Designers too often separate, if not completely exclude, the community it is supposedly hired to serve. This is a reminder allowing people to “fill the silence” is an important step in the process of formulating solutions which aren’t self-serving, but serving those who will long appreciate and use design in their daily lives far after the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

AHBE LAB

A community meeting for the Johnny Carson Park Revitalization project,  done in partnership with the City of Burbank. A community meeting for the Johnny Carson Park Revitalization project, done in partnership with the City of Burbank.

A significant portion of our work is the design of public spaces in urban settings. Hence, our design process for public projects often involves meeting with and getting input from the citizens of a community. After all, what would public space be without the public who will be using the space?

If our work is about transforming site into place, then community participation guides us in understanding the things the people in the community value, their concerns, and their desires for the space. The process is educational for us, as the project’s designers, and to community members, its users. We learn from each other about civic engagement and creating a landscape with cultural meaning.

Photo: Opening Day ribbon cutting celebration for Reflections Mini Park  in Carson, California. Photo: Opening Day ribbon cutting celebration for Reflections Mini Park in Carson, California.

We develop many skills in…

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