Teddy Cruz on inequality and public spaces

Teddy Cruz, architect and artist, explains how better design of public institutions and places, especially in marginalized communities, can help dismantle inequality. Public spaces can be redefined by civic engagement, shared responsibility and learning.


TEDDY CRUZ: Inequality is an institutional assault on human dignity. The inability and unaccountability of institutions to produce more inclusive social and economic frameworks is really about the loss of hope, the loss of aspiration, the loss of a public collective imagination.

[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Teddy Cruz, architect, artist. A medium-built Latino man with short black hair, wearing a black sweater.]

To tackle inequality the responsibility falls on all of us. The survival of the individual today depends on the health of the collective.

[Teddy working with a team on an architecture model of a neighborhood.]

As an architect, I think that we can tackle inequality by shifting our own tools. And, in fact, begin to intervene on the unexpected places. We need to intervene and invest in the most marginalized, impoverished zones of the city, to reimagine public space. Less as a space of beautification and more as a space of education. Of community and civic engagement. That public space can be the platform where that meeting of cross-institutional knowledge can occur.

[Teddy leads a tour of people through housing that is under construction.]

We can dismantle inequality by producing new strategies of coexistence and interdependence. We as artists, architects, thinkers need to reengage a very different paradigm. One that is defined by shared values, and common interest and mutual responsibility. One that is defined by a new civic and public imagination. It is about human dignity that everyone, regardless of their gender, race, or class, deserves accessibility to opportunity.

[Inequality Is Logo. Join the conversation. #InequalityIs.]

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