Size Up: Changing Paradigms in Social Impact Design
Convened by U-M Public Design Corps, "Size Up" is a full-day experimental symposium dedicated to exploring the multiplicity of activities and inquiries conceived to yield positive change across the design disciplines. Once set against the backdrop of social transition, political reckoning, and ecological crisis, social practice progressively gained momentum among practitioners seeking a less client-dependent, capital-intensive approach to work and production. More recently, however, a growing self-awareness around the contradictions of institutionally sanctioned, solutionist rhetoric and the challenge of arriving at a common good has driven the category into a state of reflection, if not crisis. This symposium brings together leading researchers, practitioners, and scholars to engage in dialogue around ways to meaningfully intervene. Assembling current and emergent strains of thinking in social practice, participants will address and disentangle conundrums around communality, universalism, pluralism, liberal democracy, and social justice. Through a comparative lens, the symposium will critically explore social design’s capacities to deliver transformative outcomes at a decisive scale.
Equal parts scholarly gathering and action-based happening, "Size Up" will directly examine the tools and processes to sponsor more flexible, horizontal and engaging modes of collective participation through a series of concordant workshops. "Size Up" will feature Detroit artist/activist-led workshops, live music, and a moderated panel discussion between Taubman faculty and leading experts in Public Interest Design from around the globe.
This symposium continues the tradition of honoring the humanitarian work of Raoul Wallenberg, a Taubman College alumnus distinguished for his courageous actions in German-occupied Hungary during World War II.
Speakers / Instigators
The Collectif Etc. (Maxence Bohn) is a non-profit organization based in Marseille and in Drôme, France. Created in 2010, The Collectif Etc. directs its energies, collaborating with local communities, to address the question of the use of public spaces in the urban environment. Today, the Collectif Etc is composed of six architects working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, art and design. The Collectif etc. experiments with alternative ways of producing space for people working for social and ecological solutions.
On July 3, 2017, The Honorable Chokwe Antar Lumumba became the 53rd mayor of the City of Jackson, Mississippi. He is an attorney, a husband, a father, and the son of two life-long community activists—the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Nubia Lumumba. Mayor Lumumba earned his Juris Doctorate and a certificate in sports and entertainment law from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 2008.
Niklas Maak was born in Hamburg, Germany. He is the architecture critic of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and a guest professor for architecture at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. From 2014 to 2020, he taught architecture at Harvard. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the George F. Kennan Prize, the Henri-Nannen-Prize and the Bund Deutscher Architekten Prize. Maak was a co-curator to the 2020 show „Countryside. The Future“ at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and is the author of many books, among them “„Living Complex. From Zombie City to the New Communal” and the novel “Technophoria”.
Born in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan in 1984, Kyoto-based Mitsuhiro Sakakibara is an architectural and urban researcher. He co-founded the independent architectural research project RAD (Research for Architectural Domain) in 2008 and POUF (Planning Office for Urban Functions) in 2019.
Tatjana Schneider is professor for history and theory of architecture and the city (GTAS) at the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. In the face of epochal urban transformations and increasing inequalities, her work is dedicated to the research of the socio-spatial, economic and political parameters within and through which architectures and cities are made.
Sherrine Azab is the co-director of the Detroit-based theater ensemble A Host of People. She is a director, producer, and educator that has worked nationally and internationally. She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and a postgraduate certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. Woven into her artistic/theater life is ongoing training in subjects intersecting and supporting art for social change, such as Emergent Strategy Immersion Training and continuing education in Restorative Justice and Practice.
Jake Hooker is a writer, director, projection designer, scholar, and educator. With A Host of People, his work ranges from generating text, including many poems, designing and creating video and projections, technology, dramaturgy, co-directing, and even occasionally performing. He holds a BFA in Original Works from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, an MA in Performance Studies from the University of Wales, and an MPhil in Theories of Theater from the City University of New York Graduate Center where he is nearing completion of his Ph.D. dissertation on contemporary performance practice in deindustrialized cities. He teaches in the theater department of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Billy Mark is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Detroit. He is married to fiber artist, Sarah Mark. His areas of exploration lately have been embodied poetics, experimental liturgies, site-specific music and poetry, and the creative and spiritual resources found in monasticism.
Gina Reichert is an artist, architect, and community developer. Her practice is rooted in developing new strategies and ideas for interventions and self-initiated projects in her immediate Detroit neighborhood, defining opportunity in overlooked spaces while using the resources at hand. Her principles of practice include sustainable strategies for energy & economics, collective ownership models, and a belief in The Commons as a viable alternative to capitalism. In 2009, she founded Power House Productions, a nonprofit organization that integrates contemporary art and design into the daily life of the diverse neighborhood where she lives and works.
Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She writes about art and culture, online and in print, for Hyperallergic, Art in America, Art in Print, Flash Art, Sculpture Magazine, ArtSlant, and others. She is a regular guest lecturer/visiting critic at University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, College for Creative Studies, Wayne State University, and Oakland University. She is primarily concerned with artist and viewer experiences of making and engaging with art, and conducts ongoing research in the state of contemporary art in redeveloping cities, with special focus and regard for Detroit.
Emily Rogers is a protean producer who actively works as a songwriter, musician, dancer, choreographer, event curator, musical director, host and DJ. These skills have administered national and international performance opportunities, record releases, recording sessions and collaborations. In addition to her personal creative endeavors, Emily contributes to the vibrancy of the Detroit Community by curating inclusive concerts, recordings sessions, jam sessions, micro festivals and multi-media events. Her work was recently awarded the 2020 Gilda Snowden Emerging Artist Award from the Kresge Arts Foundation. Emily Rogers has an eclectic catalog of available music, a plethora of performance chronicles, fantastic stories and artistic adventures. She is very excited to share in this symposium experience with you as she presents her latest project:
My Detroit Players My Detroit Players Features:
- JRGotTheHiTS - drums
- Emily Rogers - bass
- Shaphan MAESTRO Williams - Keys
- Duminie Deporres - Guitar DJ
- Los - turntables/ DJ
- Zac Land - Trombone /
- Guitar Nick Speed - Vocals / MPC