As part of The Commons Artist Project: Joan Giroux, participate in a screening of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City and an open discussion. Jane Jacobs upended the field of urban planning with her 1960 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities and was a lifelong activist in the fight to keep New York City’s public spaces sacred. Jacobs’s life story provides a timely example of the activism and ethics necessary to keep cities livable and functional for all. The screening is followed by a conversation organized by René King, assistant professor in the Design Department of Columbia College Chicago.
About the Speakers
Yonty Friesem is an assistant professor of communication and civic media at Columbia College Chicago and the associate director of the Media Education Lab. He is an award-winning filmmaker and a media literacy scholar who studies the pedagogical practices of media production. His research explores the social and emotional aspects of media production such as digital empathy and civic media. Friesem works with diverse populations using the power of media production to bring media literacy skills to all students. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on issues of civic media pedagogy, disability and media production, media literacy curriculum for foster youth, teaching media literacy in high poverty neighborhoods, and peace-building through filmmaking.
Rene King is currently an assistant professor of instruction of interior architecture at Columbia College Chicago. She has worked for a number of award-winning architectural and interiors firms in the United States and Europe. Her professional experience spans a wide range of project typologies from small-scale residential to large-scale urban proposals. King’s research and practice explore ways in which human-centered design methods empower users to take an active role in the design of the interior. King works with students and nonprofits throughout Chicago to form reciprocal relationships and to engage in the human-centered design process to uncover solutions to spatial issues.
Vitaliy Vladimirov works at the intersection of art and urban design, finding creative ways to educate the public on how the built environment shapes our lives via walking tours, zines, and placemaking projects such as a pop-up "Museum of Memories.” The goal is to make urban planning accessible and to empower everyone with the tools to envision cities that are healthy, vibrant, and just. As an immigrant, his research focuses on how minorities cluster in and use the built environment and how to grow Chicago’s cultural assets without commodifying them. Vladimirov holds degrees in illustration from the Columbus College of Art + Design and Urban Planning and public policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a city organizer for Jane’s Walk Chicago, he organizes and leads walking tours that honor Jane Jacobs’ legacy. In his spare time, Vladimirov speaks to middle and high school students about urban planning and explores Chicago’s many neighborhoods.