At our monthly meeting, guest speaker Ashley Heeren from Lake|Flato Architects joined us to share the design, process and successes of award winning projects that ‘…act as a catalyst for community coming together…’ including The Pearl in San Antonio and The Austin Central Library.

Ashley took us through the importance of community engagement and buy-in to create people-places, saying these sessions provided the team with ‘a flood of ideas that influenced the design in ways that I couldn’t have expected.’ The success of The Pearl project as an identity-location for both locals and visitors alike was further discussed in the Q&A session along with questions on how can we achieve great redevelopment with social equity and avoid the negatives of gentrification.

Ashley provided a useful summary to those talented designers out there who would like to submit their projects to the COTE Top Ten awards; For design for community ‘…it’s about telling a story, what information is collected, how is the place changing, how are people present in the design and how are they present in the resulting place’.

How are your projects telling a story for the community it is a part of?

More about Design for Community in the COTE Top Ten.

Editorial by Rebecca McKinney