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We believe designers and artists are unique and often under-activated assets in communities. As the largest comprehensive design and arts college in the U.S., we also believe we have a critical role in testing and advancing how we prepare emerging designers and artists for the challenges facing our communities, through new ways of working, seeing and acting. We believe our students, our faculty and our research can and should be reimagining how artists and designers can co-create in public systems for social good.
To that end, over the last few years, we have assembled a team of leading minds in the field, including Maria Rosario Jackson and Jason Schupbach, and key artists and designers like Michael Rohd, Liz Lerman, Daniel Bernard Roumain and Wanda Dalla Costa. Together, along with Greg Esser, ASU alumnus and founder of Arizona’s Roosevelt Row arts district, we asked them to apply their knowledge and to help us surface new ways of thinking and working. For example:
Through all of this ideation and practicing, ASU has identified key elements that make our work and value proposition distinct:
The above is driven in part by an unprecedented partnership between the largest design and arts college and one of the largest and most embedded community policy colleges in the country.
What we have lacked in this work was a concrete way to organize and sustain this project-based momentum.
To that end, we hired Jen Cole this summer to help us design and launch the National Accelerator for Cultural Innovation and Inclusion. The Accelerator is an applied practice center at ASU that prototypes and scales pedagogy, practice and policy and that imagines designers and artists as leaders for social transformation and public good.
The Accelerator lifts up the innovative work of students and faculty within ASU and also provides a space for artists, designers, culture bearers, and public and nonprofit sector leaders throughout the U.S. to dynamically test ideas, research and programs that address our driving questions:
Going forward, the Accelerator will function as a container, organizing our field-facing work and connecting the dots between practice and transformation on and off campus. We are designing and planning for a public launch in 2019.
ASU’s arts-based equitable community development or creative placemaking work is a central thread of inquiry and action within the larger Accelerator. In the next few years, Maria Rosario Jackson and other ASU leaders will continue the evolution of the Institute for Creativity, Place and Equitable Communities within the Accelerator and move forward with key developments such as curriculum, national peer leadership support, tools, teaching excellence and new ways of imagining community-based evaluation.
The infographic below gives a high-level snapshot of how we are proceeding as an institution over the next 18 months to advance the larger ideas around community practice and the specific learning and advancement of the creative placemaking field at ASU.
To follow our progress, please join our Creative Placemaking mailing list.
— written by Steven J. Tepper, dean, ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
National design and arts-based equitable development and practice for public good at Arizona State was originally published in ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.