Public Interest Design Workshop


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

When: Jul 7 2017 (All day)
Where: Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, Koi Room on the Garden Level 1777 East-West Road Honolulu, Hawai‘i

The one-day Public Interest Design Workshop will focus on creating resilient, sustainable and equitable communities in Hawaii by enhancing leadership skills and methods that encourage more effective participatory planning and decision-making to address key local social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The workshop will be conducted by Design Corps, a US-based private nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to create positive change in traditionally underserved communities by using design, planning, advocacy and education to empower them to shape their built environment and address their social, economic and environmental issues including political marginalization, poverty, and disaster resilience. The training will include in-depth case studies of the participatory processes and the outcomes of award-winning Public Interest Design projects. Workshop training curriculum is structured around the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) mission and principles:

  • Advocate with those who have a limited voice in public life
  • Build structures for inclusion that engage stakeholders and include communities in decisions
  • Promote social equality through discourse that reflects a range of values and social identities
  • Generate ideas that grow from place and build local capacity
  • Design to help conserve resources and minimize waste


Special Guest Speaker:  Jeffrey Hou, Professor and Chair, Landscape Architecture, University of Washington and co-founder, Pacific Rim Community Design Network. Dr. Hou’s research, teaching and practice focuses on community design, design activism, cross-cultural learning, and engagement of marginalized communities in planning, design, and place-making. He has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers and fishers in Taiwan, neighborhood residents in Japan, villagers in China, and inner-city migrant youths and elders in North American cities. He has written extensively on the agency of citizens and communities in shaping the built environments, with edited, co-authored, and co-edited books including City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and Public Space in the Age of Shrinking Democracy (2017); Messy Urbanism: Understanding the “Other” Cities of Asia (2016); Transcultural Cities: Border-Crossing and Placemaking (2013); and Insurgent Public Space: Guerilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities (2010). A forthcoming book is Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity (2017), is a compendium of community engagement techniques that address fundamental questions in democratizing the design practice.

The workshop is geared to practitioners and students in the fields of architecture, urban planning, design and related fields; local government officials and elected state, city and local representatives with responsibility for community development; community leaders, civil society organization representatives and individual stakeholders. Upon successful completion of the training, participants can join the SEED Network, which connects local communities with professionals from across the US who are dedicated to supporting a culture of civic responsibility and engagement by advancing community-based collaborative practices.

The Public Interest Design Workshop is being presented by the East-West Center and the SHADE Institute (Sustainable, Humanitarian, Architecture and Design for the Earth), a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization, in cooperation with Design Corps and the SEED Network. It is funded in part by a State of Hawai‘i Grant-in-Aid, which is administered by the Department of Accounting and General Services Enterprise Technology Services, in cooperation with the State Office of Planning, and additional support from the SHADE group and the East-West Center.  

To register for the workshop, please go to:  There is a registration fee. 

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Jaymen Laupola
Phone: 808-944-7332