Equitable and Inclusive Places by Art and Design

The KSU Architecture Department is pleased to host the 2021 Creative Place Making Symposium in a virtual format exploring the multidimensional nature of equitable and inclusive places through art and design through the lens of local and global urban projects. Dr. Setha Low will open the symposium and introduce participants to a framework for multicultural and equitable environments. The presentations will continue with the Superkilen Project ArchDaily, introduced by the Landscape Architect and the Artist, who worked collaboratively on the project. The Superkilen Project was implemented in a Copenhagen neighborhood that is home to immigrants from diverse nations, cultures, and religions. It is a public park that brings members of the neighborhood together and creates a sense of community. Following this international project, we will provide a curated collection of local art and design projects and programs that aim for equitable and inclusive environments, and art events around various issues. These projects will include the Black community and history, LGBTQ community, low-income community, community with disabilities, etc. through historic preservation programs, environmental sustainability projects, urban design proposals, art events, art installations, and art performances. The event is designed for academics and students from relevant fields, elected officials, policymakers, artists, art professionals, architects, and planners. #ATLplacemaking #placemaking #creativeplacemaking


  • April 1, 2021
    9:00 AM

    Location: Zoom Webinar

  • 9:00am – 9:15am | Welcome
    Dr. Mine Hashas-Degertekin
    , Founding Chair of the Creative Place Making Symposium and Associate Professor, Architecture Department, KSU
    Sylvia Carey-Butler, Ph.D., VP of Diversity Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer, KSU
    Prof Ed Akins, Chair of Architecture Department, KSU

    9:15 am  -10:15 am | From Place-Making to Social Justice in Public Space _ Inspirational Lecture
    Dr. Setha Low
    , Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at The Graduate Center, City University of New York

    Christian Coles, Architectural Designer at Chasm Architecture, Adjunct Professor of Urban Design at KSU

    10:15am -10:25am | Break

    10:25 am -12:00 pm | Superkilen Project, Copenhagen_ Place for Cultural Integration and Co-existence
    Martin Rein-Cano, Founder | Managing Partner I Creative Director of Topotek 1
    Jakob Fenger, Artist and Co-founder of Superflex

    Dr. Jeff Collins, AIA, Assistant Professor, Architecture Department, KSU

    12:00 am -12:30 pm | Lunch Break

    12:30 am – 2:10 pm Multidimensional Equity through Local Examples

    Moderated by Odetta McLeish-White, Director of Georgia Initiatives at the Center for Community Progress

    Doug Young, Historic Preservation Studio, Dept. of City Planning, City of Atlanta
    The Future Places Project and How History is Place-Affirming and Place-Creating 
    Inclusion via a historic preservation program to revive LGBTQ and Black History

    M. von Nkosi, Architect, President, Institute for Local Innovations (ILI) and Liquid Studios®
    Power of Place in Pockets: Using Mi Rialiti [my reality] to Identify and Make the Case for Communities Arts Sites
    Place Making and Technology as a transformational agent

    Rachel Parish, Interdisciplinary Artist, Theatre-Maker, Cultural Producer, Educator, and Community Organizer
    Little Five Arts Alive Festival
    Equitable engagement by an art program with diverse stakeholders

    Blake Reeves, Urban Designer, P&W
    Savannah Canal District Project
    An urban project for racial Inclusion through a participatory process and future accountability

    Ash Nash, Founder and CEO of Power Haus Creative
    Black Artists’ Right to Tell Their Own Story
    Solidarity from Advocacy to Implementation

    Anne Archer Dennington, Founding Executive Director of Flux Projects
    FLUX Projects
    Barrier-free and accessible art

    Lauri Stallings. Choreographer and Founder, glo
    Choreography Mapping equity through counter-narrative movement
    Performing art for equity and inclusion

    2:10 pm Closing Remarks by Dean Andrew Payne and Dr. Mine Hashas-Degertekin 

  • Anne Archer Dennington headshot

    Anne Archer Dennington

    Founding Executive Director of Flux Project Anne Archer Dennington is the founding Executive Director of Flux Projects, an organization that produces temporary public art projects that connect and grow artists and audiences in Atlanta through the creative power of place. Dennington has led three previous organizations and worked across the commercial, government, and nonprofit art sectors. In each position, she has grown organizational budgets, developed programs, expanded audiences, and strengthened relationships with local communities.

    Under her tenure, Flux Projects has commissioned 130 works and engaged over 650 artists. At Flux Projects, Dennington has produced projects for artists ranging from those making their first venture into the public realm to the internationally celebrated Nick Cave. She has worked with esteemed curators including Helena Reckitt and Nato Thompson. And she has built a diverse group of community partners from the public and private sectors, both in and out of the arts community.

    Jakob Fenger headshot

    Jakob Fenger

    Artist and Co-founder of Superflex. SUPERFLEX is an expanding collective of humans and nonhumans working with an expanding idea of art. SUPERFLEX wants to apply the agency of the artist to all beings. SUPERFLEX practices art as a human activity aiming to embrace non-human perspectives and move society towards interspecies thinking and living, beyond the end of the world as we know it.

    Originally founded in 1993 by Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen, and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, SUPERFLEX studio is today composed of members from very diverse backgrounds. As an expanding collective, SUPERFLEX facilitates and urges the collaboration of others, bringing participation to the extreme. For SUPERFLEX, the best idea might come from a fish.

    In 30 years SUPERFLEX made energy systems challenging the powers that be, paintings portraying a hallucinatory economy, toilets as structures of power, sculptures as fish penthouses, three-seater swings to celebrate collectivity, beverages to refresh the idea of self-organization, lamps igniting the discussion of copyright and contracts to explore the possibilities of prohibition. Artworks emerged as open-source beer, hypnosis sessions, plant nurseries, and tapestries. Media has followed ideas.

    Dr. Setha Low headshot

    Dr. Setha Low

    Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at The Graduate Center, City University of New YorkSetha Low is a Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, and Women’s Studies, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Setha Low received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been awarded a Getty Fellowship, an NEH fellowship, a Fulbright Senior Fellowship, a Future of Places Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for her ethnographic research on public space and social justice in Latin America and the United States. Setha is widely published and internationally recognized and translated for her award-winning books on public space, culture, and human security. Her most recent publications are Spatializing Culture: The Ethnography of Space and Place (2017), Anthropology and the City (2019), and Spaces of Security (with M. Maguire) (2019). Her commitment is to both research and engagement to create a more just and inclusive city. 

    Odetta MacLeish-White headshot

    Odetta MacLeish-White

    Director of Georgia Initiatives at Center for Community ProgressOdetta MacLeish-White is Director of Georgia Initiatives for the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader in turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”  Over her twenty-year career, Odetta has worked in affordable housing development, policy, and financing. Most recently, she served as the Managing Director of the TransFormation Alliance, a partnership of nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses working to strengthen communities through transit in metro Atlanta. Today, Odetta leverages her broad community development experience and a justice-centered framework to help meet the needs of residents, localities, and industry leaders who are partnering to fight property vacancy and deterioration in Georgia.  

    Odetta is an alumna of Duke University School of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate and LLM in International Law. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard-Radcliffe University. In 2018, she was a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow in the “Building Healthy, Equitable Communities: The Role of Inclusive Urban Development and Investment” cohort. That experience culminated in the co-authorship of a statement on power and privilege in community development published by the Salzburg Global Seminar and the British Journal of Medicine.

    In addition to her work at Community Progress, Odetta serves as Co-Chair of the Prioritizing Communities Work Group for the House ATL Initiative, and on the City of Atlanta's Clean Energy Advisory Board. She also served on the board of the League of Women Voters of the United States Board of Directors from 2004-2008, and on the board of Georgia Advancing Communities Together (Georgia ACT) from 2013-2015.

    Ash Nash headshot

    Ash Nash

    Founder and CEO of Power Haus Creative

    With a mission of strengthening community bonds both visually and economically through the arts, Ash Nash of Power Haus Creative is a change agent that ensures culture is authentically represented within the business, public art, fine art, and underserved communities. Her grassroots organizational work has been recognized on multiple platforms including BBC UK, Rolling Stone Magazine, Museum of Design Atlanta, Orange Barrel Media, the Atlanta Beltline, and as an adjunct professor for Emory University's first-ever Art and Social Justice cohort. International brands and corporations utilize Power Haus Creative to revolutionize the status quo by seeking out creatives to authentically connect with well-qualified yet overlooked demographics, stimulate the creative economy and amplify culture and community. 

    M. von Nkosi headshot

    M. von Nkosi

    President Institute for Local Innovations (ILI) Liquid Studios®M. von Nkosi is a licensed architect and the principal of Liquid Studios® (LS) an outgrowth of his parent company, The MXD Collaborative, Inc. founded in 1992. LS focuses on finding and implementing locally driven solutions.  In June 2012, von also incorporated the Institute for Local Innovations (ILI) in Louisiana based in New Orleans. ILI is a 501c3 organization that provides organizational stability capacity building technical assistance (OSCB TA), knowledge capture and transfers across generations and seeks out and lifts innovations (www.ili360.org).

    Mr. Nkosi lead the design team that created the implementation plan for the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District in Atlanta, revitalizing this once-troubled neighborhood into a sustainable community. In post-Katrina, New Orleans von directed $ 30 million of Disaster CDBG funds into a soft second housing program, funds for non-profit developers to boost housing production. 

    In 2008 he lead a 35-person exchange – between Japanese Representative & New Orleans Leaders. In April 2009 he was a New Orleans delegate visiting Tokyo to share his experience on disaster recovery. In 2017 solidified a five-year agreement with NASA GSFC to help the space agency move NASA's patented technology into the marketplace by the building of entrepreneurs led by HBCU Students (https://tinyurl.com/ybef9mww). In 2019 he inked a NASA patent license agreement for technology to process tera- and petabytes of data with an initial focus on existing and future climate data (NASA Spark magazine page 7 -  (https://tinyurl.com/ya2bbuam). In May 2020 von was engaged by a philanthropically funded agency focused on building wealth for African-American businesses. He is tasked with supporting recovery and investment in minority-owned businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    He is a Duke University & University of Cape Town, South Africa ELP Fellow (2006) and a dedicated, accomplished leader and entrepreneur. He has optimized Smart Growth Strategies for municipalities through expertise in housing, land use policy, public/private development, strategic planning, safety (CPTED), equity issues, and civil society. He also designed and raised capital from 85% African-Americans and 55% Women to bring the Mi Rialiti [my reality] platform to the market as a part of his commitment to social justice and civil society (www.mirialiti.com). Mr. Nkosi has a strong ability to build consensus in the sharing of a high-level business vision.

    Rachel Parish headshot

    Rachel Parish

    Interdisciplinary Artist, Theatre-Maker, Cultural Producer, Educator, and Community Organizer

    Rachel Parish is an artist, mother, educator, and community organizer making interdisciplinary work through research and social practices. Whether creating new theatre in London, developing arts-based compassion training for law enforcement with the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, designing creative placemaking programs in Atlanta, or weaving historical texts in Oakland, her work is characterized by bringing together complex and often divided communities and guiding them through a collaborative co-creative process. Her work as a director, writer, dramaturg and visual artist has been seen in theatres, museums, and galleries internationally at venues including Tate Britain, DeYoung Museum, Lyric Hammersmith, Battersea Arts Centre, Theatre503, Alliance Theatre, and Standpoint Gallery as well as at train stations, community centers, homes for the elderly, in streets, schools and online.

    Blake Reeves headshot

    Blake Reeves

    Urban Designer, Perkins & Will

    Blake is an urban designer with Perkins and Will, where he has worked with the firm’s Atlanta studio for five years. His portfolio covers strategic planning, community development, public space design, and creative placemaking. In every place he sets foot, he sees the potential for an engaging public realm that reflects its community’s history, culture, and identity, and he specializes in shaping open spaces into experiences that capture and celebrate that essential spirit. Blake is recognized for their dynamic, people-focused approach to design as well as his creative, one-of-a-kind engagement tools, which respect each party’s role in the planning process. Blake serves as the Diversity Champion within the studio- a role he holds dear- in which he is consistently challenged to further enrich the studio’s culture with the values of diversity and inclusion in the pursuit of outcomes that are equitable and just for all. Blake helps oversee the Piedmont Park History Tour program, and he invites you to come to walk with him and hear the dynamic 200-year history of our Atlanta’s great civic gathering place. 

    Martin Rein headshot

    Martin Rein

    CanoFounder, Creative Director Topotek 1

    Martin Rein-Cano was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. He studied Art History at Frankfurt University and Landscape Architecture at the Technical Universities of Hannover and Karlsruhe. He trained in the office of Peter Walker and Martha Schwartz in San Francisco. In 1996 he founded TOPOTEK 1.

    TOPOTEK 1 partakes in a wide variety of international projects and has achieved first prize in various competitions. Several professional books and articles have been published exclusively on his work, which has been honored with many awards and prizes, such as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016 for Superkilen in Copenhagen; the Qatar Sustainability Awards 2018 for the Novy Arbat project in Moscow and the German Landscape architecture Prize 2015 for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cloister Lorsch in Germany.

    Martin Rein-Cano has been appointed as a guest professor in different academic institutions in Europe and North America, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University and latest the Dessau Institute for Architecture. He frequently lectures at internationally renowned universities and cultural institutions and regularly serves on competition juries.

    Lauri Stallings walkimg down busy city street

    Lauri Stallings

    Choreographer and Founder, gloLauri Stallings is a Georgia choreographer. Stallings's work spans body-based installations, sculpture, and land-based projects- all are informed by her ongoing exploration of choreography as a toolbox to engage with histories of civic movements, feminism, and Southern cultural legacies. A fifth-generation Southern woman, she grew up poor in low-income housing. Originally trained as a ballet dancer, Stallings shifted the focus of her practice in 2008 to the creation of staged participatory environments in which histories of care for Southern women and marginalized people are presented as alternatives to discriminatory practices in America. Exhibitions include I came to explore the sun, or something more permanent, the moves are maps (2021) in Proctor Creek Watershed; Supple Means of Connection (2019) at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Receivers (2019) at Frac MECA, Bordeaux; Red Hill River (of brotherhood) (2016) at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights; and all directions I come to you (2015), a Creative Time New York project for 80 acres of Central Park. In 2009, Stallings founded glo, a nonprofit multiracial, transgenerational women's platform advancing free cultural services to change systems. Glo received a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant (2016-13) for The Traveling Show, a large-scale nomadic project engaging 63 rural communities. Stallings is one of nine women of the inaugural Art as Social and Environmental Practice MFA, led by artist freedom fighter, and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. In 2019, Stallings was the High Museum’s first choreographer-in-residence, and was awarded the Lorenzo Il Magnifico prize at the XII Florence Biennale’. She was Georgia Tech’s 2015 Resident Artist. Stallings was a Rome Prize nominee in 2012. She is a two-time nominee (2019 & 2022) for the USA Arts Fellowship. She was awarded Emory University’s inaugural Artist Impact Award in 2010.  Stallings created Tanz Farm: a contemporary anthology (2012), to expand boundaries and support for new live art ideas, structures, and languages in the Deep South. To date, 27 artists from 11 countries have been showcased, including Eiko Otake, Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor, Sidra Bell, Erik Thurmand, Fabien Prioville, Malcolm Low /Formal Structure, Ballet Hispanico, Amanda Miller/Core, Staibdance, and Shamel Pitts.  In 2012, her older brother Luke died of complications from HIV/AIDS;  to date, she considers his life as her most important education. Stallings makes all of her work on native land of the American Indians of the Cherokee and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe in Westside Atlanta.

    Doug Young headshot

    Doug Young

    Assistant Director, Office of Design, Historic Preservation Studio, City of Atlanta Department of City Planning

    Doug came to Atlanta from Virginia to attend graduate school at Georgia Tech, where he received a Masters degree in City Planning (1994) from the then College of Architecture, concentrating on community planning and urban design. After graduation, Doug joined the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta (CODA) where until 1996, he focused on neighborhood planning and community engagement in preparation for the Centennial Olympic Games. In 1995, while at CODA, Doug received a Heritage Preservation Certificate from the Masters of Heritage Preservation Program at Georgia State University. After starting with the City of Atlanta’s Urban Design Commission (the City’s historic preservation commission) in 1996 as the agency’s Historic Preservation Planner, in 2010 Doug became the Assistant Director for Historic Preservation within the Office of Planning (now the Office of Design) and Director of the Urban Design Commission. Since that time, he has managed all aspects of the Historic Preservation Studio’s work, including strategy, policy, operations, communications and community engagement, design review, grants, and technical assistance, as well as all operations associated with the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

    At the Studio, he oversees a quasi-judicial design review process for private sector residential, commercial, institutional, and mixed-use projects including single-family home construction, small-scale commercial development, and high profile, large-scale mixed-use projects; and directs a design commentary process for the all substantial City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public School capital projects, including new construction and renovation of parks, streetscapes, recreation and community centers, Police and Fire stations, Public Works facilities, Watershed Management projects, school buildings (K-12), and school support and sports facilities; as well as a review process for the all City of Atlanta public art-related installations.

    During his time as Director of the Urban Design Commission, 4 new Landmark buildings / Sites and 8 Landmark / Historic Districts have been created, protecting more than 3,000 new properties under the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. Further, he has overseen updates and enhancements to 7 existing Landmark and Historic Districts in response to the changing needs and goals of the communities they serve. He also initiated and is now implementing the City’s first comprehensive assessment of the City’s historic preservation program in over 30 years – the Future Places Project.

    Doug considers the complete story of a place or space - its history - as critical as the places and spaces themselves. Only by respecting and understanding all three – the story, place, and space – can an inclusive, authentic, and sustainable future be obtained.

  • Multidimensional Equity through Local Examples

    Doug Young
    The Future Places Project and How History is Place-Affirming and Place-Creating


    Rachel Parish
    Little Five Arts Alive Festival



    Blake Reeves
    Savannah Canal District Project


    Anne Archer Dennington
    FLUX Projects

  • Mine Hashas-Degertekin, PhD, Founding Chair of the Creative Place Making Symposium, Associate Professor, KSU Architecture Dept.

    Elayne DeLeo, Co-founder, MA!

    Nathan Koskovich, AIA, Chair, Architecture, and Design Center

  • Premier Sponsors

    Department of Architecture


    Supporting Sponsors


    Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences


For questions about the symposium, please contact Kathleen Marchman at klammers@kennesaw.edu or (470) 578-7253.