Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lewis Mumford Awards Ceremony

Jamie Clark speaks after being elected to the board of ADPSR

Three remarkable community activists were awarded with a Lewis Mumford Award on saturday night at Archeworks. From the ADPSR Chicago press release,

In 1992, ADPSR instituted the annual Lewis Mumford Awards to honor people and organizations that exemplify ADPSR’s goals of peace, preservation of the natural and built environment, and socially responsible development. The awards were named after Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) an American historian of technology and science, noted for his study of cities and urban architecture. “Lewis Mumford’s writings continue to inspire and remind us that architecture, design, and planning must respond to human needs, harmonize with its surroundings, and reflect the aspirations and social context of our civilization,” says Lynne Elizabeth, President of ADPSR.

You can read the rest of the release as well as a description of the winning organizations here.

After the winners were presented their award they were given an opportunity to speak about their organizations. One of the things they shared in common that resonated with me was the social aspects that were being addressed in these communities. As architects we are often focused on improving the built environment. But impoverished communities are so often a target for many social vices like substance abuse and gangs. I've often thought it would be more of a fair fight against these vices with a strong social network of family and friends. We see this type of community activism on the news when communities get together for anti-violence marches.

Afterwords we were able to mingle with the award winners, their families, architects and designers with food, drink and a three piece jazz band to set the atmosphere. Many professionals who were involved with the
Converge/Exchange Symposium back in March were there as well.

To find out more about the winners and their organizations check out their websites. After reading up on them you may want to lend a hand.

Growing Home for Outstanding Efforts in Peace.

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization for Environment

Fuller Park Community Development for Community Development

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