Browsing All Posts filed under »Our Work«

We Empowered 80 People To Build Something Fantastic + Transform A Space In Under 2 Hrs.

July 22, 2014

Our Work

How can we empower citizens to re-imagine the public spaces around them? Late this spring we were hired by the Van Alen Institute to create a building event that would empower people to change a place and stimulate a rich conversation around DIY public space. Although torrential rain forced us to move the event inside, […]

9th Grade Ladies Design-Built These Rolling Hangout Pods To Improve Their School.

July 22, 2014

Our Work

At 2:35 pm on a Wednesday in May, a series of amazing things happened. As school wrapped up for the day, with little fanfare a team of ninth grade teenage women started using power tools to assemble two massive rolling hangout pods in their school’s cafe. They spent the last six months designing and fabricating […]

An Update On Our Citizen Science Program Project With Drexel University.

March 4, 2014

News, Our Work

‘If my friends or family walked past our (green water infrastructure) site with me, they got excited and wanted to help’-Josiah, 17. Last week we had a great download with all of the citizen scientists who participated in the beta version of the citizen science program that we are helping scientists at Drexel develop. This […]

100′s Activate + Learn About A Hidden Space By Building 400 Yrs Of History W/Cardboard.

March 4, 2014

Our Work

What happens when you challenge people to build 400 years of history–forgotten bridges, forts, factories, etc.–along the Schuylkill River out of cardboard in just two days in a largely unknown public park along the River? You get local fisherman, high school students, grandmothers, designers, local community members, college students, skateboarders, and families from across Philadelphia […]

We Are Making It Easier, Even Joyous To Find Essential Services In Philadelphia’s City Hall.

February 26, 2014

News, Our Work

How can government be considered ‘open’ or function effectively if even the most navigationally astute visitors to Philadelphia’s City Hall can’t find the most basic services? Public Workshop is currently working with the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics to make City Hall more inviting and accessible. The project entails rethinking and prototyping a […]

An Adventure Playspace Designed + Built By Philly Youth, The USGBC Greenbuild Legacy Project.

November 15, 2013

Our Work

Last spring we were ecstatic to win the Greenbuild Legacy Project grant with our partners at Smith Memorial Playground from the Delaware Valley Green Building Council to work with youth in Philly to design and build an adventure play space at Smith. Six months later with many thousands of people starting to stream into Philadelphia for Greenbuild, […]

Teens Activating Vacant Lots By Design-Building Places For Play, Exercise + Community.

November 12, 2013

Our Work

Last year we had the great pleasure of working with the ArtPlace funded Flint Public Art Project and some great teens from Flint-Genesee Job Corps to design and build temporary bus stop improvements. Needless to say, when the opportunity arose to work with them again this year and do another Tiny WPA project, we leapt at the […]

Tiny WPA Update: Teens Redesigning/Rebuilding Classrooms, Vacant Lots, + Playgrounds, Oh My!

September 8, 2013

Our Work

Four Tiny WPA Community Improvement Projects Design-Built By 100′s Of Teens In Three Cities In 45 Days, More Coming! Goodness it’s been a mighty busy summer. Last year we did four Tiny WPA projects in three months, this year have done that same number of projects in half the time and needless to say there has […]

‘People Like To Sit Where There Are Places For Them To Sit + We’re Making That Easier.’

June 23, 2013

Our Work

Regularly, one of the members of The Building Hero Project, our community design leadership program in Philadelphia, will be reflecting upon and sharing their experiences in the program. This week, Meghan Talarowski, who just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania writes about the bench-bombing the team has been doing in Philly to get feedback on […]

The Building Hero Project,Our Community Design Leadership Program For Young Adults In Philly

May 16, 2013

Our Work

The Building Hero Project is Public Workshop’s young adult community design leadership program through which we are growing an army of empowered and skilled young adult leaders and change agents who are able to help make their neighborhoods and Philadelphia better places to live through design. Every year a diverse team of 16-25 year olds […]

”Building Hero’ Is Not A Title You Are Given, It’s Something That You Earn.’~Alexa E., Age 16.

April 29, 2013

Our Work

Regularly, one of the members of The Building Hero Project, our community design leadership program in Philadelphia, will be reflecting upon and sharing their experiences in the program. This week, Alexa E., a 16 year old building hero from the Science Leadership Academy writes about the bench building workshop she helped lead for Leadership Philadelphia […]

Tiny WPA Teens Design-Build A Shade Canopy For A Farmer’s Market In North Philly.

November 30, 2012

Our Work

‘Wow, I can it see all the way from Lehigh Avenue. The green and the trees…..it just makes me so happy. It lifts my spirits.’ ‘I have some land next to my house, will you build some trees there for us?’ ‘That’s nice, real nice.’ We are happy to report that our Tiny WPA team […]

‘It Would Be Great If We Had This (Youth-Built Adventure Playgrounds) All Over Philly’.

November 30, 2012

Our Work

Two weeks. One great organizational partner. Seventy teens and young designers from five universities and seven high schools. Hundreds of kids and their families. A few power tools and $2000 worth of materials. One awesome pop-up adventure playground at the very center of Downtown Philadelphia that begins to redefine our conceptions of risk, play, and […]

Check Out The Tiny WPA Bus Stop Seating Design-Built By Teens In Fifteen Hours In Flint!

November 30, 2012

Our Work

Fifteen hours, two awesome collaborators, three bus stop seating prototypes, and eleven teens who now really want to design-build more things that improve their city. In late October, we decamped from Philadelphia for a week in Flint, MI to work with Job Corps and the Flint Public Art Project to do one of our Tiny WPA […]

‘Hey Alex, Can We Start A Neighborhood Repair And Design Shop?’~Raheem + Tyree.

October 11, 2012

Our Work

One would think that this question, coming just two weeks into launching our beta version of TinyWPA, would send me over the moon. Shoot, after just two weeks, a motley crop of uninitiated  #teendesignheroes in Philly ‘got it’ and wanted more. And they didn’t just want MORE, they were looking to initiate their own projects with their […]

Public Workshop To Help Grow Citizen Scientists To Measure Impact Of Green Infrastructure.

September 27, 2012

News, Our Work

What do you do when you don’t have the staff to measure the impact of or maintain green infrastructure projects that your department has installed and distributed in a decentralized fashion throughout a city? ‘How about growing a corps of citizen scientists? Given our work helping create Shadelab, it’s probably not surprising that we think […]

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

September 11, 2012

Our Work

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 […]

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

September 9, 2012

Our Work

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

Our Work

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

Our Work

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 […]