Bryan Bell to Present 'Public Interest Design' Honors Workshop, Public Lecture on Feb. 16-17

A rendering of migrant housing for North Carolina blueberry farmworkers.
Image courtesy of Bryan Bell

A rendering of migrant housing for North Carolina blueberry farmworkers.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bryan Bell will present a lecture at 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall, on the University of Arkansas campus, as part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design lecture series.

Bell is an associate professor in the School of Architecture in North Carolina State University. He is also the founder and executive director of Design Corps, a nonprofit design service and advocacy organization in Raleigh, North Carolina. He founded the organization in 1991 with this mission: Design for the 98 percent without architects.

During his visit to campus, Bell also will conduct a "Public Interest Design" weekend workshop for Fay Jones School honors students. The Feb. 16 workshop will provide an overview of the design methods to be used to address the critical issues faced by communities. This session will provide a basic instruction in the key steps of best practices so anyone can become proactively engaged in public interest design.

In his Feb. 17 lecture, also called "Public Interest Design," Bell will discuss public interest design, including the unrealized potential of design and the many benefits of design.

Design can play a role in addressing the critical social, economic and environmental issues faced around the world. When architects collaborate with public partners, design can help communities envision the future and reshape their existence, whether in recovering from disasters or meeting daily needs. This is an exciting time for designers, as well as for all those who benefit from the greater role of design.

Bell will talk about the expansion of design, using examples from his own work and from his research on the work of many others, which was supported by the AIA College of Fellows Latrobe Prize and a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University. This expansion can empower many to take action and transform the collective consciousness of how design can make a positive difference.

He will also discuss how this field is emerging as part of an expanded profession of design, one that more of the public values.

Bell has been recognized as a leader in the emerging field of public interest design, a field that is using professional skills to address community and global challenges.

In addition to Design Corps, Bell also co-founded the SEED Network in 2005. He has collaboratively organized 19 international "Structures for Inclusion" conferences funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for the Arts, 33 Public Interest Design Institutes and seven international SEED Design award competitions.

He has been an invited speaker at 32 universities nationally and at international conferences in England, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Canada, Mexico and India.

Bell has written and edited four publications, and a fifth is underway. DesignIntelligence journal called Bell one of the "early luminaries" of Public Interest Design. Metropolis Magazine called him "the Noam Chomsky of architecture, barnstorming around the country in the name of social justice."

This is the Fay Jones School Honors Program Lecture.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The public is invited to attend. Admission is free, with limited seating.

For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or


Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist
Fay Jones School Architecture and Design

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


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