Meet Hallie!

I relocated to Portland in September of 2012 from Chico, California, where I spent my childhood outdoors and raising animals. My undergraduate career began in Sustainability studies, where I was first introduced to the concept of the three pillars of sustainability: Environment, Society, and Economy. At this time I began to question how our institutions directly impact communities, and how urban development and socio-economic status directly affects one another. During this time I worked as a representative for the Sustainability Resource Center at Butte Community College, where I assisted in creating events that connected students to resources such as environmental education, volunteer opportunities, and community gatherings.

Being drawn to social equity issues, created space, and natural resource preservation, I transferred to Portland State University with the declared major of Community Development. Through the program I have had the opportunity to study a range of subjects pertaining to urban planning, neighborhood preservation, and citizen participation. Exposure to the works of Jane Jacobs and Sherry Arnstein have influenced my perspective of how the realm of urbanism and the social/cultural context intertwine, and recognizing how the planning process needs to be built around the human needs of communities.

After two years, I am greatly settled to my life in the sweet, cool, damp air of the Pacific Northwest. When I’m not on campus, I work part time as a barista at my neighborhood coffee shop where I am close with my coworkers and customers. My free time consists of reading fiction (currently hooked on Haruki Murakami), investing in my artistic skills and learning to embroider (a wonderful lesson in patience), reading music blogs and seeing live shows, and spending time with my friends and the outdoors.

After spending many years working in the foodservice industry, I am highly excited to be interning with Design+Culture Lab, I hope to have the opportunity to build relationships and socialize with other groups within the city, gain and develop stronger skills in the in design research, and to share my experiences with my colleagues.  


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.  

Contributions To The Practice | Leonie Sandercock

Meet Leonie Sandercock,

Check out her influential contributions to the field of multiculturalism and place.

  • Attili, G and Sandercock, L (2007) Where Strangers Become Neighbours, 50 minute documentary, Montreal: National Film Board of Canada
  • Sandercock, L (2003) Cosmopolis II: Mongrel Cities in the 21st Century, London: Continuum (ISBN 0826470459 and 0826464637 (pbk.))
  • Sandercock, L (2000) When Strangers Become Neighbours:
    Managing Cities of Difference, Essay, Planning Theory & Practice, Vol. 1, No. 1, 13±30, 2000
  • Sandercock, L (1998) Towards Cosmopolis: planning for multicultural cities, London: John Wiley (ISBN 0471971979 and 0471971987 (pbk))
  • Sandercock, L (Ed)(1998) Making the invisible visible : a multicultural planning history, Berkeley : University of California Press (ISBN 0520207343 (alk. paper) 052020735 (pbk))