Details on article

Id 209
Author Kubey, K.,
Title Design for Impact: Measuring Architecture's Social Value in the United States.

Kubey, K. (2020). Design for Impact: Measuring Architecture's Social Value in the United States. Architectural Design, 90(4): 14-21.

Keywords Architecture; Impact; Social value; Participatory design; Equitable urban design
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Abstract In a world where economic quantifiability seems to be paramount, urbanist Karen Kubey, a Faculty Fellow in Design for Spatial Justice at the University of Oregon, specialising in health and housing, examines how some US organisations are enhancing the case for participatory design, social impact and equitable urban design.

Metodology The author provides four examples of US organisations and government agencies attempting to measure architecture’s human benefits, comparing their strategies and systems of evaluation. This article is based on separate phone interviews conducted by Karen Kubey in October and November 2019 with Toni L Griffin of the Just City Lab, Michaela Metcalfe of the New York City Department of Design and Construction, Justin Garrett Moore and Rebecca Macklis of the New York City Public Design Commission, Bryan Bell of the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network, and Nella Young of Enterprise Community Partners.

Findings Going beyond economic return on investment, the examples illustrated consider how design can contribute to less quantifiable human outcomes, such as a sense of welcome or public ownership, particularly in low-income and minority neighbourhoods. Countering design media and prizes often focused on a building’s image, they demand not only beauty, but also spaces that serve their communities. The measure of a structure or space’s value must be grounded in the needs of the local people who use it. Against America’s vast racial and economic inequities, these qualitative and quantitative approaches are tools in the fight for social justice.
Open Access YES
Search Database SC (Scopus)
Technique Interview; Case studies
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