MDes Alum Jesi Carson Wins Core 77 Design Award
Posted on June 14, 2019 | Updated June 14, 2019, 10:04AM
Her thesis project, "Citizen Spaces," received the Student Runner Up award in the Built Environment category.
Alum Jesi Carson (MDes 2018) was honoured in June by the Core 77 Design Awards, an annual celebration of design excellence led by Core77.com, an online publication and community for industrial designers at all stages in their careers.
Established in 2011, their Core 77 Design Awards honours both students and professionals in 19 categories of design.
Jesi's project, Citizen Spaces, was selected by the Built Environment jury as the Student Runner-Up from hundreds of finalists for "outstanding execution, insight, creativity and intent." Built Environment is a category encompassing "spatial design as it relates to physical interiors, exhibitions or installations, either permanent or temporary, for private, public, commercial or industrial purposes." All the winners and notable projects can be seen here.
Citizen Spaces was developed as Jesi's MDes thesis collaboration. It was grounded in the concept of the "right to the city," coined by French philosopher Henri Lefebvre, in response to the displacement and privatization of public urban spaces under capitalism. As cities are transformed by development and gentrification, citizens experience an erosion of affordability, eradication of cultural zones, and displacement. The "right to the city" asserts that there is a common public right to these urban centres, that depends on a collective community power to reshape urbanization processes.
Jesi's thesis addressed the question: How do initiatives of grassroots participation and art and design activism help citizens reclaim their right to the city and promote localized collective empowerment?
She launched experimental projects in four cities to explore this question, in collaboration with local community groups.: Madrid; Kingston, Jamaica; Montreal; and Vancouver. Her final experiment, in Vancouver, took the form of a public space activation in partnership with the Vancouver Design Nerds Society called the Vancouver Bubble.
"Through this experiment we exercised our own right to the city, transforming an underused site into a citizen space by creating opportunities for dialogue and youth engagement within a temporary intervention of design activism," explains Jesi in her submission. The Vancouver Bubble is an inflatable design that fosters community engagement, dialogue and connectedness, with the goal of empowering collectivity and creating positive social change.
Citizen Spaces is a finalist for the Core77 Community Choice Award, selected by popular vote. To support this project, vote before July 8.