Common Edge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reconnecting architecture and design with the public that it’s meant to serve. To get there we will need more authentic public engagement and the rediscovery of some timeless design resources.
Our mission is to advocate and report on public engagement in the planning and design of the built environment, with an emphasis on some important questions that some younger designers and architects are asking, like: How can planning and design better express the wants and needs of everyday people? How can we make the process of creating and designing more democratic? How can we tell the public’s stories in more meaningful ways? How do we accomplish all that in the context of climate change, the most profound challenge facing us?
What does “Common Edge” mean?
All of this will also require reconnecting with some natural design resources that have been used by builders for thousands of years. This doesn’t mean replicating or copying the past, but instead taking these deeper lessons and reinventing them for a new age. Climate change will force us to focus on nature-based solutions. In short, we’re looking to fuse the common ground of familiar truths, with the creative edge of discovery and innovation. Forging this new radical center of planning and design can produce buildings, homes, schools, hospitals and parks that resonate with both the highest aspirations of the building arts, and the broad swath of the public that will use them every day.
We want to generate the resources necessary to research, publish and advocate for a community of engaged designers, writers, public servants, and activist citizens who are committed to creating designs that manifest the highest aspirations of a democratic society.