Conversations In Equity & Design

Sara Zewde

This fall, Minneapolis College School of Design and the Arts, Dunwoody College of Technology, the Walker Art Center, and MSP National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) with AIA Minnesota join forces to launch an inaugural lecture series focusing on questions of ethics, equity, justice and culture in relation to design practices and education. 

Each partner institution will host a virtual conversation with a different practitioner in design, architecture or landscape architecture, sharing their practices and allowing for critical conversation on the issues pertaining to their work. 

Participating speakers in this series were selected by students from Dunwoody and Minneapolis College, who researched current design practitioners working in the realm of equity. Throughout the academic semester, students will meet directly with these practitioners and will serve as touchstones for constructive discourse.

The project grew from an initial desire to engage students and faculty in conversations around racial equity in teaching and practice in the field of architecture. Those initial conversations led to a decision to broaden the conversation to include others in the Minneapolis design community, including the Walker, AIA Minnesota and MSP NOMA. 

From that came the decision to create a virtual speaker series to highlight the dynamic work that is being done nationally to connect design to issues equity and to inspire students and the design community in the Twin Cities around these compelling and important ideas. 

The series will be entirely virtual and hosted by each of the participating institutions. The lectures will be free and available as a live Zoom Webinar. 

For more information about the series and to register, visit dunwoody.edu/equity-design-2021.

Featured Speaker: 

October 15, 2021 | NOON
Sara Zewde

Hosted Virtually by Minneapolis College

The Aesthetics of Being:
A discussion around the recent design work of Studio Zewde in the context of rapid urban development, a changing climate and clarified social and political tensions.

Sara Zewde is founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm in New York City practicing landscape architecture, urbanism and public art. The studio is devoted to creating enduring places where people belong. Named a 2021 Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York, the firm is lauded for its distinct design methodology syncing culture, ecology and craft. In parallel with practice, Sara serves as Assistant Professor of Practice at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and in 2018, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s inaugural “40 Under 40” list. Most recently, she was named a 2020 United States Artists Fellow. Sara holds a master’s of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master’s of city planning from MIT and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University.

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