For four days architects, planners, urbanists, and other designers from across the country will gather to exchange ideas and partake in workshops and discussions to address injustices in the built environment. The Design Justice Summit 2023, at Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, will take place from June 15–18. The event aligns with the work of the design justice movement and is a collaborative effort between Colloqate, a multidisciplinary nonprofit Design Justice practice; the Design As Protest (DAP) Collective, a group of BIPOC designers dedicated to using design and architecture to quell oppression; and Dark Matter University, a justice-minded network.
“The explicit intention of the summit is to share knowledge and workshop solutions to address the issues of injustice facing communities throughout the world,” the organizers stated on the summit’s website. “Our mission is to codify and grow a diverse community of spatial design justice leaders who can shape the profession’s future toward justice and liberation.”
According to the summit’s website, all sessions are co-facilitated by organizers and friends who have experience with DAP Collective’s nine demands. The first day of the summit assembles practicing organizers from DAP Collective and Dark Matter University in a series of sessions and breakout activities. The following two days of the event are open to a wider audience that is invited to view presentations and participate in workshops and activities that, according to the organizers, are “designed to build fellowship and foster critical, nuanced learning around the details of our most pressing issues.” Attendees can choose from four tracks with breaks for lunch and a guided meditation session, on each day.
Topics and issues covered in these sessions include preserving Indigenous spaces, addressing hostile architecture, water sovereignty, and thinking about affordable and just neighborhoods.
June 18, the final day of the four-day affair is the Cultural Futures Fest, a day of celebration, will be produced in collaboration with Ujamaa Economic Development and will demonstrate past and ongoing work of the design justice movement taking place in New Orleans communities.
“The Design Justice Summit 2023 will explore the privilege and power structures that have defined injustice in the built environment from America’s inception,” the summit organizers added. “We will look at the history of the design justice movement and how the theory of practice continually advocates for the dismantling of power ecosystems that use architecture and design to create oppressive conditions throughout the built environment.”
The full program and more information about event can be found here. The agenda is live and will be updated throughout the summit.