From 2013 – 2016, I served as Program Director at Storefront for Community Design, where I designed and developed programs and initiatives around direct design assistance, community engagement, and education.
Board of Directors
The core program I directed continues on today, offering businesses and nonprofits low-cost design assistance through one-on-one advice, conceptual sketches, and plans of action from volunteer design and planning professionals. The results are aimed at building the capacity to create community-generated ideas.
Middle of Broad Studio
We partnered with VCUarts to bring some community-identified needs through the Middle of Broad (mOb) Studio. Every semester, I assembled teams of 3-4 interdisciplinary designers on a range of 12-15 projects. This studio also specialized in activations that expanded the reach of Richmond’s budding arts and design district.
We worked with Richmond residents, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood groups to provide design and planning assistance at the community level. I engaged a network of 180 planners, architects, landscape architects, and designers to plan and facilitate workshops that identified long-range community needs while funding small-scale activations like murals along the way.
We organized community forums around timely topics, like the recently-removed confederate monuments across the southeastern US. Storefront began programming efforts focused on Monument Avenue in 2015 through speculative design explorations. We sponsored a national competition and a panel featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Paul Williams and local architectural and cultural historians.
In anticipation of the 450,000 spectators during the nine-day UCI Road World Championships, Storefront launched the Pop-up RVA initiative to reactivate vacant retail space along the 100 and 200 blocks of East Broad Street. This project fulfilled the goals of the City of Richmond to revitalize this corridor intersection, which was situated along the racecourse. At the same time, the project offered an opportunity to pilot the pop-up concept in Richmond. As a result, we changed city policy to create pathways for small businesses to run pop-ups.
National Conference on Community Design: Neighbors
In 2015, I developed programming and designed the brand identity the National Assoaciton for Community Design conference, Neighbors. The conference brought together planners, designers, architects, scholars, and community activists from 15 states, 19 major cities, 9 universities, and 8 community design centers. Rather than hosting in a convention center, the conference engaged local galleries and small businesses that opened their doors to host sessions.