Monthly Archives: August 2013

Expanding Potential in Pro Bono and Practice: Latent Design

Our second interview is with Katherine Darnstadt, founder and principal of Latent Design. We first met during a Twitter chat–the first person I ‘met’ through Twitter–and learned that we had just missed meeting each other at Public Interest Design Week. Ever since then we’ve been keeping up on what we’re both up to, and have since moved our communications beyond Twitter to email and Skype.

Katherine_DarnstadtWith an infectious enthusiasm and passion for her work, Katherine spearheads Latent Design, a Chicago-based architecture firm and strategic design consultancy that is working at the intersection of design and community development to create social, economic and environmental impact beyond the building. Latent Design is a registered Benefit Corporation currently operating with one full-time employee and a network of project collaborators. Their primary clients are community and neighborhood organizations, along with traditional architecture and planning projects.

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Shifting Value in Design + Business

paths from above | taken from a kite camera

My worlds are colliding right now.

I’m participating in a few courses in design, business, and blogging, and the messages are intertwining.

More value, and more time, is put on discovery and understanding the people you want to work with or provide a solution for. It’s a shift in putting time upfront to get into the pain, needs, desires, and goals of a client (or clients) and no longer about efficiency and producing the quickest, cheapest XYZ in hopes that people will come.

Sorry Ray Kinsella (Field of Dreams,) the message is no longer ‘if you build it, they will come’ but rather ‘if you research it, test it, tweak it, then build it, they will be right there with you for the journey.’Continue Reading

Systems Strategist + Expert Citizen: Liz Ogbu


In the heat of a balmy London summer evening (which is rare, I hear,) I sat with a large group of people on the rooftop of the Architecture Foundation to hear Liz Ogbu share her experience as an architect and systems strategist. With my ongoing quest in defining the ways in which to practice social impact design, Liz’s talk could not have come at a better time.Continue Reading