The Ithaca-Detroit Cornell University Mellon Design Justice Workshop led by Cornell faculty Suzanne Lettieri and Karen Pinkus brought not only doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate architecture students together with local artists, activists, and community leaders but also relied on the expertise of high school students to engage the city in asking what constitutes a community of artists, designers, thinkers, and the kinds of inclusions and exclusions these efforts imply. An icebreaker between students was to design and construct a useable stool.

Around Cornell

News directly from Cornell's colleges and centers

(Re)design education: toward equitable, diverse, inclusive futures

If design educators are truly seeking to transform who participates in the field, what disruptions and adjustments might most positively impact how students are invited into the design disciplines, guided and instructed throughout their education, and prepared for professional practice? 

Through her research and teaching, these are questions at the forefront of Architecture Assistant Professor Suzanne Lettieri's work and the topic she brings before the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning community with "Junior Architects: Building Disciplinary Transformation Through Education," this semester's Preston H. Thomas Memorial Symposium on October 20.

The Challenge

For Lettieri, it is important to take these discussions beyond the theoretical and connect them directly with active work on the ground, especially in the aftermath of the transformative events of 2020 and, more recently, the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in admissions and what that may signal to minoritized students. "Across the board in architecture programs, there's been this demand for educational reform and this commitment to enhance diversity and inclusivity. For me, the symposium is about really talking about what it takes to stand behind those words."

Continue reading on the Architecture, Art, and Planning website.

Media Contact

Media Relations Office