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ArchDC Fall 2018.qxp_Fall 2018  8/27/18  8:27 AM  Page 5

            CONSTRUCTING AN EQUITABLE FUTURE                                           Contributors

           Bradley W. Johnson  On October 2-4, more than 700 architects and design professionals  Steven K. Dickens, AIA, LEED AP
                             from the greater Washington area will get together for AIA|DC’s
                                                                                      (“Peerless Pier”), is senior associate with
                                                                                      Eric Colbert & Associates.
                             annual professional conference, called DesignDC. Each year, we work
                             to identify a theme for the conference that is broad enough to include
                             all aspects of design, and also topical enough to respond to current
                             issues and concerns.                                     Deane Madsen, Assoc. AIA (“On the
                                                                                      Waterfront” and “Juicy Design”), is a
                                  This year’s theme, which focuses on constructing an equitable  writer and architectural photographer
                             future, was quickly identified, because calls for greater equity have  based in Washington, DC, and founder
                             been everywhere of late, and are a frequent topic of discussion among  of the informal architectural appreciation
                             architects and designers, who are deeply engaged on issues such as  society Brutalist DC.
            affordable housing, displacement due to development, sustainable design, and universal
            design—meaning design suitable for all people, regardless of age, size, ability, or disability.  G. Martin Moeller, Jr., Assoc. AIA
            Issues like these are rooted in a concern for providing access for people who, for one reason  (“Amped Up” and “Eat, Drink, and Get
            or another, haven’t had ready access to things that many of us may take for granted.  Married”), is an independent curator
                                                                                      and writer, as well as senior curator at
            Welcome!                                                                  the editor of ARCHITECTUREDC.
                                                                                      the National Building Museum.  He is

                                                                                      Ronald O’Rourke (“Boxed Up
                                                                                      and Ready to Go” and “Who’s on
                    As one expression of how designers are helping to create a more equitable future, the  F1RST?”) is a regular contributor to
            Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York recently staged an exhibition called  ARCHITECTUREDC.  His father, Jack
            Access+Ability that showed more than 70 examples of designs developed in the last decade  O'Rourke, was an architect in San
            that demonstrate, in the museum’s words, “how users and designers are expanding and  Francisco for more than four decades.
            adapting accessible products and solutions in ways previously unimaginable.” As the museum
            notes, “There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical,
            cognitive, and sensory abilities. Fueled by advances in research, technology, and fabrication,
            this proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access in
            homes, schools, workplaces, and the world at large.”
                                  I had a chance to see the exhibition during a recent visit to New
                            York and found it inspiring, optimistic, and simply amazing. One of
                            my favorite items was a beautifully designed wheelchair-accessible
                            pool from Japan. Another was a proposed new design for the symbol
                            indicating that something is accessible to people who use a wheelchair.
                            As you can see, the new design shows such people as capable and in
                            motion, as opposed to the old symbol which was much more passive.
                    As you go about your day, think for a moment what it might be like if you had limits
            to your sight, hearing, mobility, or dexterity—and how smart design can address that. The
            Cooper Hewitt’s exhibition closed on September 3, but all of its objects can be viewed online at
            the museum’s website. Exhibitions like these are powerful reminders of the role that architects
            and designers can play in creating a more hopeful and equitable world for everyone.
                     In this issue of the magazine, we are focusing on mixed-use projects and smaller projects
            located in mixed-use developments. Mixed-use projects are all around us, but they aren’t
            often showcased, even though they can pose complex challenges for architects and can
            feature innovative solutions to those challenges. We hope you find the ones in these pages
            interesting in terms of both their designs and what they reflect about the city’s evolving
            built environment.
                    Also in this issue, we are inaugurating a new page focusing on the exhibitions we are
            staging in our own Sigal and Sorg galleries here at the District Architect Center. Please stop
            by and see those exhibitions if you have a chance. And as always, we love to hear from you,
            so feel free to drop me a note.

            Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

                                                                                    WELCOME                      5
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