PennPraxis

Our Mission

PennPraxis supports design action and thought leadership to advance inclusion, innovation, and impact in communities that design doesn't typically serve. PennPraxis does projects that demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary design, art, planning, and heritage preservation to respond to the major challenges of the built and natural environments, and the communities that inhabit them. Our projects strengthen the University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design as a school focused on high social impact design. We create opportunities "beyond the market" to help our students develop agency in the world, and we cultivate diversity among the next generation of leaders.

 

How We Work

As the center for applied research, outreach, and practice at the Weitzman School, PennPraxis provides opportunities for multi-disciplinary student and faculty collaboration through fee-for-service projects and money we raise to support learning through practice. We pursue projects that are in line with mission and practice areas, or brought in through our faculty collaborators, whose expertise and areas of focus are as diverse as they are vast. PennPraxis' work draws on the Weitzman School’s five departments and programs (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City & Regional Planning, Historic Preservation, and Fine Arts). 

Each and every project we take on includes collaboration with diverse voices and expertise, both within the University and the communities in which we work. We work in Philadelphia, the surrounding region, and in other cities/regions across the globe. Each project includes collaboration with Weitzman School faculty, and partnerships with community organizations/liaisons in the areas in which we are working, to make sure that local expertise is central to project development from beginning to end. We understand that expertise comes as much from lived experience as it does from traditional education and practice.

Practice Centers

Latest News & Events

Car headlights and taillights on elevated highway weave between office and apartmentbuildings

Faculty member and PennPraxis researcher Michael Fichman is proposing the creation of a Nighttime Economy Office within Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce. It's just one of the findings of a new report from an Arts and Culture Task Force set up by the City Council to sort through the threats to the city’s creative economy and make recommendations for how the city’s approach could be improved. 

Shoreline view of urban river with bridge in the distance and boulders in the foreground

Still from a PWSA video, American Infrastructure

PennPraxis, the consulting and community engagement arm of the Weitzman School of Design, and the The Water Center at Penn have been engaged by the