I always enjoy reading the opinions of thoughtful writers on topics related to planning and design of the built environment. A while back and much to my delight, I came across the website Common Edge, which brings together many of the best of these essayists. As its “About” page states, the goal of Common Edge is to “generate the resources necessary to research, publish and advocate for a community of engaged designers, writers, public servants, and activist citizens who are committed to creating designs that manifest the highest aspirations of a democratic society.”
As the site further states, Common Edge is a non-profit “dedicated to reconnecting architecture and design with the public that it’s meant to serve.” Fuzzy, perhaps, but certainly high-minded and commendable. We will never suffer from a shortage of good people dedicated to discussing how architecture can better serve everyone’s interests moving forward.
The writers Common Edge brings together include Martin C. Pedersen, who is listed as executive director of the Common Edge Collaborative. Others include Duo Dickinson, Graham McKay, Ben Willis, Eva Hagberg Fisher, Steven Bingler, Lance Hosey, among many others. The issues and themes they touch upon are far-ranging but invariably of relevance to all of us who work in the design professions.
Here is a sampling of just some Common Edge opinion pieces and essays, all of which are much more than simply light fare:
- The Uneasy Relationship Between Architects and Money by Duo Dickinson
- It’s Time for a New Definition of Architectural Beauty by Graham McKay
- When Did “Context” Become a Dirty Word in Architecture? by Graham McKay
- How Brandcentric Architecture is Destroying Our Sense of Place by Ben Willis
- 10 Lessons Learned by Rereading Jane Jacobs by Martin C. Pederson