An urban education model that responds to the crisis in community participation and political representation by circulating different ways of thinking and making


Social Contracts

Learn how we use video to articulate mutual responsibilities and expectations

Fields of Knowledge
  • Comm. Development
  • Design
  • Health / Sustainability
  • Memory
  • Pedagogy
  • Public culture
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions

Slought, People's Emergency Center (PEC), PennDesign


Steering committee members include Amy Hillier, Aaron Levy, Kira Strong, Teddy Cruz, Jeannine Cook, Kyshaun Parker, Dwaine Ross, and others


The PEW Center for Arts and Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts


Special thanks to filmmaker Andrea Ngan

Opens to public



Mixplace Studio
4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

On the web



50% Formal - 50% Informal

Social contracts guide the activities of Mixplace Studio. The contracts articulate mutual responsibilities and expectations among the individuals and institutions involved in the year-long curriculum of activities. This is necessary because our identities and activities frequently shift over the course of each year.

A central aspect of the social contract is that youth, students, coordinators and institutions commit to following each other for the year. At People's Emergency Center (PEC), youth researchers from West Philadelphia neighborhoods commit to guiding design students through their neighborhoods. At PennDesign, design students commit to guiding the youth researchers through academic resources and other forms of visualization. At Slought, cultural producers commit to guiding the youth researchers and graduate students through other forms of presentation and display.

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To make a social contract, we begin by filming short portraits of each member of the studio. Everyone is asked to respond to a series of questions.

After, the individual reviews their portrait and selects a representative statement. The social contract takes effect once all individual statements have been joined together, viewed together, and shared online.


State your name, your neighborhood, and your role in Mixplace?

What are some social issues you are interested in and Mixplace can or needs to address? 

What are you worried about and what pressures and concerns do you have as you begin?

What are your hopes and aspirations for yourself, the others involved, and the project?

What do you expect from the youth researchers, design students, coordinators, and institutions involved?

Is there anything else you would like to say at this time to the group or to any of those involved?