ULI New York's YLG and DEI Committee Present: Spatialized Psychology of Dehumanization; Architecting Inequity ft April De Simone


2021-06-11T12:00:00 - 2021-06-11T13:00:00

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    This program will outline the history, effects, and possibilities for undesigning redlining. The discussion will invite participants to learn the history of discriminatory real estate practices, to interact with the stories of affected neighborhoods, and to invent the future of undoing structural inequities.
    Join our ULI New York Young Leaders Group and ULI New York's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee on June 11, as we host April De Simone, Co-Founder of designing the WE (dtW), as she outlines the history and possibilities for dismantling the adverse effects of redlining in the Tremont neighborhood of The Bronx.
    Speaker bio:
    April De Simone is a transdisciplinary design practitioner with over 20 years of experience. Her work navigates the intersectionality of architecture, planning, and systems thinking to develop contextualized frameworks advancing more equitable, humane, and just representations of spatial authorship.
    Personally experiencing the collateral consequences of Redlining, urban renewal, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, homelessness, and beyond, grounds a firsthand understanding of the long-term impact on those who tow the front line. These experiences have been translated into professional engagements, addressing society’s most pressing and interconnected challenges. Ms. De Simone has worked on numerous projects demonstrating the equitable, humane, and just capacities of architecture and design mediums, including a supervised visitation site at the Bronx Borough Courthouse and the social enterprise venture Urban Starzz.
    In 2015, she co-founded designing the WE (dtW), where she co-created the nationally recognized Undesign the Redline (UTR) platform. Her new platform, Spatial Forensics, will launch in the Fall of 2021. Spatial Forensics is a research and design studio investigating the implicit and invisible relationship between architecture and human condition. Spatial Forensics works with diverse stakeholders as an interdisciplinary studio, connecting a deeper understanding of how inequity, supremacy (in its various forms), and dehumanization become spatialized and proliferated. From this context, opportunities for a new pedagogical and methodological approach expands the agency of design to interrogate and deconstruct existing paradigms, while simultaneously advancing an emergence of projects within the built environment centered on equity, justice, and inclusion.
    Ms. De Simone continues to be an invited lecturer, speaker, and facilitator at numerous institutions. She sits on progressive boards, including that of the American Sustainable Business Council, and works closely on a local and national level with diverse stakeholders within the design sector - such as the Urban Design Forum - on issues of race, equity, and new economies. A Dean Merit Scholar recipient, she received her Master of Science in Design and Urban Ecologies from Parsons School of Design. Currently she is pursuing her Masters in Architecture.