School of Architecture & Design News
Aug 14 2014
ARCH 291: Social Impact Design
Social Impact Design

Join the ARCH 291: Social Impact Design course and experience a design build project at Santurce Park for the San Mateo community in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Students will travel to Puerto Rico for a week this fall 2014 semester and participate in building the project on-site.

A small-scale Design Build project for a community / public space in San Juan will be the focus of the semester and will be held in collaboration with architecture students from the University of Puerto Rico.

The intervention will be built along or in replacement of an existing “fence” that surrounds a property slated as public park in the years to come. In the meantime, the site is severely underused – a cause for community protest and concern by local activist groups.

Students will be immersed in a collaborative design process typical of Social Impact Design - working hand in hand with the community through participatory workshops and public presentations (via videoconferencing) to design an intervention specific to local needs, climate, and culture.

The new boundary for the site will act as both public art and public space with seating, shade, and a small cultural program. The project may also serve as a new edge condition for the park that is to come, acting as a permanent first phase for that design.

Case studies, lectures, and short assignments will also introduce a number of additional topics and concepts associated with public/community interest design and pro bono design throughout the semester.

The course meets Wednesdays from 9am-12pm in Education Hall, room 135, lead by Professor Farzana Gandhi.  Both Manhattan and Old Westbury students are welcome to register.  For information, please contact Professor Gandhi at 

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Student Profiles
Sierra Charisma Bangari
Sierra Charisma Bangari Campus: Manhattan
Major: Architecture
Class Of: 2016
Asjad Mamoon Dongula
Asjad Mamoon Dongula Campus: Abu Dhabi
Major: Interior Design
Class Of: 2015