Browsing All Posts filed under »News«

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

November 21, 2011

News, Our Work

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 […]

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

October 1, 2011

Events, News

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 […]

Public Workshop Invited To Re-Imagine Skatepark Under Manhattan Bridge w/NYC Skateboarders

August 16, 2011


Over the weekend we learned that Public Workshop has been invited by Architecture For Humanity to submit new design ideas for a forlorn skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge in New York City. Yes, we’re honored to be in the company of much of New York’s design elite including Balmori Associates, Bernheimer Architecture and others but […]

Public Workshop Wins Grant To Help Austin Re-Imagine Underused Spaces On Congress Ave

August 16, 2011


We are simply ecstatic to have won a grant, in collaboration with AIA Austin, from the Downtown Austin Alliance to create a series of events, participatory design tools and a crowdsourced ideas competition to engage citizens of Austin, Texas in re-imagining vacant and underused spaces on Congress Ave–directly across from the State Capitol! Working with […]

Project:#teendesignheroes Gather Data + Stories To Improve The Design Of Their Neighborhood.

August 6, 2011

News, Our Work

Young adults dressed in lab coats using over-sized thermometers to find heat islands in their neighborhoods? A two-foot nose, sculpted to make the process of measuring air quality more visible to community members? These are but two of many projects undertaken last year by Shadelab, a unique, community design leadership program in which talented young Chicago adults gather […]

Public Workshop Leading Design-Build Workshops On North Philly Vacant Lots For Local Teens.

August 5, 2011


Depending on how you count them, Philadelphia has 30,000 to 40,000 vacant lots. Next week–August 8th-11th—Public Workshop will be setting up shop on one of them in North Philadelphia and working with neighborhood #teendesignheroes from the Village For Arts and Humanities to prototype ideas, and structures that could start to fill up some of these […]

Check Out What Our Chicago #teendesignheroes Are Building + Learning In Rural Wisconsin.

June 28, 2011

News, Our Work

Spending sixteen to eighteen hours a day building things in rural Wisconsin with my #teendesignheroes from the Chicago Public School system leaves little time to share all of the amazing things that are happening with the outside world. This design-build workshop for teens is one of my most important laboratories for testing the limits of […]

Want To Build Your Own Playspaces + Create Amazing Structures W/Your Kids + Community?

June 27, 2011


UPDATE- Our Build-It! Discs are now available for purchase + building fantastic things! Go to: Are you as excited about our discs and building activities as we are? The response to and interest in our building disks has been simply amazing. The Today Show Parenting Blog, Kaboom!, on-air builds with children at a television […]

Be A Design Super Hero, Introducing Our Stellar 2011 Teaching Fellows.

June 24, 2011

News, People

‘Architects going into schools to talk about and teach architecture is like birth control for architects.’ -the president of a prominent architectural organization that focuses on design education At a recent summit on design education that pulled together an elite group of designers from across the country, I was struck by a deep, growing enthusiasm […]

Only 5 Days Until Our Teen-Led Design Lab At Taliesin: Redefining Learning + Possibility!

June 19, 2011

News, Our Work

Only five days until our favorite week of the year! Taliesin was Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural playground. An ever evolving place, he and his apprentices were constantly experimenting with the structure, space and building materials of existing buildings on the property- adjusting, tearing things down and starting anew. They did this to better meet the […]

A Few Thoughts On The Merits Of Using Play To Accomplish Great Things.

May 24, 2011

News, Writing

Recently, Bea Beste, an education entrepreneur who has started a number of schools K-12 schools in Berlin, asked me about the basic ideas behind Public Workshop. Bea was particularly interested in the role that play serves in our approach and work. Play is so embedded in Public Workshop‘s work that I rarely talk about it as […]

News:We’re Presenting Our Unique Participatory Design + Learning Tools In Chicago-May 28th.

May 19, 2011

Events, News

A Longitudinal Study of Shared Space Street Improvements And Older People’s Quality Of Life– Catharine Ward Thompson, Susana Alves, Peter Aspinall, Jenny Roe and Affonso Zuin Examining The Spatial And Temporal Patterns In Children’s Neighborhood-Based Activity And Mobility Using Personal Monitoring Technology –Jason Gilliand and Janet Loebach The Effects Of Casino Design, Restorative Images And […]

News:Public Workshop + Partners Awarded NEA Grant To Create Innovative Youth Design Prog.

May 15, 2011

News, Our Work

We couldn’t be more pleased to announce that the National Endowment For The Arts recently awarded Public Workshop, in partnership with openhousenewyork and DreamYard, a grant to create an innovative youth-led community design leadership program in the Bronx. openhousenewyork is an organization that unlocks New York City’s architecture, infrastructure and hidden spaces in all five […]

News:Public Workshop To Work On Austin Master Plan W/Michael Van Valkenburgh Assoc.

May 15, 2011

News, Our Work

Lady Bird Lake, Town Lake, or the Colorado River? It doesn’t really matter which name you choose to call the large swath of water that cuts through Downtown Austin, it remains one the natural features that makes Austin a particularly great place to live. Indeed, over the years it has become one the the quintessential […]

News: Public Workshop Is Presenting At The University Of The Arts On May 5th.

April 29, 2011

Events, News

Why wouldn’t I want to share my work with and be a part of a program that describes itself as ‘A Design Laboratory For Modeling Change‘? Over the past couple of months I have had the great the pleasure of getting to know the students, faculty and the collective work of the Industrial Design Program […]

News: Our 20 Yr Old Intern’s Presentation ‘Wows’ Everyone At The Structures For Inclusion Conf.

April 8, 2011


At precisely 2.02 on Saturday afternoon two weeks ago, the texts and tweets started flowing in: Perkins and Will (one of the foremost architecture firms in the world) “Amen, Brenda! Mindblowing pictures, process, data, stories, indeed. Rock on#shadelab @publicworkshop” “@publicworkshop Totally rocks. You have a great group. What clever, dynamic kids.” Barbara Brown Wilson- Director, […]

News:Our Youth-Led Community Sensing + Design Leadership Project Wins National Recognition!

March 31, 2011


Shadelab Receives A Special Recognition Award From The Association of Architectural Organizations. Although we were a little disappointed not to outrightly win this national K-12 design curriculum competition, we (the Shadelab team) are incredibly proud of the project and believe it makes a number of significant contributions towards rethinking the following: 1. Education and Learning. […]

News: Public Workshop Invited To Give UCDavis’ Annual Robert Thayer Lecture.

March 18, 2011

Events, News

What could be better than spending a couple of days in April in Davis, California talking about participatory design and working with a group of incredibly talented people, imagining the future of design education? I couldn’t be more excited to have been invited to give the annual Rob Thayer Lecture on April 15th at the […]

National Building Museum Fellowship Update #5: Prototype Done, Almost Ready To Build.

February 24, 2011

News, Writing

Hesitant learners? Uninitiated collaborators? Contentious issues to discuss? Nascent designers who are used to talking and planning rather than doing? What happens if you gather your group and quickly build the space in which you are going to meet, collaborate, learn and discuss, before you actually do those things? Instead of spending endless hours talking about […]

News: We’re Headed To Seattle To Present At The University Of Washington!

February 10, 2011


Strangely, this trip to Seattle feels a bit like a quinceanera or cotillion. On the most basic level, I’ve never been to Seattle or even the Pacific Northwest. Amazing, right? What in the world have I been doing with my time? But I’m also incredibly excited to be presenting to and in the midst of […]