Frequently Asked Questions

What is Community Design?

Community design is a movement focused on the creation and management of environments for people. This process promotes change to the built environment from the neighborhood to regional scale, and aims to meet community needs through participatory decision-making at all levels.

What do community designers practitioners do?

Practitioners of community design identify and solve social, economic, and political problems, as they relate to the built environment.

What is the advantage of community design?

Community design helps to establish active partnerships with community residents and institutions, to advocate and develop strategies for improving quality of life. A commitment to diversity and listening to the different voices in a community are core values of community design.

What is a community design center (CDC)?

Community design centers are dedicated to the provision of planning, design and development services in low- and moderate-income communities. These centers have proven to be a unique vehicle through which a crucial array of services in community development marketplace has been made available.

How many and how many different kinds of community design centers exist?

There are over 60 community design centers in the U.S. alone and affiliates all over the world. Community design centers include university-based centers, full-service planning and design practices, NGO's, and nonprofit organizations.

How do I partner with the UMDC on a project?

If you have a project or initiative that you feel the University of Memphis Design Collaborative can help advance, please contact Andy Kitsinger, UMDC Director at akitsngr@memphis.edu or (901) 210-0774. If we jointly determine that the initiative is potentially a good fit, we will ask that you please submit the application found here.