Participatory design directly engages users in a design process. Also known as “co-creation”, “co-design”, or “cooperative design,” it encompasses techniques useful to both initial discovery and subsequent design phases of a project. The sixth panel of the 2021 TORCH Mentorship Program explores how architects can develop social responsibility within their practice and communities. A panel of FAIA members will discuss the importance of community engagement and how it serves as a valuable tool in creating successful environments that foster community connection and ownership.
Jeffrey Dugan, FAIA, Principal, Dattner Architects
Laura Ettelman, FAIA, Managing Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA, Principal, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
Kavitha Mathew, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Global Diversity Officer, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)
Shilpa Patel, AIA, Project Manager Associate, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
About the Speakers:
Jeffrey Dugan is motivated by a deep-seated interest in the development and improvement of quotidian urban spaces. From large projects that involve major components of a city’s infrastructure, such as rail and air transportation, to educational spaces, community facilities and supportive housing, Dugan is committed to creating positive experiences for the everyday person. He finds inspiration in spaces that engage users and that offer opportunities for socialization, reflection, and enlightenment. As a musician, he has developed an acuteness for improvisation and collaboration, which he brings to his role as a designer, mentor, and an orchestrator of multifarious projects.
Laura Ettelman oversees the design, planning and construction of a diverse range of projects across the globe, including aviation and transportation, hospitals, research centers, higher education, and the civic and government sectors. Ettelman is also one of three partners on the Executive Committee and TEDD Committee, working collaboratively with the partners to guide the future of the practice.
Michael Hsu is the founder and principal of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA), a fully integrated architecture and interior design firm with studios in Austin and Houston. Founded in 2005, MHOA Houston. Michael Hsu was formed with the goal of producing locally engaged, design-driven architecture and interiors. The firm advocates for a simple, edited design palette, using creative materials and techniques to create unexpected results.
Shilpa Patel is a Project Manager at SOM and has extensive design and management experience working on various international and US projects. Her work ranges from large scale mixed-use, retail, commercial, institutional, transportation and climate resiliency projects. Through her work and experience, she aims for intelligent, innovative and feasible building design with consideration for the larger context of the development, to promote positive community and economic growth.
Kavitha Mathew leads KPF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, as well as the development and implementation of the firm’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commitment. Mathew oversees KPF’s many internal communities, including KPF Public, KPF Pride, and KPF+, and she helps guide KPF’s recruitment and resourcing, as well as its philanthropic and volunteer efforts. Leveraging her experience as an architect, Mathew’s work at KPF has a project-focused component, advising on engagement and communication with the community. Mathew is also the Founder and President of Equity Co:LAB, and the Special Projects Director of AIANY. Previously Director of Corporate Architectural Services for Ralph Lauren, she has also worked in various architectural roles at firms including KPF, Spacesmith, and Ted Moudis Associates, as well as her own practice.