Additional Information

Review the supplementary material below for further information about this program.

The sixteen practitioners featured in Into the Open, all of whom actively engage communities in their work, demonstrate multifaceted responses to social and environmental issues.

The Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI)

Taking a broadly interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of land use, CLUI explores our society's complex formation and denigration of land through development. Their practice draws on the natural sciences, sociology, art, architecture, and history.

the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)

A non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, CUP brings together art and design professionals with community-based advocates and researchers to create projects ranging from high-school curricula to educational exhibitions. Their public programs mix design, research, politics, and entertainment to connect people who are usually kept far apart. They promote a new kind of civic education by working with youth to create collaborative projects that explore the urban environment.

Design Corps

Design Corps creates change in communities through hands-on architecture and planning services. Recent design graduates provide architectural and technical assistance to rural communities composed of low-income families, allowing these residents to shape their physical environment.

Detroit Collaborative Design Center

By providing design consultation to urban neighborhoods, the Detroit Collaborative Design Center strives to create inspired and sustainable spaces. Their practice goes beyond the usual paths of community-based design to create new forms of property development and urban action.

The Edible Schoolyard/Yale Sustainable Food Project

Begun by Alice Waters, the Edible Schoolyard integrates gardening and cooking into the daily activities of the King Middle school in Berkeley, California. Across the country at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale Sustainable Food Project directs a sustainable dining program, manages an organic farm on campus, and supports academic inquiry around food and agriculture. both teach the origins of food, principles of ecology, and respect for all living systems.

Estudio Teddy Cruz (ETC)

San diego based estudio Teddy Cruz explores dynamics of urban conflict on both sides of the United States-Mexico border, from the affluence north of San Diego to homelessness and neglect in Tijuana. The practice focuses on housing and its relationship to alternative land-use policies, modes of sociability, and economic processes.

Gans Studio

Based in New York City, Gans Studio is devoted to rethinking how architecture can participate in new social forms by focusing on extreme situations that also yield insights for the general population. The studio has designed housing and infrastructure for those displaced by environmental and political disaster in Kosovo, New Orleans, and New York City.

The Heidelberg Project

Bearing the name of the Detroit street on which it exists, the Heidelberg project is a non-profit organization founded by Tyree Guyton that responds to the neighborhood's urban decay and abandonment. Residents and stakeholders come together through art-based activities to rebuild the fabric of their community, creating a way of living that is economically viable and inclusive. The organization raises money for ongoing activities through a store that sells t-shirts, jewelry, posters, and books.

International Center for Urban Ecology (ICUE)

A nomadic laboratory for future cities, ICUE's projects have examined the phenomena of depopulation, development, and change in developed cities around the world. The practice is one that engages the city at the intimate level of the pedestrian as a way to obtain an alternative reading of how cities are shaped. The International Center for Urban Ecology is founded on the concept of the city as an organism - an ecology of evolving and moving politics, economies, and cultures.

Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates

Over the past twenty years, Jonathan Kirschenfeld associates have built urban housing, childcare centers, and recreation facilities, acting not only as designers, but also as advocates and developers. The practice is dedicated to accommodating under-served populations of new york City through cultural and social services.

Project Row Houses

The work of Project Row Houses demonstrates how residents can fend off commercial development through neighborhood restoration. The organization, founded by Rick Lowe, develops housing, public space, facilities, and programs for low to moderate income residents to preserve and protect the historic character of the Third ward.


A collaborative of creators, designers, and activists, Rebar is based in San Francisco. Their work challenges urban conventions and reimagines social relations. Their projects engage social, ecological, and cultural processes as they unfold materially in space and time.

Rural Studio

By providing dignified, community-based housing and municipal structures, Rural Studio contributes to the development of rural Alabama, mitigating the effects of a poverty- stricken region. students are taught an ethic of service and engagement, and work closely with the client and local welfare agencies.

Spatial Information Design Lab/Laura Kurgan

An interdisciplinary research unit, the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University specializes in the visual display of information about contemporary cities and events. The lab links social data with geography to help us envision ways in which the design of the built environment (the places where we live, work, and play) might interact with governance (expressions of our collective obligations) to produce different patterns in our cities.

Studio 804

A non-profit organization, Studio 804 provides students with the opportunity to design and develop affordable and sustainable prefabricated buildings. Through these projects, students explore architectural solutions to reclaim forgotten, blighted, and environmentally challenged neighborhoods in Kansas - some of which have not seen new construction in over 30 years.

Smith and Others

Since the 1980s, Smith and Others has experimented with affordable housing models. They have helped to transform the city of San Diego into an epicenter of alternative housing prototypes produced by collaborative groups of architects acting as developer-builders. They are com mitted to producing alternative densities, inclusive of diverse economies and types of dwelling.