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Saturday, October 17 • 12:45pm - 2:15pm
The Consequences of Designing for Diversity LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

This seminar explores how the design of buildings, public space, and urban environments affects diverse members of society. Three case studies illustrate the profound, though often hidden, consequences design decisions and processes have on the total human experience: 1) two commemorative sites on the National Mall: the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 2) the Shadow Catcher Project and Foster Burial Ground at the University of Virginia, and 3) the Fourth Plinth of London’s Trafalgar Square. The speakers not only examine how race, economic status, gender, age, and other factors influence the ways designers think, but also emphasize the importance of understanding increasingly diverse cultures and, thus, averting design that leads to discrimination, isolation, and segregation.

Discussion questions underscore ways our built environments impact underserved populations in the U.S. and, in turn, the ways these populations have impacted and can continue to influence the ways our built environments are designed. Audience participants will generate suggestions for building awareness of and empowerment in design processes, especially among those from minority groups.


Megan Basnak

Architectural Designer and Researcher, Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center)
Megan Basnak, Associate AIA, CAPS, is an architectural designer and researcher at the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the University at Buffalo-SUNY. Her interests include investigating forms of architectural practice that aid typically underserved populations and understanding the impact of universal design on different user groups. Basnak’s experience includes the design of accessible home modifications... Read More →
avatar for Charles Davis

Charles Davis

Assistant Professor of Architecture History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charles Davis is an Assistant Professor of Architectural History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has a PhD in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Arch from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His scholarship investigates the hitorical integrations of race and style theory in modern architecture. His forthcoming monograph, “Building Character: the Racial Politics of Modern Architectural... Read More →

Korydon Smith

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University at Buffalo
Korydon Smith is an associate professor and associate dean in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo-SUNY, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in architectural design, theory, and methods. His primary research focuses on design and social justice, while a second line of scholarship investigates alternative models of design education. Dr. Smith joined the faculty at Buffalo in 2012 after serving on the... Read More →
avatar for Beth Tauke

Beth Tauke

Associate Professor - Architecture, university at Buffalo - State University of New York
Beth Tauke is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the University at Buffalo-SUNY, and project director in the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA), the leading research center on universal design in the built environment in the U.S. Her research focuses on design education and inclusive design, especially the empowerment of minority groups through design. Tauke was principal investigator of the... Read More →

Saturday October 17, 2015 12:45pm - 2:15pm
01 - Rhythms Sheraton Hotel
  • CEU Hours 1.5