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Redesigning the Process: Transforming Facilities and Culture with an Equity-based Approach

Karina Ruiz, Allison Brown — Karina Ruiz (BRIC Architecture) AIA, NOMA, LEED AP; Allison Brown (BRIC Architecture)

Overview Historically, traditional community engagement processes to have served to reproduce inequitable learning environments. When applied to the planning and design of education spaces, Critical Race Spatial Theory offers an innovative approach to amplify the voices of BIPOC communities and identify institutional planning strategies that promote racial equity and social justice. By exploring case studies anchored in critical race-spatial praxis and Liberatory Design principles, learn how BRIC has partnered with multiple school districts to develop equitable and inclusive community engagement approaches that result in rich tapestries of conversations, trust, and actionable solutions.

Outcomes From educators and district leaders to designers and architects, participants will build a collective understanding of design’s power to serve as a catalyst for positive change. Participants will learn from feedback compiled through the deep engagement of traditionally marginalized communities. They will examine how the implementation of culturally responsive and inclusive practices – along with the prioritization of well-rounded, student-centered outcomes – yields invaluable insight from diverse groups of people. Participants will understand how educators can apply these processes and inquiry models to foster culturally responsive and inclusive learning experiences/environments.

Objectives 1: Identify ways to shape the inquiry phases of projects to improve physical, emotional, and cultural wellbeing of building occupants.

2: Develop toolkit of approaches that promote equitable access to planning/design conversations for BIPOC communities.

3: Analyze planning/design practice elements that reproduce inequity and promote continued systems of oppression in built environments.

4: Apply case studies to create equitable planning/design practices to disrupt traditionally racist design processes.

Conversational Practice

Through an interactive conversation that encompasses elements of lecture and Q&A, we will leverage the “transformational” adult learning principle. Throughout our presentation, we’ll invite attendees to consider how the design and engagement strategies we’ve all participated in have served to replicate systems of inequity. As we explore new – and potentially revolutionary – holistic, equity-based approaches to educational design, we’ll encourage people to begin to shift their long-standing world views and acknowledge that the preconceived notions we’ve subscribed to for years have served to perpetuate systemic injustice in schools.

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