A cheerleader of possibility, Public Workshop creates uniquely engaging opportunities for youth and their communities to shape the design of their cities.
We are redefining the way that youth participate as citizens and leaders in the design of their communities, and addressing the most pressing challenges in the world around them. In the process, we are fundamentally re-imagining education by reshaping how and where learning occurs.
Working with our partners and clients, we develop inspiring curricula, transformative youth design leadership programs, innovative participatory community design tools, engaging events and thoughtful strategies that help people rethink possibility. We accomplish this by relentlessly challenging and radically rethinking assumptions about how people learn and design occurs. Our students and clients are smiling (and in some cases leaping) because we believe that the very best learning and design occur when it’s challenging, empowering and fun.
Over the past fourteen years we have worked with numerous public schools, organizations, museums, universities, architecture firms and city agencies including openhousenewyork, DreamYard, Charter High School For Architecture and Design in Philadelphia, Rural Studio, Hester Street Collaborative, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Chicago Architecture Foundation, Landon Bone Baker Architects, National Building Museum and the City of Austin, Texas. We are nationally recognized experts on K-12 design education with an emphasis on service learning. Our work has been featured on NPR’s Studio 360 and in magazines such as Architect, Metropolis, ID and the Architect’s Newspaper as well as showcased on various company websites including Fast Company, GOOD, Next American City, Slate, Kaboom!, Core 77, Yahoo and NBC’s TODAY.
Our recent work includes creating a green design leadership program in the Chicago that trains young people to gather the environmental data and collect the stories that substantiate design changes in their neighborhoods; developing unique design- build place-making events to better engage youth and community in a master planning process in Austin, TX; designing a NEA funded youth community design leadership program for middle schools in the Bronx; creating a full scale building system that allows young people to prototype their own playgrounds in under-used public spaces; design-building adventure playgrounds and exercise courses in Philadelphia and Flint; opening the Department of Making + Doing, a making-oriented civic innovation workshop; and launching Tiny WPA, a program to redesign and rebuild city’s schools, public spaces and micro-infrastructure through improvements initiated by youth.
Interested in working with Public Workshop?
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Alex Gilliam, Director
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