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Activating Spaces: Community-Building through Urban DesignMaster ClassIn-Person

Monday, Oct 30, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

N-Y Historical Society
170 Central Park West

In partnership with the New-York Historical Society

“Placemaking” is an approach to urban design that capitalizes on a community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating spaces that improve urban vitality and promote people's health, happiness, and well-being. In our post-pandemic world, particularly in the realm of education, facilitating human relationships in physical spaces seems more essential than ever, but are we really making the most of these environments? In this master class, we will look at the history of placemaking, starting in the 1950s, when architects and city planners responded to growing urban blight by attempting to design environments that would foster an authentic sense of community. We will then examine places in the city that effectively “activate” urban spaces and consider how placemaking can transform the spaces where we live and teach.


Junichi Satoh

Junichi Satoh is a lecturer in the College of Built Environments in the Architecture School at the University of Washington. Long before that, after numerous failed attempts to become a rock star in Seattle, he received both a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. He has since taught architecture, landscape architecture, graphic + industrial design, and art + design foundations at RISD, China Academy of Art, and Clemson University, as well as in Italy, China, and Japan. With a research focus on the betterment of human ecology, Junichi designs and creates buildings, dwellings, and places + purposes for social interactions. He is on the Board of Directors at AjA Project in San Diego and works with underserved youth, activists, visual artists and educators to engage critically with issues that affect our community and realize our collective liberation through participatory storytelling and the documentary arts. He is an interdisciplinary maker of things, a trained chef, a farmer, and a co-founder of Utility Works, an international design collective that seeks ways for humans to live beautifully together.