In Episode 1, Anna Goodman explains how contemporary architects in the United States often pursue community-engaged work through the design of processes. Analysis from the architectural historian Susanne Cowan helps demonstrate how this contrasts with early modern designers’ strong association of community and territory. The episode features excerpts from interviews with Jeff Hou, Maria Sykes and Mary Comerio as well as audio recordings of the work of Louis Mumford.

  • “Although it’s clear to me that community designers cannot create community, they can design physical settings where people can come together…” -Randolph T. Hester, “Community Design Today: From the Inside Out”

  • “Artists have allowed us to engage the community in more thoughtful ways…” -Maria Sykes

  • “Neighborhood is still a very important spatial unit and a scale that is great for building communities for people to be connected to one another, but…” -Jeff Hou

  • “We see this interest rise during the 19th century in the relationship between design and social issues…” -Susanne Cowan

  • “…often modeled on the rural village. When this becomes an urban environment that rural village is translated into the scale of the neighborhood…” -Susanne Cowan

  • “…the arts and crafts movement hoped to make handcrafted furniture that would allow for a humanized labor…” -Susanne Cowan

  • “This is no suburb where the luck people play at living in the country, this kind of city spells cooperation…” –The City (Part II), commentary written by Lewis Mumford; narrated by Morris Carnovsky

  • “Democracy consists of giving final authority to the whole, rather than the part…” -Lewis Mumford, “Authoritarian and Democratic Technics”

  • “There’s a lot of movement in there, and for me that very much connects to the black radical tradition and the Black Atlantic and this conversation about displacement as a source of value…” -Jah Sayers


Writer and Producer

Anna Goodman with contributions from Curt Gambetta and Susanne Cowan

Issue Editor

Anna Goodman

Senior Editors

Joseph Bedford and Curt Gambetta

Production Assistant

Ethan Curtis


Trudy Watt


Jeff Hou, Maria Sykes, Susanne Cowan, Jah Elyse Sayers

Special Thanks

Randolph T. Hester, Reform by Activism and Design, Portland State University’s College of the Arts, and Jessica Jones