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Design Futures Student Leadership Forum coming to KU

Monday, May 18, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning will host the 2015 Design Futures Public Interest Design (PID) Student Leadership Forum from May 29 to June 2.

The forum is intended to foster leadership skills in architecture students who are interested in using their design knowledge to serve society.

“Architecture students are idealistic by nature and have always been interested in doing design that benefits society. PID-related coursework gives them that opportunity,” said Associate Professor Shannon Criss, who brought the event to KU.

“In the process they discover how to discern real needs by collaborating with real stakeholders. Just this semester our students have done such things as building a greenhouse and playground equipment for underserved client groups in Kansas City, Kansas,” she said.

“Students who do well in these classes seem to be natural-born leaders,” Criss said. “The Design Futures conferences bring these exceptional architecture students together with architects, executives from nonprofit groups and university faculty from all over the country to share their experiences and improve their skills. It is a very rich experience.”

Activities for Design Futures participants will include workshops and lectures and visits to public interest design projects in Lawrence and Kansas City by KU's Department of Architecture students and faculty. The opportunity to meet and network with peers from 11 universities that are leading the PID movement will inform and inspire.

The public is invited to two events. David Perkes of the Gulf Coast Community Design Center will present "Design with Others" at 5:30 p.m. May 29 at the Lawrence Arts Center auditorium, 940 New Hampshire St. An exhibition of PID by KU students and faculty will be displayed in the moCOLAB outside the center. 

A “Building Communities” PechaKucha event will be 5:30 p.m. June 1 at Foundation Architectural Reclamation in the West Bottoms, 1221 Union Ave., in Kansas City, Missouri. Port Fonda Taco Bar will provide the food, and the event will also feature a DJ. Those wishing to attend may RSVP to Criss at scriss@ku.edu.

More information about the Design Futures Forum is available online.