Design+Culture Lab Named One of Six Start-Up Winners

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Portland Development Commission for this amazing opportunity. We can't wait to start collaborating with our fellow members!

Design+Culture Lab, LLC (D+C Lab) formed by alumni Joy Alise Davis, MA and current Theories of Urban Practice graduate student Renae Reynolds at Parsons the New School for Design has been selected as one of the six winners in the Startup PDX Challenge.

Startup PDX Challenge received 134 applicants, the field was then narrowed down to nineteen semifinalist before the six winners were chosen, along with five merit finalist . The six  winning companies are both diverse in industry and demographic diversity.

Design+Culture Lab, LLC is a African American women-owned design lab and the only challenge winner that identifies itself as a social enterprise! We are excited about working to increase both economic and social capital in portland neighborhoods.” - Joy Alise Davis, Founder and Co-CEO

Design+Culture Lab is dedicated to the transformation of urban neighborhoods through collaborative design strategies to address the complex spatial issues associated with cultural, racial and ethnic inequality.

The two young women behind Design+Culture Lab met during an intensive community development apprenticeship as members of Americorp’s Public Allies Program New York City, where they honed their skills in social justice back in 2011. Their shared educational and professional background merged with their desire to create positive impact within communities of color.

“Three years ago, we were two women working to develop the capacity of community organizations, our shared vision is what got us here. We saw a need within both the design and the social justice world; we decided that it was our duty as urbanist to fill that void and design inclusive spaces for marginalized communities.” Renae Reynolds Co-CEO

Upon graduation from Public Allies New York, Joy and Renae pursued their Masters of Arts degree in the Theories of Urban Practice program at Parson New School for Design. This research-based program has an interdisciplinary focus which encourages multi-stakeholder partnerships to radically transform the urban environment through collaborative strategies.

As part of the innovative start up cohort Design+Culture Lab will have the opportunity to collaborate across perceived industry boundaries, to exchange ideas and share the philosophy conceptual thinking which drives their mission. As members of a growing group of new urbanists, this Co-CEO duo embrace the support of the Portland Development Commission, through professional mentorship and resources, with a goal of enhancing their vision and increase their capacity to effect positive urban transformation.