This project began with a series of questions:
Why venture out of your house if there is nothing within walking distance? How does urban sprawl contribute to school closures or a breakdown of healthcare services? How would it feel to be a second thought in a design? Why do projects succeed in certain contexts and fail in others? Why do current development trends encourage more urban emptying? What if the whole world was not built for you?
These are the issues that define our experience of the built environment. The results can be glaringly obvious: the vast tracts of vacant land that characterize the city of St. Louis, the socioeconomic and racial divides that exist in urban areas. Some effects, however, remain hidden: the development strategies designed to drain our cities, the links between the automotive industry and the rise of the suburb.
This organization seeks to introduce these social issues – and their potential solutions – to students of Washington University and members of the St. Louis community. It is intended to inspire change in underserved communities in St. Louis.
As we enter the next phase of the project, new questions emerge, our reference points as we develop the work:
How can we effectively engage multiple communities? How can web and print media promote each other? How can a magazine inspire action?
[Issues Magazine received the first GUSF grant of 2012. Issues Magazine seeks to raise awareness of the intrinsic link that exists between architecture, design, and social issues. With both a print and an online version of the publication, Issues will reach out to a diverse readership, including students of Washington University and residents of the St. Louis region.]