Every once in a while, you run across something that you immediately recognize as important and unifying and influential for your own work and those you collaborate with. For me, most recently, it was stumbling across Ethical Redevelopment, a set of emerging principles for "mindful city-building" from the University of Chicago's Place Lab (a Theaster Gates-led initiative, of course).
It sets forth nine principles:
- repurpose + re-propose
- engaged participation
- pedagogical moments
- the indeterminate
- place over time
- stack, leverage + access
An excerpt from "repurpose + re-propose":
"Take stock of what is around you. Use what you have or what is available at the time. If a thing is discarded because it no longer has value or use to its previous owner, accept and receive it. Make it work for you. Compel yourself to have deep engagement with discarded things. Make resources work for you in new and unintended ways. Repurposing is an act of redemption, an act of imagination. Artistry is alchemy – it allows one thing to become another. Be an alchemist in your community. In new hands, there is renewed possibility for the discarded and overlooked."
You can download the full PDF on the Place Lab website.