For nearly thirty years, the Collaborative has been a reliable resource for economically struggling communities. Our volunteers have engaged with community members to lay the conceptual groundwork for 700+ projects spanning affordable housing, education, health, community services, recreation facilities, and economic development.
The pandemic exacerbated already existing and widespread disparities. Shortages of basic supplies and limited access to services demonstrated the disproportionate effect these hardships were having on individuals, families, and neighborhoods that were already struggling before the crisis.
Our volunteers, a network 1,200 strong, developed creative, affordable, and easily implemented design solutions. They responded quickly to our call for action—eager to help Philadelphia’s vulnerable communities. This year, we met the need at the front lines:
Our Design A.I.D. (Assistance in Demand) rapid response initiative launched in March, providing inexpensive, easily implementable design solutions to 11 service providers to date.
As schools everywhere debated ways they could safely reopen, we reimagined how to mount a virtual design competition. The resulting Design A.I.D.: Outdoor Learning Spaces Design Ideas Competition cast a wide net and tapped talent beyond our region to offer educators 38 inventive and practical options for K-12 outdoor instruction. These ideas are now accessible to an international audience as a digital publication.
We are building on this tremendous momentum with the arrival of Tya Winn, the Collaborative’s new Executive Director. Under her leadership, we will advance our vision of a world where all communities have access to critical resources necessary for driving development of their own built environment.