The Center for Public Interest Design will help bring together the work of several research units, faculty, and student initiatives at PSU, the US and internationally who have been successfully collaborating for years to address the growing needs of communities worldwide. This diverse team of collaborators will now, through the CPID be supported by permanent faculty and staff who will respond to global needs and support fieldwork with research, coursework, and fundraising. As part of the School of Architecture at PSU, this new Center fulfills the Schools fundamental mission to promote community engagement and the application of creative and professional practices toward the common good.
Professor Sergio Palleroni is a Senior Fellow of the new Center for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University, and a founding member and faculty of the federally funded Green Building Research Lab. Professor Palleroni’s research and fieldwork for the last two decades has been in the methods of integrating sustainable practices to improve the lives of communities worldwide typically underserved. In 1988, to serve the needs of these communities he founded an academic outreach program that would later become the BASIC Initiative (www.basicinitiative.org), a service-learning fieldwork program. Today, the BASIC Initiative continues to serve the poor in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the U.S. In addition, Professor Palleroni has worked and been a consultant on sustainable architecture and development in the developing world since the 1980s, both for not-for-profit agencies and governmental and international agencies such as UNESCO, World Bank, and the governments of China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua and Taiwan. Palleroni holds a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon.
Fellow Project: SAGE Classroom
Margarette Leite teaches architectural design and building tectonics at Portland State University. Her work focuses on the creation of opportunities for students to engage in design processes and design/build activities that serve communities in need. These initiatives have garnered awards for civic engagement and have been the subjects of numerous publications and documentaries. She has been a featured speaker at various forums nationally on public interest design. Her work with students includes projects with local school districts for the design of sustainable learning spaces as well as a current statewide initiative to build and distribute a greener, affordable modular classroom across Oregon and the nation. The SAGE Classroom was awarded an international SEED award in 2013 and serves as a model for how the profession can engage communities in solving critical social issues. Her tectonics classes focus on the responsible use of sustainable and reusable materials as well as the promotion of hands-on making as a life-long habit for students of architecture. In addition, she is a partner in PLDP Architecture, a firm that designs and promotes sustainable buildings and communities with particular emphasis on disaster relief.
Fellow Project: Rosewood Initiative
B.D. Wortham-Galvin is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Portland State University and founder and Director of the non-profit Urban Dialogues. She teaches a wide variety of subjects including urban and architectural design history and theory, and studios that focus on adaptive reuse, urban design, and community based design. Her scholarship focuses on how theories of the everydayand the participatory can be applied to the design and stewardship of the built environment. Professionally, her non-profit, Urban Dialogues, works on community design issues and is currently partnering with the Rosewood Initiative. As a member of the Maryland Urban Research Studio, she helped lead the team in their award winning, invited, competition entry for The History’s Channel’s, The City of the Future Challenge. In 2010 she and partner Jacob Day won the Outstanding Project of the Year Award, Heart of the Chesapeake Heritage Area for Place Work[s]hop held in East New Market, Maryland.