Building the Unseen: A Shift to a Socially Engaged Architecture Education

Published In

The Routledge Companion to Architecture and Social Engagement



Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter discusses the shift in approach that guides the projects and pedagogy of the Center for Public Interest Design (CPID) at the Portland State University School of Architecture. The CPID is a university-based research and education center, as well as a professional community design center committed to executing meaningful work while training the next generation of public interest design leaders. The partners on dwelling (POD) Initiative represents architecture as activism in action, with stakeholders at all levels included. When approached with care, public interest design initiatives such as the POD Initiative amplify the community voice and are part of a larger framework to create a true exchange between all involved, rather than being merely a means of delivery or reception of services. Students at the CPID are learning through applied fieldwork that a well-designed community engagement process can make for a better product, a stronger community, and a more personally fulfilling design experience.


Chapter 20.



Persistent Identifier