The College of Liberal Arts and Woodbury School of Architecture are hosting a workshop and presentation by the acclaimed urban planner James Rojas on Monday, February 10th, at 12 noon in the Ahmanson space. Rojas is an alum of Woodbury–an interior design major–who has made a name for himself as a proponent of the “rasquache” aesthetic, a principle of Latino urbanism that roughly means “making do” with the materials one has at hand as a cultural expression within the neighborhood space. Rojas has developed a hands-on, participatory model of urban-planning workshops that he travels with across the country, presenting to schools and businesses. The James Rojas presentation is sponsored by Bestor Architecture.
Bio: James Rojas
James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, and artist. He has developed an innovative public-engagement and community-visioning tool that uses art-making, imagination, storytelling, and play as its media. He is an international expert in public engagement and has traveled around the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and South America, facilitating over four hundred workshops, and building fifty interactive models. He has collaborated with municipalities, non-profits, community groups, educational institutions, and museums, to engage, educate, and empower the public on transportation, housing, open space and health issues. His award-winning method has been implemented all across the globe.
He is also one of the few nationally recognized urban planners to examine Latino cultural influences on urban design and sustainability in the US. He has written and lectured extensively on how culture and immigration are transforming the American front yard and landscape, and he is the founder of the Latino Urban Forum, an advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness on planning and design issues facing low-income Latinos.
He has lectured and facilitated workshops at MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, Cornell, and numerous universities, schools and public forums. His work has been installed at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Venice Biennale, the Exploratorium, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bronx Museum of Art, the Getty and on streets and sidewalks of major cities. His research has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, Dwell, Places, and in numerous books.
Photo courtesy Madero