TraceSF launches City Makers salon
This month TraceSF introduces City Makers, a new salon series at StoreFrontLab. Hosted by Amanda Loper of David Baker Architects and Emily Gosack of Jensen Architects, City Makers grew out of a desire to hear more from the women at the forefront of City Making. John Parman, a founding editor of TraceSF, spoke with Amanda and Emily about the series, which opens on October 28 with Laura Crescimano, a principal of SITELAB urban studio.
John Parman: After a hiatus, it does seem like we’re remaking the city in a major way. The effects are both macro and micro. How will your series address the two scales?
Amanda Loper: The salon series will cover a range of scales of city making by featuring a diverse mix of city makers who are working at varying scales and from different perspectives. One of the salon’s goals is to redefine or expand the notion of who is a city maker—from small-scale tactical urbanists, to urban designer and architects, to land use attorneys, policy folks, and even engaged citizens from seemingly unrelated backgrounds who have become a voice in their community.
Emily Gosack: The idea for the series was inspired by our mutual desire to have more conversations with the women in our professional community, but the macro/micro dynamic of city-making also relates. Just like the effects of city making are both macro and micro, our interest in hearing from women city-makers is both personal and political. For most of the participants, the discussion will bring together the personal and the professional aspects of design in an interesting way, too.
JP: Does “city makers” imply that city making is in some sense part of the maker culture – more local than global? Or do you see it as a global phenomenon with local aspects?
AL: I think the latter. City making is becoming more relevant as more of the world’s population lives in cities. That fact, in combination with globalization and technological advances, the sharing economy, and other innovations, contribute to the conversation being quite global and relevant but manifesting in very local ways.
JP: What kind of conversation do you anticipate between your city makers and the participants in the session? Will the dialogue continue beyond the events themselves?
EG: We’ve designed the salon to emphasize conversation over presentation with ample time for moderated discussion and socializing. Also, each featured city maker will recommend another city maker for the next salon and serve as the moderator. This will keep the network fresh and expanding and set the salon free to have a life of its own.