Last weekend, while most of the team was at home in Denton working hard to put on a stellar Celebration event, Serve Denton was also represented at the Structures for Inclusion Conference in Detroit to accept the Community Organizer Award. We first introduced you to the contest in this video, and you took up the challenge. Thanks to all of you who took the SEED pledge, we had the privilege to represent Denton at this international conference!
The Structures for Inclusion Conference was created to support a growing community focused on public interest design, a movement among architects and designers to focus on people and use their work to help with social issues. We first got involved with this movement with our Design to Serve charrette you can read about here.
Although Detroit and Denton are very different places, we heard presentations at the conference about innovative solutions around the country that we could use right here.
The first presentation that caught our eye was Challenge Detroit which sends fellows with a range of expertise into local businesses and nonprofits. During the week, the fellows work at their host company, but every Friday they work on a project for a local nonprofit agency. Not only do the fellows get great experience working on varied projects, they build Detroit’s capacity to serve. Since Denton is home to two universities with fantastic programs, this could be a great idea to help students get involved in the community and give a boost to our nonprofits’ projects.
Another major issue in Denton is housing. We learned from this year’s Point in Time count that at least 465 people are homeless in Denton. The Texas design center bcWORKSHOP presented a project intended for re-housing after disasters that could pose a possible solution. The RAPIDO project is based on building small “core” temporary housing for families after a hurricane or other disaster. Then, a permanent house is built around the core. Building from a small, basic design to an eventual permanent home could be a way to offer immediate housing for our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
The conference presented many innovative ideas and we felt right at home because Denton is such an innovative and creative place, with many people who want to help their neighbors who need a hand. This trip confirmed for us that it will take creative solutions to meet the need here at home.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any other innovative ideas of ways to serve Denton? Share with us in the comments or on Facebook! You can also catch more pictures from this trip on our Instagram page, @servedenton.