Building the Civic Design Field in New York City

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Camilla Buchanan
Mariana Amatullo
Eduardo Staszowski


In the past decade or more, there has been a steady increase in design activity directed towards improving civic and government initiatives in many parts of the world. However, civic and public sector design is still emergent ‒ critical analysis of existing work is scant and there are few sector-level initiatives that seek to support and build the field. Here we present the methods and findings of a 2018 study conducted in New York City which aimed to assess the support requirements of civic and public sector design practitioners and the field as a whole. Data was collected in multiple ways, through desk research, guided conversations with expert practitioners, an online survey, and a project workshop. We highlight the importance of sector support activity and propose practical projects for the field in New York City. Our recommendations cover issues such as organization growth trajectories and funding models. Whilst our focus is on New York, both the research approach and findings are relevant to other places.

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Buchanan, C., Amatullo, M., & Staszowski, E. (2019). Building the Civic Design Field in New York City. Diseña, (14), 158–183.
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