Browsing Archives of Author »publicworkshop«

Alex Gilliam  |  |  196 posts

We Are Looking For Building Heroes To Help Build An Adventure Playground In Downtown Philly!

September 26, 2012


From October 1st through 15th, Public Workshop will be design-building a fantastic play landscape in the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s PHS Pop-Up Garden at 20th and Walnut. Working with a core group of Philadelphia teenagers and young designers, Public Workshop will engage families, schools, and children in creating this one-of-a-kind adventure playground. Initially taking the form […]

Accelerating Understanding Of The Social Life Of Public Spaces Via Big-Urban-Games.

September 11, 2012


As you may know, for at least the past three years, I have been using big-urban-games (B.U.G.-coined by Katie Salen and others) and play as mechanisms for accomplishing great things when it comes to participatory design and learning. On one hand I have hacked games such as hide-n-go-seek, capture the flag, and parcours to implicitly instill the […]

Won’t You Be A Cheerleader Of Possibility Too? Follow Us On Facebook!

September 9, 2012


Hey folks. It’s been an incredibly productive year for Public Workshop and our website no longer is able to even remotely represent the volume, breadth, or depth of our work. We are in the midst of redesigning our site but until we are done, our Facebook page is going to be our primary medium for […]

My, That Sure Is A Mighty Pretty Chocolate Cake Master Plan Of Your Park!

September 9, 2012


A few weeks ago we led a youth and community engagement event for our clients, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and the City of Austin, Texas. For the event, we deployed our patented chocolate cake master planning process to best engage the community’s youth and their families, and put their local insights and ideas at the forefront […]

Teenage Women W/Power Tools Are Our Most Powerful Instigators Of Civic Innovation?

September 9, 2012


Ponder these equations. t+ap=ge   (teens + instigating really awesome design-build placemaking improvements in their neighborhood=greater community engagement + civic innovation) tw+ap=aie   (teenage women + instigating really awesome design-build placemaking improvements in their own neighborhood=absolutely incomparable community engagement + civic innovation) Ya know, one would think that given our pioneering of the first formula that I […]

Design Thinking Helps 7th Graders Write Faster (And Better)? Yep + Other Good Things Too.

September 8, 2012


Can design thinking programs lead students to perform better in their core academic subjects? Whether you decide to replace design thinking with ‘arts education’ or not, an affirmative answer of ‘yes’ to this question is the holy grail of funders, program directors, and measurement fanatics everywhere. From over 14 years of doing this type of […]

What Role Can Teens In Flint, MI Play In Rebuilding Their City?

September 4, 2012


What role can teens in Flint, MI play in stimulating civic and social innovation in their city? We are excited to bring #TinyWPA to Flint in late October as part of the ArtPlace funded Flint Public Art Project and be a part of the Congress For Urban Transformation (C.U.T.) with friends Damon Rich, James Rojas, and […]

We’re Design-Building An Adventure Playground With Youth In Downtown Philadelphia This Fall!

August 14, 2012


Here’s a question for you, ‘What is the all-time most popular post on the Public Workshop website?’ No, it’s not chocolate cake master planning, learning from snowstorms, or one of a number of critiques on the profession of architecture. By a margin of well over 14,000 hits, the most popular post on the Public Workshop […]

We’re Helping Create A Program Transforming Young Ladies Into Community Design + STEM Leaders.

June 4, 2012


Have you checked out the stats for the number of women who are architects or in STEM related professions in this country? How about women of color? 20% of registered architects in the United States are women. Approximately 25% of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) positions in the U.S. are held by women. And […]

Public Workshop Is Part Of Semi-Finalist Team To Design Austin’s Waller Creek Master Plan.

April 3, 2012


Do you scream for Waller Creek? We sure do. We couldn’t be more excited to be a community engagement consultant for a stellar team led by Melk! Landscape Architecture and Page Southerland Page that has been chosen as semi-finalists to design the master plan for Austin, Texas’ Waller Creek. Quite frankly the team is comprised […]

Say Hello To Tiny WPA! Will You Be A Building Hero With Us?

March 26, 2012


Tiny WPA is a program to redesign and rebuild Philadelphia’s schools, public spaces, and micro-infrastructure through design improvements initiated by youth. This program is inspired by the remarkable aspirations of Paul and RJ, two young adults from North Philadelphia. Blown away by the incredible community response they were getting simply by spending two hours rapid […]

Project: What Would You Redesign About Your 7th Grade Learning Experience?

February 29, 2012


If I were to ask you to come up with ONE thing, one change that would have made your learning better in the 7th grade, what would it be? Many of you might suggest more comfortable chairs, more time between classes or even lockers. These are all things that directly impact your life. Some of […]

Writing: What A Bunch Of LEGOs Can Teach Us About Civic Participation + Innovation.

February 28, 2012


Public Workshop’s Alex Gilliam originally wrote the following article for the Guggenheim Museum’s BMW Lab|Log. It has been republished at Next American City and One evening about a year ago, staff members at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, did something a bit unusual as they prepared to close the Lego building area for the […]

Want A Sneak Peek Into Our R + D Lab For Civic Design Participation & Learning??

February 24, 2012


Walking into a community planning meeting for the pocket park around the corner from your house, you are a bit surprised when asked to fill out and wear a wooden name tag. However, it is a mighty attractive looking name tag and it feels a bit more special than the usual sticky affairs–that never really […]

Project: I AM OHNY!–Strengthening An Org. By Celebrating The Things That Make It Great.

February 22, 2012


Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the places, spaces, architecture and infrastructure that make a city great. Only by exploring and physically experiencing a building or place can one really understand the impact of, and thereby participate in the making of the design decisions that affect our City and neighborhoods. With 225,000 visitors and […]

Check Out Our New 12″ Build-It! Mini-Discs. Save Some Money + Still Be A Building Hero.

February 14, 2012


Our new 12″ Build-It! Mini-Discs are so new that they are not even up on our beabuildinghero website. Why in the world have we decided to fabricate 12″ Discs when the 15″ are pretty darn great? First and foremost, the 12″ Discs fall into a shipping sweet spot and the resulting shipping costs are significantly less […]

Public Workshop + Our #teendesignheroes Are Featured In Fast Company Magazine!

December 20, 2011


‎”The burgeoning trend in design-thinking education is embracing the F-word. One organization that embodies this empowering education model is Public Workshop.“~ Fast Company What better way to cap a long day of meetings to find a few of our Chicago #teendesignheroes—Jeisson, Audrey, Jovanna, Edwin, Joseph and Diana–standing proudly at the top of the Fast Company […]

Chocolate Cake Helps Montreal Residents Explore The Future Of Their Neighborhood.

November 21, 2011


Montreal’s Vendome neighborhood has a brand new, massive hospital in its very near future that will have a huge impact on the fabric of the neighborhood and yet most people don’t even know it’s coming. What happens when you gather commuters, passersby, local kids, politicians, news media, college students and cheerleaders (!) to build a […]

Be A Building Hero! Our Build-It! Discs Are Now Available For Purchase.

October 11, 2011


  Are you a Building Hero? We are super excited to announce that our Build-It! Discs are now in production and available for purchase. We have a shiny website for the Discs designed by our friend Sage Brown too. All of our Build-It! Discs are made from recycled paper, are entirely recyclable and fabricated in […]

October News: Public Workshop Presenting At The BMW Guggenheim Lab + Much, Much More!

October 1, 2011


September has been a busy month for Public Workshop. It kicked off with Alex Gilliam presenting on the importance of prototyping behaviors for civic innovation at the Social Capitol Markets Conference on a panel about prototyping with Jocelyn Wyatt of, Adam Dole of the Mayo Clinic and Veronika Scott of the Empowerment Plan. Thanks to Sarah […]