In the News – Cara Michell

Leong Leong February 2023 Newsletter

Over a two year period, Leong Leong collaborated with MoMA PS1 to develop the Courtyard Coalition (Link), a process that culminated in a participatory mapping project led by artist Cara Michell (Link), that looked at Long Island City’s past and present. In its inaugural presentation in Homeroom, the initiative invited conversation with neighbors, artists, urbanists, community organizers, ecologists, and technologists around a sustainable future for PS1’s Courtyard as an experimental site of shared engagement.

Putting community knowledge on the map | Northeastern University

These are the kinds of questions that curators at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, New York, were asking as they sought to engage the public in a revitalization of the 1892 building’s courtyard space in 2021. Architecture and urban planning professor Cara Michell was invited to join the group of architects initiating the project to facilitate conversations around new uses for the courtyard, bringing in cohorts of diverse stakeholders to give their input.

Sea wall hidden within sand dunes to protect NYC Rockaways | American Society of Civil Engineers

The goal is to link together economic development, equity, and environmental stewardship. “These programs are doing the work of connecting employment equity in terms of who’s getting employed and the outcome of improving and stewarding the environment,” says Cara Michell, a senior urban planner and an associate at WXY.

Reflecting on Acts of Art, History and Today| Brooklyn Street Art

An outstanding and unprecedented cohesion of many communities has been on display in cities across the United States this spring and summer as “Black Lives Matter” is painted across the streets in expansive letters. In New York City, where the marches are wide, the speeches are forceful, and the conversations go deep – this panoply of painted colors and patterns is no joke… At the podium artist Cara Michell. 

Community Weighs In On Downtown Revitalization Initiative

The goals of the DRI plan are to create active and welcoming public spaces; to strengthen pedestrian and active transportation networks; to provide equitable opportunities for jobs, education, and entrepreneurship; and to enhance access to existing cultural spaces, explained Cara Michell, an Urban Planner at WXY Studio who facilitated one of the two group discussions at Wednesday’s meeting.

Freedom and the Politics of Space: Contemporary Social Movements and Possibilities for Antiracist, Feminist Practice in US Architecture | Decolonizing Architectural Pedagogies Conference Paper by Chris Daemmrich

[Cara] Michell: “Because of the events in Ferguson and Baltimore that made national news last year . . . [which] are unfortunately not uncommon, we felt that it was imperative to make a new contribution to this conversation, and to use our training as designers to convene a conversation about how to intervene in these cycles of injustice. We are particularly grateful to everyone who organized, protested, and acted to raise consciousness to bring the conversation about social injustice today to the forefront of the national discourse.”

International Council:
Private Means to Public Ends (Part II) Brooklyn 2019 | Van Alen

Equipped with lessons on London’s approach to benefits and tradeoffs, the Council continued their exploration in New York City in Fall 2019. They focused on Brooklyn as an epicenter of creativity and change—one that Van Alen will be joining when the organization relocates to the borough’s neighborhood of Gowanus in Spring 2020. Climate Council Participants… Cara Michell, WXY Studio.

The Evolution of the Black Design Movement | Bloomberg CityLab

The Black in Design conference at Harvard University this past weekend featured presentations from some of the top names in design and social activism, including Hamza WalkerWalter HoodSharon Sutton, and DeRay Mckesson. Not bad for a student-led movement that began less than three years ago.

“We didn’t really understand how big this thing would become back when we started planning it back in 2014,” says Cara Michell, an alum of Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union, the organization behind the conference.

IDEAS CITY announces 41 fellows and public programing | The Architect’s Newspaper

The Fellows named are Joe Ahearn, Taylor Renee Aldridge, Ava Ansari, Hallie Applebaum, Leonardo Aranda, Nick Axel, Merve Bedir, Francesca Berardi, Beverly Chou, Carolyn Concepcion, Gabriela Córdoba, Afaina de Jong, Pınar Demirdağ, Fataah Dihaan, Shaida Ghomashchi, Jon Gray, Kunal Gupta, Tommy Haddock, Jason Hilgefort, Ekene Ijeoma, Tamara Jafar, Stacy’e Jones, Toms Kokins, Cindy Lin, Monty Luke, Daanish Masood, Tiff Massey, Jose R. Mejia, Cara Michell, Marsha Music, Ryan Myers-Johnson, Claire Nowak-Boyd, Evelina Ozola, Paolo Patelli, Margarita Pournara, Jay Rayford, Unai Reglero, Alethea Rockwell, Ruhi Shamim,  Giuditta Vendrame, and Nikolas Ventourakis.

A meditation on race, design, and social justice: the Black in Design conference | Harvard University

“We felt that there is an unfortunate lack of discourse around the accomplishments of black designers and the social effects of design on the black community at the GSD and in design academia altogether,” says Cara Michell (MUP ’16), AASU member and one of the conference co-chairs. “We considered the Black Lives Matter movement a call to action for us as designers to begin taking responsibility for widespread and historically rooted equity issues within our own field and in society at large.”

A Conversation with Courtney Sharpe and Cara Michell, Black in Design conference organizers | Archinect

Black in Design is a conference organized by Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union (AASU), coming up on October 9-10, 2015. The conference is by, for, and about African descendants in the worlds of architecture and design. But it’s also about the larger role of design in shaping our material culture and the responsibilities that we all share. I sat down with conference organizers Courtney Sharpe and Cara Michell, both members of the GSD’s Master of Urban Planning class of 2016, via text chat to learn more about the conference and the current state of diversity conversations at the GSD.

Paying attention to the Black in Design Conference | DESIGN INDABA

“It’s an event that recognises the contributions of African Americans to the design field, which is something that happens very rarely at this school. Our history and theory curriculum are overwhelmingly white and male. We wanted to have an opportunity to showcase the contributions of African Americans to the design field,” say organisers Cara Michell and Courtney Sharpe.

Q&A: Cara Michell and Courtney D. Sharpe on the Urgency of the Black in Design Conference | Metropolis Magazine

Last October, students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) brought together current practitioners and future designers for the inaugural Black in Design Conference. Over two days, speakers including award-winning architect Phil Freelon and 2014 National Olmsted Scholar Sara Zewde explored the state of diversity in architecture and design and the steps needed to create equitable spaces for all. By all accounts, the conference was a success. Tamy Cozier spoke to the main organizers, Cara Michell and Courtney D. Sharpe, about the event, which they deemed a long-overdue symposium on addressing social injustice through design.

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