Portland State University launches Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design

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Portland State University launches Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design

With communities around the world facing an increasing number of natural disasters, poverty, community displacement, access to healthy food and safe spaces, and a host of other threats to their stability and well-being, the need for sustainable, human-centered solutions is growing. Responding to an urgent need for educated leaders who can help these communities respond to crises and become more resilient, Portland State University’s School of Architecture will launch a new Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design, the school announced today. The program, led by PSU’s Center for Public Interest Design, is the first academic certificate in public interest design in the United States, with an innovative combination of fieldwork and cross-disciplinary coursework in carefully selected fields at Portland State University.

The Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design has been created as a means to prepare future leaders in architecture, urban planning, sustainability, community development and other fields to aid currently underserved populations through sustainable, human-centered design methods. The Certificate will provide an educational foundation for entry into the emerging field of Public Interest Design, through academic studies and hands-on experience in the field, working directly with communities in need, addressing issues such as inadequate shelter, food and water scarcity, disaster preparedness and recovery, and economic well-being.

The content of this certificate exemplifies the mission of the Center for Public Interest Design, a research and action center established in 2013 to investigate, promote and engage in inclusive design practices that address the growing needs of communities worldwide—from developing nations around the world to underserved neighborhoods in our own local region. The Certificate is based on several decades of progressive practice and research by the Center for Public Interest Design’s five faculty members and its founding director, Sergio Palleroni. Professor Palleroni, a faculty member in the School of Architecture, is an internationally recognized leader in the field of Public Interest Design and has been a pioneer in creating architectural service-learning programs around the world as co-founder of the renowned design-build organization, the BaSiC Initiative. ….