Youth Design Center: Designing for Equity
In the face of changing communities, the challenge becomes how urban inhabitants can ground their narrative in and advocate for the places they are connected to. Quardean Lewis-Allen will explore what this looks like for his community design center practice, both spatially and as a dialogue with stakeholders, to design for an inclusive future.
About the speaker
Quardean Lewis-Allen (he/him/his) is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit youth creative agency and innovation hub Youth Design Center, which provides a gateway for young people in his native Brownsville community to access education, technology and mentorship to tackle underrepresentation in STEAM professions and cyclical poverty, as well as to address the need for place-based community revitalization. He has over a decade of interdisciplinary design experience working across public and private sectors at the intersection of tactical urbanism and social activism through community-led design. Youth Design Center has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Buzzfeed and Forbes.
Lewis-Allen was previously an adjunct faculty member at City College of New York and New York University’s Tisch Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he was also a Human-In-Residence Fellow. He serves on the board of Brownsville Community Development Corporation and the Ocean Hill Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals. He is a Claniel Foundation Emerging Leaders Fund recipient, Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40, Forbes 30 Under 30, America’s Promise Alliance’s People of Promise Awardee and an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, amongst other accolades. He holds a bachelor of science in architecture from SUNY Buffalo and a master in architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.