The Arts in Planning Context
You'll learn about:
Learn about the different ways in which artists have become involved directly in larger municipal planning processes.
Understand what types of roles artists can take within planning discussions and how they can add to larger issue-based community conversations.
Learn about what motivates artists to engage with planners and how to construct mutually beneficial collaborations.
Traditionally the arts have been viewed within the planning profession as important elements for community identity and economic development. Focusing on the development of arts institutions, cultural districts, and tourism, the arts are recognized as an important dimension of civic life. However, with recent shifts in the world of arts practice and funding, a new emphasis has been placed on finding ways in which artistic practices can add to community development efforts. Funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America are now actively exploring ways in which the arts can expand their presence within communities. Within this context, artists are finding themselves on interdisciplinary teams searching for answers to municipal issues and engaging in difficult conversations around issues of housing, open space development, community health, and politics in general. In this session, a discussion will be organized between a cross-disciplinary set of panelists who represent planning and artistic professionals. Sharing their experiences with specific projects, they will explore how artists can take an active role in municipal projects, and how their skills can best elicit and support community goals.
, Department of Play
Confirmed SpeakerKatarzyna (Kate) Balug Kate is a PhD student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design who studies the place of imagination in the city, and the possibility of utopia in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Inspired by science-fictional worlds and informed by studies in urban history and theory, her work involves research, curation, performance and collaborative installations in public space. Recent papers have examined the adoption of modernist aesthetic in communist Poland during postwar reconstruction; and the possibilities that digital fabrication and art bring to reimagining the public space of ‘smart cities.’ Kate is co-curator with Mary Hale of a 2017 exhibition at BSA Space in Boston, The New Inflatable Moment. The exhibit will explore the inflatable form as site for critical imagination through its cyclical appearance in utopian and/or radical architecture and art practices. She is co-founder of Department of Play with Maria Vidart-Delgado, a lost city department that facilitates collaboration between residents and urban systems through momentary fictions in public space. Their co-authored paper on play and collaborative governance was published in the peer-reviewed journal Critical Sociology in 2014, and has been presented at multiple conferences. The collective received a 2015 ArtPlace America grant. Kate holds a Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard GSD and a dual B.A. in studio art and French from USC.
Confirmed SpeakerMaria Vidart-Delgado is the co-founder of Department of Play, and a lecturer in the Anthropology program at MIT. She researches political participation from a diversity of angles and perspectives. For her PhD research at Rice University and postdoctoral research at MIT, Maria studied the industry of political management in Colombia, and the reproduction of social segregation in a nominally democratic context. She’s currently working on a book on the topic. Now, with Department of Play, Maria has continued to research political participation and social and racial inequality. This time, however, Maria has focused on collaborating with artists to unpack and tinker with public participation formats to imagine what public life could be.
, Asakura Robinson
Confirmed SpeakerZakcq Lockrem is a principal and director of planning for Asakura Robinson, an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm based in Minneapols, Houston, Austin and New Orleans. In his work, he focuses on the experience of urban space and the role of public space in shaping civic engagement. He brings broad project experience from the gulf coast, Asia, New England, California, Mexico and West Africa working on issues from cycling to affordable housing. In addition, Zakcq brings significant experience from the non-profit sector, which he utilizes in developing cutting-edge public participation strategies and to build the capacity of project stakeholders. He served as an adjunct professor of urban planning at Texas Southern University, is a co-founder of Social Agency Lab, a collaborative of urban planners and designers from around the country who engage in public art and creative urban interventions, and is an alternate member of the City of Austin’s Pedestrian Advisory Council. Zakcq is one of the 2015 Next City Vanguard, a group of 40 urban thought leaders under 40. Zakcq has a B.S. in Urban Affairs from Boston University and a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
, GO collaborative
Confirmed SpeakerLynn Osgood is an urban planner and researcher whose work explores the intersection of public space, community engagement, and the arts. Lynn started her career in urban planning in New York City when she worked with the United Nations Habitat II Conference on Human Settlements. With a move to Virginia, she trained in landscape architecture and urban planning at the University of Virginia and worked as an urban designer with Renaissance Planning Group and the Institute for Environmental Negotiations. Her practice focused on mediating between community concerns and larger development goals. Moving to Austin in 2003, Lynn became Adjunct Faculty at the University of Texas where she taught graduate design studios in landscape architecture for two years. She is now completing doctoral research that is focused on the way artists can contribute to urban planning processes. Within the City of Austin, Lynn served for 4 years on the Austin Parks and Recreation Board, as well as five years on the Art in Public Places Panel. Additionally, she has been a member of the Downtown Commission, and the Waller Creek Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Today her firm, GO collaborative, focuses on creative placemaking and the development of arts-based community development practices.