Segregation by Design

  • City Center team proposal by Danielle Bagwin, Hallie Nolan, and Ryan Wilson.
    City Center team proposal by Danielle Bagwin, Hallie Nolan, and Ryan Wilson.
  • Central West End team proposal by Feven Girmay, Kiara Boykin, Nicolas Smith, and Yong Yuan.
    Central West End team proposal by Feven Girmay, Kiara Boykin, Nicolas Smith, and Yong Yuan.
  • Emerson Park team proposal by Edward Alexander, Niesha Clarke, Christine Doherty, Iana Newton, and Julia Phillips.
    Emerson Park team proposal by Edward Alexander, Niesha Clarke, Christine Doherty, Iana Newton, and Julia Phillips.
  • Meacham Park team proposal by Ashlee Cooksey, Tiabi Gill, Phill Owens, and Jordan Thomas.
    Meacham Park team proposal by Ashlee Cooksey, Tiabi Gill, Phill Owens, and Jordan Thomas.
  • Tower Grove South team proposal by Percy Avalos and Lyle Hansen.
    Tower Grove South team proposal by Percy Avalos and Lyle Hansen.
  • West End team proposal by Craig Davila, Montez Miles, Kaety Prentice, and Shelbey Sill.
    West End team proposal by Craig Davila, Montez Miles, Kaety Prentice, and Shelbey Sill.

In this collaborative architecture seminar, students from WashU and Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) came together to explore policy and planning decisions that have led to urban segregation, examining how these decisions are inextricably tied to racial, cultural, physical, and socioeconomic segregation. Alternating between campuses, students learned from experts through guest lectures, as well as through direct mentoring and coaching from professionals on their neighborhood projects.

The teams consisted of a mix of students from WashU and HSSU, working with two professional advisors: one from architecture or a related discipline, and one from a humanities discipline, including history, policy, and urban affairs. The students were tasked with exploring a particular neighborhood in the St. Louis region, analyzing and mapping historical, demographic, and environmental data. Student teams also got to know the neighborhood through site visits, conversations with residents and officials, and an in-depth urban analysis that explored the challenges and opportunities of the neighborhood. Each team then made a proposal to mitigate issues of segregation faced by the community. Proposals ranged from new services such as vocational education, to new residential and commercial development, to policies to create new community land trusts.

The students created an exhibition of their work, which was presented at WashU’s Olin Library at the conclusion of the semester, HSSU, and other sites across the region. The research and proposals were also collected into a book.

The seminar was led by assistant professor Catalina Freixas and HSSU professor Mark Abbott. Participating students included:
Edward Alexander
Percy Avalos
Danielle Bagwin
Kiara Boykin
Niesha Clarke
Ashley Cooksey
Craig Davila
Christine Doherty
Tiabi Gill
Feven Girmay
Lyle Hansen
Montez Miles
Iana Newton
Hallie Nolan
Phill Owens
Julia Philips
Kaety Prentice
Shelbey Sill
Nicolas Smith
Jordan Thomas
Ryan Wilson
Yong Yuan

Partners

Neighborhood Mentors
- Jasmin Aber, Dipl. Ing. Architect (RIBA I & II), executive director, CEL Center for Architecture + Design STL
- Judith Arnold, MA, urban planner, SLACO (St. Louis Association of Community Organizations)
- Rick Bonasch, director of technical assistance, Rise
- Louis Colombo, PhD, president, Colombo and Associates Inc.
- Fritz Faerber, freelance video journalist
- Kevin B. McKinney, executive director, SLACO (St. Louis Association of Community Organizations)
- Albie Mitchell, WashU lecturer and MAKES facilitator, South Technical High School
- Dwan Speed, sergeant, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Lindenwood University criminal justice adjunct instructor
- Duane Thompson, project manager, SLDA (St. Louis Design Alliance)
- Ian Trivers, urban planner and doctoral candidate in urban and regional planning, University of Michigan

Community Partners
- HSSU Center for Neighborhood Affairs
- St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO)
- CEL Center for Architecture + Design STL
- Tower Grove South Neighborhood Association
- North Central Special Business District
- Emerson Park Development Corporation
- Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis (CBN)
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

News

Q&A with Catalina Freixas>>

Support

The course Segregation by Design is supported by The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation. The gatherings Freixas and Abbott hosted were funded through the Office of the Provost’s Bring Your Own Idea program. The book is funded by the WashU Ferguson Academic Seed Fund through the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost and WashU Libraries, as well as a Sam Fox School Creative Activity Research Grant and the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement.