“The short answer is yes — and I think that’s one of the reasons I chose a design profession.”

– Michael Richardson, co-chair of Students for Design Activism, when asked if he thought designers have a responsibility to improve people’s lives

Design Futures Core Team

Dan brings over 10 years of experience in the public interest design field to his work as a co-founder and convener of Design Futures. As a founding member of the Tulane City Center at Tulane School of Architecture Dan was instrumental in building one of the strongest university based community design center’s in the country. After 10 years at the Tulane City Center Dan moved on to focus on building a small community oriented business – The Pagoda Cafe – in his neighborhood and launched a small design practice with Seth Welty and Emilie Taylor called Colectivo. In addition to this work Dan also consults with faculty and staff at UT Austin in support of their based design and planning work.

Dan Etheridge

Director of Programs, Co-founder
Barbara is co-founder and director of curriculum for the Design Futures Student Leadership Forum. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at UVA, focused on the ethics, theory, and practice of sustainable community development. She contributed as a practitioner to the co-founding of the Austin Community Design and Development Center and as an academic to the founding of the University of Texas Public Interest Design summer program. She now also serves on the board of Piedmont Housing Alliance and is working to help them develop platforms to give their residents more active voice in the design and development of their communities.

Barbara Brown Wilson

Director of Curriculum, Co-founder
Sarah is the Design Futures’ University Consortium Coordinator. Sarah works as the Grants & Program Manager for the Center for Sustainable Development, located at the University of Texas at Austin. She is responsible for coordinating various CSD projects, grant writing for proposed work and helps direct dynamic and hands on research team. Sarah is also the Administrative Services Officer for the School of Architecture, working to manage overall business processes for the School. Sarah has a B.S. in environmental science from UC Berkeley and a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sarah Wu

Consortium Coordinator

We strive to diversify the Public Interest Design ecosystem, elevate the rigor and impact of the work done under this moniker, and build the next generation of leadership through educational and field building activities.

Design Futures Advisory Board

Christine has over 15 years of experience in community design and is currently the Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) — whose mission is to use the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement.

Christine Gaspar

Executive Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy
José is a trained architect, urban planner and sustainable designer. He believes in the power of strategic design to address complex problems extending beyond the built environment and into design experiences, services, businesses, and more.

Jose Latorre

Design Analyst, Gensler
A designer, urbanist, and social innovator, Liz is an expert on sustainable design and spatial innovation in challenged urban environments globally. She is founder and principal of Studio O, an innovation firm that works with communities in need to use the power design to deliver deep social impact.

Liz Ogbu

Founder + Principal, Studio O
Trained as an urban planner, Marc has worked in the field of community development and finance for over 20 years. Committed to community development and affordable housing, he consults with architects, planners, non-profits, and others on projects throughout the United States.

Marc Norman

Consultant, Writer, Lecturer
Mary Kathryn is a recent graduate of UVA, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Urban and Environmental Planning. She currently works for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in NYC — building community-police partnerships through the Department of Justice’s Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grant.

Mary Kathryn Fisher

Program Assistant, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Pratt serves as Director of The Center for Community Design and Preservation at the University of Georgia. With a staff of four full-time project coordinators and student assistants, he provides links between faculty, students and community design issues throughout Georgia.

Pratt Cassity

Director, Center for Community Design and Preservation
Theresa Hwang is a community-engaged architect and founder of Dept of Places, a participatory design and civic engagement practice based in Los Angeles, CA. She has spent over 12 years focused on equitable cultural and community development with multiple groups and campaigns.

Theresa Hwang

Founder + Director, Dept of Places

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