How a Plan to Save Buildings Fell Apart

April 7, 2021 Ι Bloomberg’s CityLab (with Elizabeth Blasius) In 2018, Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development felt that they had a progressive plan to preserve one of the city’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. Pilsen, on the city’s southwest side, was home to Eastern European immigrants in the 19th century; in the 20th century, it drew […]

Design Trust Chicago seeks to address systems beyond structures

Architect’s Newspaper Ι December 30, 2020 The recently unveiled Design Trust Chicago will coordinate the work of Chicago’s activist designers, placing community, racial equity, and social justice ahead of for-profit, developer-led agendas. Publicly announced in November, the Design Trust was founded by Katherine Darnstadt of Latent Design, and Elle Ramel and Paola Aguirre of City […]

Decoding Oppression in Architecture: Design as a Tool for Social Justice

Oct. 24, 2017 Ι Redshift In the years since the Great Recession cratered the steel and glass fantasies of a generation of architects, architecture centered around social justice has gained salience and ever-loftier pedestals. But while architects speak of aspirational ways that design can inspire people to be better, more empathetic citizens, design often does the […]

Perpetual Neglect: The Preservation Crisis of African-American Cemeteries

Places Journal Ι May 30, 2017 In late February, Raphael Morris pulled his car onto the gravel path just off St. Louis Avenue in northern St. Louis County, and saw something he’d hoped was a thing of the past: a large pile of garbage dumped in Greenwood Cemetery, near where he grew up and where several […]