Politics Protest and Place:

The Role of Inclusive Urbanism in Civic Activism

This exhibition showcases work by winners of an ideas design competition hosted by the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee and AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD.

The word “civic” is inherently linked to space, place, urban design, and social justice. Designers need to expand their role beyond the traditional boundaries that have defined us and our industry. This will require stronger collaboration and cross-industry relationships and, more importantly, direct political and civic involvement where the policies affecting these issues can be influenced and defined.

The project illustrates the District of Columbia as a canvas for provocative conceptualization to facilitate social activism in our public realm in new and novel ways.


Mayor Bowser commissions Black Lives Matter Plaza on June 5, 2020


Societal Changes Bring New Life to Public Spaces

The Challenge/Competition

A Call to Rethink Public Space in the Nation’s Capital

Winner: The Mirror-Wall

Awarded to Zhu Wenyi, Jiang Yaobeilong, Lee Min Hui, and Huai Zeyu

Honorable Mention: The Forum

Awarded to Scott McGhee



Politics, Protest, and Place is organized by the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee and AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD in cooperation with AIA|DC and exclusively online.


About AIA|DC Urban Design Committee
The mission of the AIA|DC Urban Design Committee (UD|DC) is to improve the quality of cities and people's lives through the engagement, promotion, and advocacy of urban design thinking across actors in city making. The Committee explores big ideas about cities: planning, transit, landscape, policy, architecture, and design are common themes of our lectures, panels, tours, and discussions.

About AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD
The mission of the AIA|DC Equity Committee by WIELD is to foster an inclusive environment that promotes equity within our industry through storytelling, advocacy, education, and mentorship. The Committeeseeks to provide a platform for visibility and engagement to further Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity in the design community.

Exhibitions are supported, in part, by our Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members
© AIA Washington DC 2021