PSU Center for Public Interest Design to Host Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion Conference 2017
Friday, April 7, 2017 - 8:00am
PSU Center for Public Interest Design to Host Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion Conference 2017

Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design and School of Architecture are proud to join with Design Corps, Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED), DesignBuildXchange, and Live Projects Network to host Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion Conference 2017, April 6 – 9, 2017. The conference brings together the best ideas and practices from around the world for reaching those currently underserved or unserved by architecture, including awards for excellence in public interest design. The keynote address will be given by Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman on Friday, April 7, at 6:30pm in Shattuck Hall Annex.

For the first time, three international networks, SEED, DesignBuildXchange, and Live Projects Network, have joined forces with this conference to support and promote systemic change in the practices of design, with the intent of building on the common ground they share. Recognizing design projects with exceptional social, economic, environmental, and pedagogic impact, each of the three networks will present two awards to projects that exemplify excellence in public interest design. In addition to these six awards, 17 projects will be recognized for excellent with Honorable Mentions. The winners will present at the conference, which will also include papers and projects submitted by practitioners, researchers, students, professors, professionals and experts in the field and across disciplines. 

The six award winners are:

Selected by the designbuildXchange Network:

Landwirtschaftsschule, Bella Vista, Bolivia
Guga S ‘Thebe Children’s Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa

Selected by the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network

Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP), Accra, Ghana
The Vertical University Project, Kathmandu, Nepal

Selected by Live Projects Network

New Wortley Community Centre, Leeds, UK
Street Society 2016, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, UK

Learn more about the awards and honorable mentions here.

The schedule for the multi-day event, which combines the Structures for Inclusion conference, Public Interest Design Institute and additional discussions and engagement opportunities, is as follows:

Thursday, April 6, 2017: Public Interest Design Institute
Location: AIA Offices, Downtown Portland
Time: 8am – 5pm
Case studies and professional-level training on Public Interest Design.
Includes SEED Certification and CEUs for architects.
Friday, April 7, 2017: Structures for Inclusion Conference Day 1
Location: Native American Student Center, Portland State University
Time: 8am – 4:30pm with reception and lecture to follow (see below)
Refereed paper sessions and presentations of the honorable mention winning projects. Closing discussion about overlaps and opportunities for collaboration.
Evening reception (4:30pm – 6:30pm)
Keynote lecture with Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman (6:30pm – 8pm) at Shattuck Hall, School of Architecture, Portland State University
Saturday, April 8, 2017: Structures for Inclusion Conference Day 2
Location: Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Oregon Health & Science University
Time: 8am – 5:30 pm
Presentations of each network’s award winning projects. Final discussion of each network’s principles/takeaways and opportunities for future projects and initiatives.
Sunday, April 9, 2017: Activities and Retreat
A meeting of network leaders at retreat (by invitation only). Optional activities to be announced. 

To register to attend the conference, attendees should visit or

NOTE: The Structures for Inclusion (SFI) Conference will be held in conjunction with the Public Interest Design Institute (PIDI). Participants in PIDI may register for SFI at no additional cost. Please choose SFI & PIDI in the dropdown box below so we can plan accordingly.

Special pricing for Structures for Inclusion is available for AIA, ASLA, and SEED members and for students. Discounts apply for early registration. Registration costs for the Structures for Inclusion conference (Friday through Sunday) range from $25 to $75.