Art and the MIT Media Lab. Jeff believes that with the right balance of collaborative making, tinkering, and learning, We the People a better able to create happier, healthier, and more meaningful lives for ourselves and our communities.

Nina Bianchi, The Work Department http://www.theworkdept.com

Since 2002, she has worked with dozens of nonprofit and business clients, including the City of Austin, Allied Media Projects, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, and Volume Magazine. Her interdisciplinary work has been exhibited at the SMART Museum of Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and Museo de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia and also published in various capacities. 
Nina’s passion for accessible technology, active role in social justice and ardent belief in participatory design has led her to develop projects like DiscoTechs and others relating to collaborative design, education, manufacturing, and urban planning. Nina is an Alumna and Adjunct Faculty member of Graphic Design at the College for Creative Studies and frequently lectures around the country. Her collaborative work has received awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Taiwan International Design Competition, the University and College Designer’s Association, and the Texas Public Relations Association. Nina is also a founding member of Detroit's first hackerspace, OmniCorpDetroit and the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition.

Nina is co-owner of the The Work Department, a communication design and development studio based in Detroit. The Work Department partners with socially oriented clients while advancing open-source, accessible technology-based solutions geared towards local, regional and national change and movement making. She has produced educational tools and platforms to promote and shape international Internet policy work with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, the U.S. Department of State, and locally with the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, including how-to guides for organizing DiscoTechs (Discovering Technology fairs) and toolkits for designing and engineering community mesh networks (Commotion Construction Kit). 


Abir Ali, Designer, Ali Sandifer

Abir Ali is a designer whose work spans architecture, furniture, publication, and grant-making.She is the Creative Director and Co-Partner of Ali Sandifer – a design studio and workshop focused on hand‐crafted furniture – and the Program Manager for NEIdeas – a first-of-its kind competition celebrating existing businesses city-wide. Abir returned to Detroit in 2011 as a Detroit Revitalization Fellow with the Hudson-Webber Foundation, where she was engaged in place-based investment, leading the first edition of 7.2 SQ MI: A Report on Greater Downtown Detroit. Previous to this, Abir was assistant editor to Site Unseen: Laneway Architecture and Urbanism in Toronto, recipient of a City of Toronto, Visions and Master Plans Award. Her work has been recognized in a number of publications including American Craft Magazine, The Atlantic Cities, Canadian Architect, CS Interiors, Detroit Home, and Modern Midwest. Abir received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto.

Shalini Agrawal, Interim Director, Center for Art and Public Life / Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts

Shalini Agrawal is trained as an architect and maintains a multi-disciplinary practice with projects including interior architecture, landscape architecture, and art installations. She is founder and principal at MAC Studio, a practice that engages communities through landscape architecture. In addition to her professional experience, for the past 20 years she has worked with a variety of communities using participatory design as a key element in her process. Agrawal is a co-founder of Archi-treasures, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that applies participatory design methods in designing and building public community spaces. Most recently, MAC Studio has been selected as one of the firms to complete the landscape design and construction of the San Francisco Unified School District Green Schoolyards. Agrawal holds firm to the belief that the individual’s well-being is a reflection of the community’s, and the community’s well-being is a reflection of its constituents. Agrawal teaches at various Bay Area institutions and is the current director of the Center for Art and Public Life at California College of the Arts where she has introduced new initiatives and pedagogy in support of interdisciplinary opportunities.

Kareeshma Ali, Archeworks

Founded in 1994, Archeworks is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary design educator that advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Our public forums and partnership-based education programs propose a range of socially responsible and ecologically resourceful design solutions for Chicago communities. Our multidisciplinary learning opportunities and partnership based programs are organized under four design themes: Enabling Environments, Generative Placemaking, Sustainable Food and Community Health, and New Practice Civic Innovation. The certificate program provides opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions, compounded by extensive research, field studies and workdays, guest lectures, critiques attended by the clients, and project prototyping.

Shannon Arms, University of Oregon

Shannon Arms is currently a student at the University of Oregon (UO) pursuing a MLA. She received her bachelor’s degree Architecture, also from the UO, in 2011. Shannon’s approach is driven by a belief that designers have the capacity to positively change people’s lives. During her undergraduate studies she was a Project Manager and the Student Director of community design/build organization designBridge. Shannon’s interests over that time centered on the value of entrepreneurship, civic engagement and the process of executing a collective design vision from concept through construction. As a graduate student Shannon has helped to lead the multidisciplinary student group CASL (Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living) through a major strategic planning effort while cultivating learning opportunities that connect university students to the communities around them through a shared interest in sustainable living. Currently in her final year, Shannon is working on her Master’s Project, “Collaborative Capital,” in hopes that her research will illuminate opportunities for proactive, civic-minded professionals to pursue their passions and positively change lives.

Mallory Baches, Founder and Director of The Civic Hub

Mallory Baches is the founder of The Civic Hub, a civicism incubation firm blending her design and implementation skills with her passion for small towns and the community-supportive systems that help those small towns thrive.  She holds a B-Arch from the University of Notre Dame and is accredited by the AICP, USGBC, and CNU.  She was named a Next City Urban Vanguard in 2013, is the Vice President of the Association for Community Design, and is a member of the Placemaking Leadership Council.  Her writing on architecture, planning, and sustainability has appeared in numerous publications.

Sam Butler, Michigan Community Resources

Sam Butler brings more than 7 years of experience working in Detroit community development to his current position as Director of Planning and Technical Programs for Michigan Community Resources (MCR). Before joining MCR, Sam worked with several different CDCs across the City of Detroit and spent three years working for the Creekside Community Development Corporation, eventually serving as the organization's Interim Executive Director. While at CreeksideSam fashioned an innovative lease-purchase model for infill residential rehab, quadrupled the amount of funds available for home repair grants, and worked with residents to initiate a code enforcement advocacy campaign. Sam co-authored the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Framework published by the Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) and currently serves on CDAD’s board and co-chair of its Strategic Framework committee. Sam also serves on the board of Detroit SOUP.

Shelley Danner, Challenge Detroit

Shelley Danner is the Program Director for Challenge Detroit. With a background in business consulting for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, she  oversees programming for the multi-faceted Challenge Detroit Fellowship, as well as plays a key role in strategic planning and operations. In particular, Shelley focuses on leadership development and designing social impact projects that the Fellows engage in with partnering local non-profits. These projects address a range of issues and opportunities in the city, such as multi-modal transportation, homelessness, education, and more. Shelley is originally from the Detroit area and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Business from Miami University in Ohio. She is also a former Social Innovation Fellow through Starting Bloc, a national organization focused on talent incubation in the social enterprise space, and is passionate about sustainable cities and innovative community development. 

Vince DeBritto, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design

Vincent has worked a graphic designer and model builder in California and London, England. As a professional landscape architect, he has received a national honor award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, citations from the Government Services Administration, and numerous awards from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his design work. He teaches graduate design studios, guides the thesis preparation course and thesis studio for Master of Landscape Architecture students, and is managing editor of the Landscape Journal.

Melissa Dittmer, Rock Ventures

As a Detroit Revitalization Fellow, Melissa Dittmer educates the public about the importance of architecture in the regeneration of cities. As the senior in-house architect for Rock Ventures, Melissa is responsible for the design review of current architecture projects and the research, analysis, programming, and conceptual design of future projects. Prior to her current position, she was a member of the Strategic Framework Long Term Planning team at HAA. Initially responsible for the development of land use and neighborhood strategies, Melissa then led the graphic design of Detroit Future City, a 350-page document that summarized the team’s collective research, civic engagement feedback, and Detroit-specific strategies. While at HAA, she was the co-creator and director of rogueHAA, a volunteer architecture, design, and urban research collaborative. She produced various Detroit‐specific architectural initiatives that included written publications, design installations, panel discussions, symposiums, a Detroit urbanism blog, and architecture exhibitions.  Because of her many Detroit-specific design initiatives, Melissa has written many articles on architecture, urban design theory, and post-industrial strategies that have been published in a multitude of international journals.

Graig Donnelly, Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program

Graig Donnelly is the Director of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program at Wayne State University. He received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy before spending a decade building an innovative career that bridges design, fundraising, nonprofit management and teaching. In 2013, Graig returned home after five years in New York City to lead the DRFP as it becomes a best practice for attracting, retaining and nurturing talent. His experiences and interests are varied, but they all share the common thread of questioning the status quo for the communities in which he works. Graig believes that his role is about designing meaningful relationships and opportunities that result in sustainable futures for people and place.

Kathleen Dorgan, Principal, Dorgan Architecture and Planning

Kathleen Dorgan, AIA, LEED-AP, is a practitioner of comprehensive sustainable community development. An architectect (Rensselaer) and urban planner (Pratt), she contributes to the development of incremental strategies for neighborhood-renewal. Chair of the 2013 AIA Housing and AIA/HUD Secretary’s Award juries ,she is a past chair of the AIA Housing KC and ACD. She was a Loeb Fellow and a HUD Community Builder. During her tenure as Executive Director, the Capitol Hill Improvement Corporation in Albany NY renovated or constructed over 1500 buildings and developed a rich variety of programs. She serves on the Board of CHFA, is active in volunteer groups and is a frequent speaker and writer about design and community renewal.

Jonathan Erwin, Neighborhood Design Center

Jonathan Erwin is a designer and urban strategist based in Baltimore, Maryland. A Kentucky native, his background is in architecture, urban design and social design. A recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Social Design Program from the Maryland Institute College of Art(MICA), he has been awarded the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Social Design Fellowship to continue his work examining how disinvested Baltimore communities are preparing for climate change. His work balances and connects top down bureaucracy of government initiatives with on the ground grassroots organizations in an effort to create and foster community driven environmental and social resilience.

Roberta Feldman, University of Illinois at Chicago

Ashley Flintoff, PMP, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA, Project Planner, Wayne State University

Ashley is a dual graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Community Development. She currently works for Wayne State University in Facilities Management and Planning where she is pursuing a Master of Urban Planning. An avid fan of urban environments, Ashley is one of Detroit's biggest cheerleaders. She is an active member of the UDM School of Architecture Alumni Council, a founding Board Member of the Volterra-Detroit Foundation and manages social media for Michigan Retired Greyhounds As Pets and the UDM Master of Community Development Program. Ashley, her husband Tim and their dog Reilly are currently looking to buy a house in Detroit.

Mikey Goralnik, Dual Masters Candidate in the City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill and Landscape Architecture at North Carolina State University

Mikey Goralnik is a dual Masters candidate i
n City and Regional Planning at UNC Chapel Hill and Landscape Architecture at the North Carolina State University. He is a former researcher at the UNC Institute for the Environment and the Center for the Study of Coastal Hazards, and is currently under consideration to be the 2014 NC SeaGrant Coastal Policy Fellow.

Nils Gore, Associate Professor at the University of Kansas and licensed architect

Nils Gore is an associate professor at the University of Kansas and a licensed architect. His PID work consists of a number of student design/build projects in Mississippi, Kansas and New Orleans, where he and his students worked with the Porch Cultural Organization following Hurricane Katrina. The work has won design awards from the AIA, AIAS and the ACSA. The work has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Batture: Amnesiascope, Cityscape: a Journal of Policy Development and Research and has been presented in numerous scholarly presentations. Nils is a graduate of Kansas State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has taught at the Boston Architectural Center, Mississippi State University and the University of Kansas.

Elizabeth Grabowski, Architecture Graduate Student from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture

Elizabeth Grabowski is a recent graduate of the Master’s of Architecture program at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is interested designing everything from business models to art installations to buildings and urban plans. Her recent thesis project explores the complexity of how users interact with objects and spaces, and how designers might take advantage of the hidden qualities that emerge from human use. Through investigation and user-based research, Elizabeth has developed a passion and knowledge for designing multifunctional spaces and objects that are more responsive to the human condition and that have the potential to solve large-scale urban problems. She is currently working in the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, and hopes to continue her thesis research through out her professional career. 

Kendra Harrison, Community Development Consultant & Project Manager

Kendra Harrison has earned an undergraduate in International Business from the University of Minnesota and Master in Community Development from the University of Detroit Mercy. Kendra is a true Midwesterner, spending the majority of her life in Minnesota and the last 8 years in Michigan. She considers herself a global citizen and world traveler bringing a unique cultural understanding to her work. Most recently she works as Peacekeeper (project manager) for a boutique technology company called iwerk. One of her greatest achievements still to this day is being a founder of Sigma Lambda Gamma: a Latina based Multicultural Sorority where she discovered a life-long goal to empower women and her community.

Sharon Haar, University of Michigan

Erik Howard, Co-Founder of Young Nation

Erik Howard is a photographer as well as co-founder of Expressions and Young Nation in Southwest Detroit. He combines his passion for youth and community development with his love of photography. Using activities such as lowriding, street art, and media as mentoring tools, Erik has been able to reach out to people in the community of Southwest Detroit. Building on themes originated at home he has been able to study and document ways people are using their passions to meet their community needs in numerous cities nationally and abroad.

Briony Hynson, Deputy Director of the Neighborhood Design Center

Briony Hynson is the Deputy Director of the Neighborhood Design Center which has provided services through the community design process since 1968. Previously, as the founding creative director of Honfleur Gallery, Hynson employed varied approaches to build creative capacity via revitalization efforts in Washington DC’s Ward 8. Her recent work in Baltimore City, investigating public spaces that promote access to play within underserved areas, culminated in the Robert W Deutsch Foundation Social Design Fellowship in 2012-2013. Hynson has a BFA from Alfred University and an MA in Social Design from MICA. The lynchpin of her work is understanding community and the shared built environment to leverage positive social change.

Tyler King, Project Manager of the Broad Street Block Blitz

Tyler is the self-described matchmaker at Storefront for Community Design. Through the organization's pro bono design plan program, he receives applications for design assistance, and matches them with one of Storefront’s 150 volunteers representing architecture, graphic design, fashion design, landscape design, just to name a few. He received a Bachelors degree in Urban Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and spent a semester at Bauhaus Universität’s Institute for European Urbanism. On the side, Tyler is a curator of architectural exhibits and an active contributor to the AIA publications Inform and Connection. He shamelessly enjoys long walks, and considers himself an avid amateur.

Jeff Kruth, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Jeff Kruth is an Urban Designer at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC), the combined home of Kent State’s urban design graduate program and the public service activities of the college. He contributes to the design, research, and teaching aspects of the practice. His interests include social housing, legacy city design, and industrial heritage. Previously, he developed affordable housing in New Haven, CT and worked at the Yale Urban Design Workshop.

Corissa Leveille, Eight Mile Boulevard Association

Corissa Leveille is a current Challenge Detroit Fellow working as an Architectural Designer with host company, Eight Mile Boulevard Association (8MBA). As a Fellow, Corissa has had the opportunity to work with local non-profits and community stakeholders on projects pertaining to community arts, bike transportation, homelessness, education, engagement, and urban planning. Prior to becoming a Fellow, Corissa was the Project Manager of the Detroit Works Project Long Term Planning - Civic Engagement Team on the Detroit Future City Project in collaboration with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC).   In the summer of 2012, Corissa was an intern at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC).  During her time with the DCDC, Corissa worked on a feasibility study with community stakeholders for community center in Southwest Detroit as well as other urban planning projects. Corissa received a Master of Architecture from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2012.

Elizabeth Luther, Detroit Corridors Initiative

Elizabeth Luther is in her fourth year of working to improve quality of life for low-income Detroit and Michigan residents through neighborhood and participatory planning at Michigan Community Resources (MCR). At MCR, she managed the process of incorporating public feedback into the large-scale Detroit Works Project/Detroit Future City planning process, which included designing and implementing a system to collect, review, analyze, and summarize over 70,000 comments and survey responses from over 30,000 unique conversations between the public and the planning team. Additionally, she contributes to the design and implementation of plans and projects that support neighborhood revitalization efforts in Detroit communities. Since graduating from the University of Michigan’s Urban Planning program in 2009, Elizabeth has developed additional experience and interest in regional planning, land use issues, transportation planning, planning process development, vacancy and market analyses, open data, data analysis, and information visualization. Some of her other activities include serving as a member of the newly formed southeast Michigan Regional Transit Authority’s Citizens Advisory Committee, organizing volunteers and coordinating with the City as co-founder of the Detroit Ultimate Frisbee League, and contributing to community organizing efforts in Detroit’s Hubbard Farms neighborhood.

Jennifer Mayfield, Design Associate and former bcFellow at bcWORKSHOP

Jennifer Mayfield is a Design Associate and former bcFellow in bcWORKSHOP’s Dallas office, working primarily on affordable housing projects and in support of other direct design and building projects within the Dallas office. Her interests lie at the intersection of people, place, and making. She recently completed the first sustainABLEhouse in Dallas, located at 3313 Beall Street in the Dolphin Heights neighborhood, leading both the community engagement efforts and design and construction management.

Prior to joining the WORKSHOP, Jennifer worked at a resource conservation focused not-for-profit in Kansas City, Missouri, developing a net-zero retrofit historic home and residential sustainability resource center. Jennifer attended the University of Kansas where she received her Master of Architecture and collaboratively designed and built the Prescott Passive House as a member of Studio 804.

Nick McClintock, University of Pennsylvania

Nick McClintock holds a Bachelors of Arts with high honors from Middlebury College and is currently a Masters of Architecture candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. Previously, he was Development Manager at Public Architecture, where he conducted original research into pro bono practice models and projects, and contributed to the writing and editing of The Power of Pro Bono, and organized Design Access: a national summit of leaders from the design, government and nonprofit sectors. Nick also worked at buildingcommunityWorkshop on their award-winning Congo Street Initiative. Nick brings extensive organizing and project management expertise to the group, and is committed to developing tools that enable professionals to transition from traditional practice to public interest design.

Patrick McDonnell, Urban Planner/Community Designer

Patrick is the founder of patrickm02L LLC. He holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, in Urban Planning and Higher Education. He is a contributing blogger for GOOD, Next City, KaBOOM!, and Bulldog Drummond. In 2012, he was named as a Next City Vanguard, which recognizes the top 40 under 40 urban leaders in the country. In 2013, he was awarded the HOLSTEE fellowship to build a mobile urban Swing Park in Dallas. He has served on the Association for Community Design Board for two years, as Vice President and current President.

Gilad Meron, 
Autodesk Foundation & Enterprise Community Partners

Gilad Meron received a B.S. in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Environmental Psychology at Cornell. While at Cornell he led a student-run community design program, and was awarded a fellowship to research community-engaged design programs nationwide. Currently Gilad is a fellow with TheThirdTeacher+, and a researcher for the up-and-coming Autodesk Impact Design Foundation alongside its executive director, John Cary. Gilad also works with Enterprise Community Partners on communicating the impact of affordable housing projects and community development initiatives. Gilad brings a rigorous research-based perspective to the group, and a commitment to developing quantitative and qualitative metrics to demonstrate the socioeconomic impacts of design.

Edward Orlowskli, AIA, LEED AP, ADPSR, Associate Professor of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University

Edward M. Orlowski is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Lawrence Technological University. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Michigan. He has created and directs a graduate-level design studio focusing upon architectural practice within a model of activism. He is a member of the AIA, SEED Network, and Architects, Planners, and Designers for Social Responsibility. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Community Design. He has presented papers to numerous conferences, including the 2011 Design in Action conference in Philadelphia, and the 2012 ACSA International conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Dan Pitera, Detroit Collaborative Design Center

Dan Pitera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He views the design profession as an essential force in establishing human relationships and engagement. The DCDC is dedicated to fostering university and community partnerships that create inspired and sustainable neighborhoods and spaces for all people. Mr. Pitera holds the position that the sustainability and regeneration of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. Currently, Dan is co-leading the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Long Term Planning initiated by Mayor Bing in 2010. Dan was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He was a finalist for both the 2008-2009 Rafael Vinoly Architects Grants in Architecture, and the 2006-2007 James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. Under his direction since 2000, the DCDC won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The DCDC was recently awarded the 2011 SEED Award, and the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The DCDC was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. Dan was a resource member for the 40th and 43rd Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD) and a facilitator for the MICD 25th anniversary in 2011. In 2011, Dan gave the keynote address at the Planning Institute of Australia’s National Congress and the Keynote address in Lisbon to Portugal’s equivalent to HUD. In 1998, Dan was the Hyde Chair of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the North America, South America, and Europe. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow…

Megan Powers, Grassroots Solutions

Vincent Purcell, Neighborhood Design Center

Vincent’s research implements scalable models for social enterprises leveraging the technology industry to empower people living in low resource communities. He connects social impact design and technology entrepreneurship to foster cross-sector relationships that maximize social returns on investment. He is co-founder of boomco.is, a design consultancy utilizing innovative models of community empowerment and engagement to influence systemic social change. He is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland and has spoken nationally on how to empower residents to become entrepreneurial changemakers in their own communities.

Michael Pyatok, Pyatok Architects

Michael Pyatok, FIA, has been an architect and professor of architectural design for 46 years. Since opening his office in 1984, he has designed over 35,000 units of housing for lower-income households in the US and abroad, and developed participatory design methods to facilitate their involvement in the process. He has helped many lower income communities plan and execute new housing, neighborhood plans and community facilities. He has been a Fulbright Fellow in Finland, a Loeb Fellow at Harvard, and Buchsbaum Professor of Affordable Housing at Harvard. In 1995, he was elected to the AIA College of Fellows in recognition of his contribution to the profession. In 2001, Residential Architect featured him as ‘Architect-of-the-Year’ in recognition of the quality he has brought to affordable housing. In 2002, he was featured in Professional Builder Magazine as one of twelve “Thought Leaders” in the development industry, and in 2007 he was named by Builder Magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the US housing industry. In 2012 he was inducted into the Marvin Design Hall of Fame and most recently, in 2013 the AIA gave him the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in recognition of his contribution to the design of affordable housing. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and for the past three years has been the Distinguished Burke Professor at the University of Oregon.

Shiva Rashidianfar, Archeworks

Founded in 1994, Archeworks is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary design educator that advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Our public forums and partnership-based education programs propose a range of socially responsible and ecologically resourceful design solutions for Chicago communities. Our multidisciplinary learning opportunities and partnership based programs are organized under four design themes: Enabling Environments, Generative Placemaking, Sustainable Food and Community Health, and New Practice Civic Innovation. The certificate program provides opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions, compounded by extensive research, field studies and workdays, guest lectures, critiques attended by the clients, and project prototyping.

Gina Reichert, Design 99 and Power House Productions

Detroit-based artist and designer Gina Reichert holds Master of Architecture degrees from both Cranbrook Academy of Art and Tulane University. She is partner in the design and art duo Design 99 with her husband, Mitch Cope, specializing in sustainable residential design and installation art. She is also co-founder and Director of Power House Productions, an artist-run neighborhood based nonprofit organization. Their work has been discussed in publications and news outlets ranging from CNN to the New York Times, NPR to Details Magazine. She can often be found developing strategies and ideas for interventions or self-initiated projects in her immediate neighborhood.

Whitney Richardson, Archeworks

Founded in 1994, Archeworks is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary design educator that advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Our public forums and partnership-based education programs propose a range of socially responsible and ecologically resourceful design solutions for Chicago communities. Our multidisciplinary learning opportunities and partnership based programs are organized under four design themes: Enabling Environments, Generative Placemaking, Sustainable Food and Community Health, and New Practice Civic Innovation. The certificate program provides opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions, compounded by extensive research, field studies and workdays, guest lectures, critiques attended by the clients, and project prototyping.

Ryan Rinn, Executive Director, Storefront for Community Design

Ryan Rinn is the Executive Director of Storefront for Community Design. He manages Storefront’s community workshops, design plans, design education, and the mOb+Storefront design studio collaboration with VCUarts. He received his Bachelors degrees from the University of Richmond and his Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to returning to graduate school Ryan spent 4 years working as the Director of Grassroots Education for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy where he learned the importance of community organizing. In 2013 Ryan was named as one of Greater Richmond’s “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly Magazine. Ryan resides in the Byrd Park neighborhood of Richmond; he can be found spending his down time swimming and fishing at the James River.

Michael Rios, University of California at Davis

Michael Rios is Chair of the Community Development Graduate Group and Associate Professor of Community and Urban Design at UC Davis. Through teaching, research, and practice, he has devoted his career serving marginalized communities throughout the United States. Critical essays have appeared in The Informal American City: From Taco Trucks to Day Labor; Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities ; Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation of Public Space; and Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. Michael is past-president of the Association for Community Design and was the inaugural director of the Hamer Center for Community Design at Penn State University.

Ozayr Saloojee, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design

Ozayr Saloojee is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota’s College of Design. Prior to his teaching in the United States, he studied, taught and practiced architecture in Ottawa, Canada, receiving his B.Arch and Post-professional M.Arch (Theory and Culture) from Carleton University. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Professor Saloojee’s research and academic interests focus on culturally and politically contested urban landscapes and how architecture and urbanism facilitate (or deny) issues of identity and belonging. Professor Saloojee’s teaching explores issues and questions of resiliency, failure and risk in infrastructure and landscape.

Mia Scharphie, Northeastern University

Mia Scharphie received her undergraduate degree with honors in urban studies from Brown University and received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Mia’s work focuses on the role of ecological infrastructure as a catalyst for positive socioeconomic change. Mia’s professional experience includes work for the nationally-recognized Public Architecture, as well as a number of architecture and landscape architecture firms. Trained in ethnographic research methods, she brings organizational research skills, a keen knowledge of the design industry and the funding landscape, and community organizing and curriculum development insight to the group. Mia recently completed a residency at the Harvard Innovation Lab and is currently a Scholar in Residence at Northeastern University.

Emily Schmidt, Planning Associate at bcWORKSHOP

Emily Schmidt, a native of Chicago, is currently a Planning Associate in bcWORKSHOP’s Dallas office. There she leads the organization's POP [People Organizing Place] initiative, which works to strengthen the physical, social and economic health of neighborhoods. Before coming to the WORKSHOP in 2011, she worked in Chicago and New York City conducting research and community engagement for public, private and non-profit planning organizations. Emily received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, concentrating in Urban Studies, from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she explored the relationship between urban design and societal conditions.

David Schwartz, Designer at IBM Design

David is a visual and user experience designer at IBM, specializing in data understanding and storytelling software. He is currently working on a productivity framework and web application that facilitates partnerships between social change organizations. Prior to joining IBM in July 2013, David focused on design-driven social change in cultural systems, specifically with social enterprises, democratization, and issues of scale in India and the Middle East. An innovator and entrepreneur, David is fascinated by the powers of empathy, technology, and creativity to empower marginalized populations and revolutionize environments of scarcity.

Scott Shall, Associate Professor and Chair in the Architecture Department at Lawrence Technological University 

Scott Gerald Shall is Associate Professor and Chair in the Architecture Department at Lawrence Technological University and the founding director of the International Design Clinic, a registered non-profit that has realized much-needed creative work with communities in need on four continents. Shall’s work has been featured in a range of peer-reviewed publications, and he has exhibited his creative work in venues around the world, including shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art in La Paz, Bolivia (2011) and the AIA Center for Architecture in Philadelphia (2009), the Goldstein Museum of Design (2010), and the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale (2012).

Kevin J. Singh, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Professor or Architecture at Louisiana Tech University

Kevin J. Singh, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Louisiana Tech University where since 2006 he has taught design, community design, and professional practice courses. He is the Director of the Community Design Activism Center (CDAC). He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Association for Community Design (ACD).

Michael R. Smith, Master of Community Development

Samantha Szeszulski, Challenge Detroit Fellow and Intern Architect at Saroki Architecture

Samantha Szeszulski graduated from Lawrence Tech with her Bachelor of Science in Architecture. She participated in the Public Interest Design and Research studio, which sparked her interest in the field. She was selected from over 700 applicants to be one of thirty fellows in the Challenge Detroit Fellowship Program. As a fellow, she collaborates with Detroit area non-profits on community based projects, to aid in the revitalization of the city and region. Samantha is also an active member of AIA Detroit and its Emerging Professionals Committee, as well as Architecture for Humanity. Samantha will be returning to school this fall, to pursuit her Masters of Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Tippy Tippens, Chief Eternal Optimist, Matter Inc.

Tippy Tippens, Chief Eternal Optimist at Matter Inc. based in New Orleans, was selected as one of GOOD Magazine’s GOOD 100, as one of 100 incredible people moving the world forward through “doing.” Matter, the first B-Corp in Louisiana, is a design company committed to creating products sustainably in the U.S. that give to our most pressing social and environmental needs. Their launch product, BirdProject Soap has donated over $20,000 to date for restoration post 2010 BP Oil Spill. Each product gives more than they take far beyond their years of utility and creates deeper meaning for otherwise, basic household objects.

Nyasia Valdez, Young Nation

Nyasia Valdez is a 19 year old community leader who has filled a variety of leadership roles with Young Nation and The Alley Project, One Michigan, Detroit Southwest Pride, Congress of Communities, and Detroit Future Youth. Nyasia brings her expertise in organizing and social media to each of these organizations. Her work has been recognized by local and national organizations for her commitments, competence, and leadership among her peers and beyond in the community. Whether working on student council, immigration reform, neighborhood patrols, clean ups, peer mediation, doing outreach, organizing peers and adults toward action, promoting awareness of community resources and events, or facilitating workshops she is an advocate for youth, voice, leadership, and Southwest Detroit.

Steve Vogel, Former Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, Founder of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center

Alicia Virani, Archeworks

Founded in 1994, Archeworks is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary design educator that advances design in the public interest and inspires collaborative action to shape more healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. Our public forums and partnership-based education programs propose a range of socially responsible and ecologically resourceful design solutions for Chicago communities. Our multidisciplinary learning opportunities and partnership based programs are organized under four design themes: Enabling Environments, Generative Placemaking, Sustainable Food and Community Health, and New Practice Civic Innovation. The certificate program provides opportunities for peer-to-peer interactions, compounded by extensive research, field studies and workdays, guest lectures, critiques attended by the clients, and project prototyping.

James Wheeler, Director of Education and Community Partnership at the Public Design Exchange

James Wheeler, Assoc. AIA, is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture and serves as a Faculty Research Fellow at the University’s Center for Rural Design. He is a member of AIA Minnesota’s Housing Advocacy Committee and is co-chair of their chapter’s Affordable Housing Design Award. He is a member and past president of the Association for Community Design and serves on the Board of Directors of Design Corps. He has worked previously at Mississippi State University’s Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.

Julie Whyte, Post-Graduate Fellow from Kent State University, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Julie Whyte is the Post-Graduate Fellow at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative and an emerging professional in the fields of Architecture and Urban Design. Her particular interest in Urban Design’s intersection with Social Psychology and Environmental Psychology is driving her research at the CUDC, where she plans to formulate a new methodology for community engagement.

Rebecca (Bucky) Willis, Founder of Bleeding Heart Design

A native of Northeast Detroit, Rebecca “Bucky” Willis holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Detroit Mercy. Bucky has volunteered and worked for a number of non-profit organizations in Detroit, including the Foundation for Agricultural Resources in Michigan (F.A.R.M), Habitat for Humanity, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, and Detroit Future City. The heart of her design career and research lies at the intersection where architecture and design meets social issues and emotional impact. This career and research focus inspired her to create the concept (and later, an organization) of Bleeding Heart Design - a design process that inspires altruism.

Kristen Zieber, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Kristen Zeiber is an Urban Designer & Project Manager at the CUDC. Her professional research interests include regional design, legacy city design, river infrastructure, and community design/build. She previously worked for over four years in Biloxi, MS at the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio; and at Vermont’s Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Penn State University and a post-professional MS in Architecture & Urbanism from MIT.

Jason Zogg, DTE Energy

Jason Zogg is an experienced urban planner and former Challenge Detroit Fellow currently managing a unique program to stabilize, improve and transform the neighborhood surrounding DTE Energy's headquarters in downtown Detroit. In 2014, he is also managing a “smart city” demonstration project, developing the company's first corporate sustainability strategy, and was appointed to the Regional Transit Authority’s Citizens Advisory Committee. Originally from Albany, NY, and having previously lived in Boston, DC and Providence, Jason has a masters degree in urban planning, focusing on transportation. He arrived in Detroit as part of the inaugural cohort of Challenge Detroit Fellows in Fall 2012, had previously worked for several years as a sustainability planning consultant on the east coast, and has a side interest in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in established organizations.
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