Like the ampersand, the &Lab is a space born out of collaboration aimed at fostering new modes of civic-academic exchanges through architectural design, architectural humanities, and the pedagogies that animate them. Increasingly, designers and scholars are urged to engage with communities beyond academia to critically think through the conditions of inequity that govern both their daily experience and the structures of higher-education.  At their best, such modes of engagement activate the work, not only helping to empower communities but also unleash more just and radical forms of scholarly and design imagination. &Lab offers a space for such practices to come together and facilitate informed conversations about the methods, histories, pedagogies and praxis that can help direct design, humanistic, and curricular work towards new forms of civic engagement. Through new collaborative courses, skill-building and methods workshops, events, and other resources, &Lab will promote new interventions on and conversations about how public, humanistic and design concerns intersect in contexts such as social justice work and PreK-12 education engagement, among others. &Lab will bring to the fore questions of ethics, impact, method and meaning surrounding civic engagement and will strengthen relationships between architecture, art, the humanities, and a broad network of community and non-academic partners. &Lab will bring expertise on relations of space, place, technology, and the body to bear on specific civic matters and, in the process, reconfigure the boundaries of architectural design, scholarship, and pedagogy.

*& is the product of a ligature of two letters, E and T, to not only communicate their meaning of conjecture—et, latin for and—but also graphically capture it. In the process, two characters merged to form an entirely new category in and of itself: neither a letter nor a word but a new entity that denotes, expresses, and facilitates connection.

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