SEI faculty workshop | Engaging Community

Workshop Description

 Engaging Community in Providence

Whereas students learn how design can play a role in nurturing culturally-diverse vibrant neighborhoods while creating positive change within a dynamic society, community engagement has the power to leverage cross-sector partnerships between creative non-profits, governmental, and private higher education to stimulate new types of design thinking and entrepreneurial activities. Sustained dialog builds trust and creates the ability to identify real needs and desires of community members. This workshop will explore models of community engagement and their relevance for RISD and our local community. Building on the goals of the SEI initiative and the most recent RISD strategic plan, we will investigate more sustained integration of individual initiatives into the curriculum and review examples of community engagement starting with 1960’s participatory models to more recent examples of “Creative Placemaking”.

The three workshop sessions will be organized to address different issues and will progress from theoretical frameworks and quickly move to address questions of engagement and actions. The first meeting will involve review of contemporary arguments around Creative Placemaking and other models of social activities. The second meeting will involve a conversation with local community stake-holders and leaders from governmental and non-profit groups about community needs and their experiences in working with academic institutions. And the third meeting will be an opportunity to evaluate our capacity at RISD and to discuss obstacles and opportunities to support future projects with the greatest potential impact.

Instructor Bio

Holding a MA from Columbia University and a BFA from RISD, Laura Briggs is an Associate Professor of Architecture at RISD. Previously, while at Parsons New School for Design as the Chair of Sustainable Architecture, she was the faculty lead for the New School’s U.S. Solar Declathlon entry. Laura is a partner with BriggsKnowles Studio, a research-based design practice in Providence. Her work has received support in the form of fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, U.S. Department of Energy, Arnold W. Brunner Foundation, and the D.C. Department of the Environment, among others. Laura is a trained solar installer and certified Passive House Designer and contributor to The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design and the Green Studio handbook.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Teaching and Learning Lab in the Center for Social Equity & Inclusion
293 S. Main St., Providence, RI 02906

Event Type

Workshop, SEI Event, SEI Workshop


Academic Affairs, SEI - Social Equity Inclusion Initiative

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