Reclaiming Inauguration Day as ‘Design as Protest’ Day

As Donald J. Trump is sworn in as president today, “Design as Protest” workshops will take place around the country, from New Orleans to New York.

Participants at a Design as Protest Day in New Orleans

Courtesy Bryan Lee

This article comes to us, with permission, via Next City.

Like many members of the American Institute of Architects, Bryan Lee was disillusioned last month when AIA CEO Robert Ivy put out a letter proclaiming its professional members “committed” to working with President-elect Donald Trump. As op-eds, tweets proclaiming #NotMyAIA, and letters began circulating en masse, the New Orleans architectural designer decided he wanted to do more than speak out against Ivy or Trump. He wanted to act.

“We always talk about structural racism,” says Lee. “It’s not one person, it’s a system. We have to defeat the system, not a person.”

Enter Design as Protest Day. As Trump is sworn in as president on Jan. 20, Lee will join other activists, architects, planners and community members in turning online conversations about social justice and design into live, local actions. Working with an informal cohort of justice-minded practitioners, Lee is coordinating “Design as Protest” workshops in cities around the country, from New Orleans to New York City to Urbana, Illinois.

Envisioned as a sort of national brainstorming session for creative, place-based interventions that drive social change, these workshops are being organized across academic, private and public spheres with the goal of inspiring the design community to take a collective stand against injustice.

Learn more about Design as Protest Day by reading the rest of this article on Next City.

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