Date: April 9, 2003
Michael Pyatok — Prof. of Architecture, U of Washington

Is it possible to apply principles from urban planning and community development to our world of User Experience Design? Michael Pyatok shares his ideas on citizen participation in community and neighborhood planning. When low-income residents participate, they create more livable neighborhoods – User Experience in the real world.

While higher income neighborhoods generally can organize quickly and work from a strong education base, lower income communities are often less aware of actions being taken on their communities by others and are not aware of their options for action to protect their interests.

Some middle income communities can sometimes work from selfish territorial motives which stymie the aspirations of lower income households. Lower income communities often must fight for their rights simply to maintain their foothold in their own communities.

Several case studies will be reviewed which demonstrate how architects worked with lower income communities to protect and improve their neighborhoods.

Michael Pyatok

Principal of his own architectural firm since 1985, Michael Pyatok’s work focuses on non-profit and for-profit housing development throughout the United States. He has won numerous design awards, among them several national housing design competitions, most recently two by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Innovative Design for Home Ownership.

Michael specializes in the design of community facilities and multi-family housing, including low-density suburban as well as high-density, inner-city, mixed-use developments. He is co-author of Good Neighbors: The Design of Affordable Family Housing (1996).

His professional alliances include service to the American Institute of Architects, where he chaired its Housing Committee; membership in Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility, and a member of the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The AIA has recognized the quality of design he has brought to affordable housing in lower income communities.

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