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Building on the Common Ground: Structures for Inclusion Conference 2017

Building on the COmmon Ground Conference at Portland State University

(PORTLAND, Ore.) 30 January 2016 – 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.

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.

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 Day 1
    Case studies and professional-level training on Public Interest Design.
    Includes SEED Certification and CEUs for architects.
  • Friday, April 7, 2017: Structures for Inclusion Day 1 / Public Interest Design Institute Day 2
    Presentations, panels, and discussions.
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017: Structures for Inclusion Day 2
    Award presentations and discussion of each networks principles/takeaways.
    Evening social event at a new public park created in part with the involvement of PSU Architecture’s Center for Public Interest Design.
  • Sunday, April 9, 2017: Field trips and takeaways
    Discussion of results, common ground, a joint statement/pronouncement.
    Field trips to visit Portland-area public interest design projects with practitioners.

Paper proposals are being accepted for presentation at the conference.

To register to attend the conference, attendees should visit http://www.centerforpublicinterestdesign.org/pricing-registration or https://designcorps.org/sfi/. Special pricing is available for AIA, ASLA, and SEED members and for students. Discounts apply for early registration. Registration costs range from $25 to $75.

About the School of Architecture at Portland State University
The School of Architecture’s four-year bachelor’s degree, two-year accredited professional Master of Architecture and three-year track of the Master of Architecture emphasize focused study in architectural design, the humanities, tectonics and the profession, in a rich, design-based curriculum, as they prepare students for a career as a licensed architect. The Master of Architecture program concludes with the completion of a major design thesis study of individually inspired questions concerning architecture, culture and technology. The first of its kind in the United States, the Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design is now offered through the School of Architecture’s Center for Public Interest Design.

About Portland State University (PSU)
Oregon’s urban research university, recognized for excellence in sustainability and community engagement, is located in the heart of downtown Portland. PSU’s motto is “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” and it offers more than 200 degrees with opportunities to work with businesses, schools and organizations on real-world projects.


Cover image: Live Projects Network Winner “Street Society 2016” by undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff from Queen’s University Belfast. “Street Society 2016” coordinated by Professor Ruth Morrow, Conor McCaffert and Rachel O’Grady of QUB.  Image courtesy Design Corps.