City Managers’ Design Academy: Pilot | April 8 – 10, 2015

City managers from Cedar Hill, TX, Des Moines, IA, Dubuque, IA, Las Vegas, NW, and Tulsa, OK were selected to participate in the American Architectural Foundation’s pilot session of the City Managers’ Design Academy April 8-10, 2015 in Dallas, TX. The event united these select city managers with architects, economic development specialists, transportation planners, landscape architects, and urban design experts from across the country and engaged them in an intensive two-and-a-half day collaborative workshop in which city managers, with the help of design experts, drafted solutions to their unique design and development challenges. These charrettes educated and empowered the city managers to incorporate strategic design thinking for place-based projects in their cities.

AAF has a long history of providing design support to civic leaders as a tool to create social, economic, and environmental solutions for the growing challenges of metropolitan areas. The City Managers’ Design Academy was launched in 2015 to strengthen city managers’ design leadership skills and offer support in the development and design of urban projects such as downtown commercial and residential revitalization, multi-modal transportation, affordable housing, waterfront development, and green infrastructure implementation. Multi-disciplinary design professionals provided pro bono design expertise in support of these goals.

The City Managers’ Design Academy was made possible by a generous gift by the Edward W. Rose, III Family Fund of the Dallas Foundation.

Click the photo below to see more images of the event.

Photo courtesy of  bcWORKSHOP.

Top photo: Participants of AAF’s City Managers’ Design Academy Pilot (left to right): Abigail Rybnicek (ICMA), Scott Sanders (City Manager, Des Moines, IA), Jessica Cho (ICMA), Jim Twombly (City Manager, Tulsa, OK), Ron Bogle (AAF), Faith Okuma (Surrounding Studios), Lesley Bain (Framework Cultural Placemaking), Betsy Fretwell (City Manager, Las Vegas, NV), John Southgate (John Southgate Consulting), Bettina Ramón (AAF), Brent Brown (bcWORKSHOP), Jeff Tumlin (Nelson\Nygaard), Greg Porter (City Manager, Cedar Hill), Elizabeth Okeke-Von Batten (AAF), Mary Suhm (AAF), Mike Van Milligen (City Manager, Dubuque, IA).

Bottom photo:  Elizabeth Okeke-Von Batten (AAF), Mary Suhm (AAF), Deedie Rose (The Edward W. Rose, III Family Fund of The Dallas Foundation), Brent Brown (bcWORKSHOP), Ron Bogle (AAF).

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Posted in: Center for Design & the City, City Managers’ Design Academy, Print

The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.