Last December (2019), we happened to simultaneously be in Buenos Aires with Karen Kubey, urbanist and architectural educator specializing in housing and health. She was here to do research for her Faculty Fellowship in Design for Spatial Justice at the University of Oregon School of Architecture & Environment. Her restless and curious personality always keeps her looking for new contacts, visiting unknown housing buildings, and wanting to talk about architecture and urban planning. We were happy to have her for a conversation on social justice, housing, city planning, and the endless question of how to develop politics based on real people and their interests and needs. Through the lens of social justice that Karen Kubey brings, this episode takes a deeper look at how we can bridge the gap between politics and design within the framework of affordable housing.
“It is really interesting and important to look at how larger questions show up in smaller spaces.”– Karen Kubey
Karen Kubey with the NESS editors. Ph. Mariam Samur
Karen Kubey co-founded both the Architecture for Humanity New York chapter (now Open Architecture/New York) and the New Housing New York. She was the first executive director of the Institute for Public Architecture. She guest-edited the Architectural Design (AD) issue “Housing as Intervention: Architecture towards Social Equity.” She has recently collaborated with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York City Housing Authority. Trained as an architect at the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University, Karen began her career in affordable housing design.