Posted December 17, 2015
  • Kleinman Center gathering.  Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano 

  • Brian Abernathy, discussing recent work of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano .  Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano

  • Beth Miller, describing her work at the Community Design Collaborative.  Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano 

  • Scott Page, discussing his approach to design in the public good. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano 

  • David Gould, of the William Penn Foundation, discusses the importance of inclusive processes for planning and urban design. Image Credit: Lou Caltabiano 

Praxis Dialogues: The Public Good; the conversation commences

On December 1, 2015, PennPraxis kicked off the first event in a new series called Praxis Dialogues, a program to gather design professionals, practitioners, leaders, and students to discuss ideas and issues of broad interest to the design professions. The first of this series focused on the notion of the public good and how it informs and affects the design and use of the public realm. The constantly shifting concept of “public good” poses a challenge to designers, stewards and managers of public space, as well as to politicians, elected officials, community leaders and citizens. The panel questioned how public-good ideals are rendered and tended in public spaces, sites, buildings, infrastructure and institutions.

For this first event, PennPraxis was joined by four esteemed panelists: Brian Abernathy, the outgoing Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority; David Gould, Program Officer for R&D/New Initiatives at the William Penn Foundation, Beth Miller, the Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative in Philadelphia, and Scott Page, principal and founder of Interface Studio, a full-service planning and design firm located in Philadelphia.

Prior to the event, PennPraxis’ partner, PlanPhilly, hosted essays published by each of the panelists, which touched on the interpretations of public good at the heart of each of the panelists’ practice. They can be read here:

Randy Mason: The 'public good' in practice 

Beth Miller: Strengthening neighborhoods through public interest design 

David Gould: The Importance of inclusive urban design, now 

Scott Page: Designing for good 

Brian Abernathy: Public agency in service of the public good 

This first event was held at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.  The entire conversation can also be viewed online on PennDesign's website: