Professor Daniel D’Oca, Harvard Graduate School of Design, has created a course where graduate students use the tools of design to explore “How might we revitalize these streets and the neighborhoods surrounding them to resemble environments that King would be proud of?”
In this course, which includes architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and urban planners - students target two MLK streets for improvements: Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in St. Louis and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Washington, D.C. Students traveled to these two cities to work with local residents, community organizations, elected officials and others to devise plans to remake these streets and neighborhoods. On November 17, Professor D’Oca invited FMA’s Creative Doers to listen to his students findings and then share their own vision of an ideal Martin Luther King Blvd.
Over the course of this school year, our Doers are studying the field of Design. The word “design” encompasses a lot and it’s often difficult to come up with an agreeable definition. One definition that I like defines design as “making things better for people.” Designers turn concepts into something that is desirable, viable and adds value to people’s life.
In design, a picture is truly worth more than a 1000 words. True to form, Harvard students described their projects using image boards. The day concluded with our Doers sharing their ideal MLK Streets visually.
With the elevation of design to the C- Suite in industry, design’s importance is being acknowledged more and more everyday. The academic world is following suit. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (aka STEM) now often includes an A (STEAM). Most equate the A to Art, however the A actually represents Art and Design.
Professor D’Oca commented on how smart and engaged our Doers were. He would like to work again with them in the Spring. They represented FMA well!
Excerpted from article by Michael K. Dawson, CoFounder Innovators4purpose.