Barbara Brown Wilson | An Island Press Author

Barbara Brown Wilson

Barbara Brown Wilson is an assistant professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and the Director of Inclusion and Equity in the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the history, theory, ethics, and practice of sustainable community development, and on the role of urban social movements in the built world. Wilson's current research projects include understanding how grassroots community networks reframe public infrastructure in more climate and culturally appropriate ways across the U.S., and helping to elevate the standards of evaluation for community engaged design around notions of social and ecological justice. Her work is often action-oriented, as she collaborates with traditionally marginalized communities to create knowledge that serves both local and practitioner communities. She is author of Resilience for All: Striving for Equity through Community-Driven Design and Questioning Architectural Judgement: The Problem of Codes in the United States. 
In Charlottesville, Wilson is supporting three communities through resident-led redevelopment efforts, and helping build programs that prepare resident youth to serve as valued members of the design team for the work in their own communities, and also for future careers in the field. Nationally, she’s been recognized as one of the top 100 leaders in Public Interest Design. She is a co-founder of the Design Futures Student Leadership Forum, a five day student leadership training which convenes students and faculty from a consortium of universities with leading practitioners all working to elevate the educational realms of community engaged design; and a co-founder of the Austin Community Design and Development Center (ACDDC), a nonprofit design center that provides high quality green design and planning services to lower income households and the organizations that serve them. 

What Democratic Design Looks Like

Resilience for All author Barbara Brown Wilson highlights how community-driven design is transforming communities like Detroit's Denby neighborhood.