Springboard Design

Place Lab



Based upon his public interest design work, especially the establishment of Creator Square, an artist residency located in Johnstown, PA, Springboard Design’s Founding Principal Paul Rosenblatt was selected for inclusion in the University of Chicago’s Place Lab Ethical Redevelopment Salon. Place Lab is a social-learning network and peer-mentorship group that fosters relationships through cross-city networks and cross-sector innovation. Led by renowned artist Theaster Gates, Place Lab focuses on arts-and-culture-led neighborhood transformation.

From July 2016 to June 2017, Place Lab hosted monthly Salon Sessions focused on city-building methods that depart from profit-driven interventions. Each Session explored one of the Nine Principles of Ethical Redevelopment, analyzed member projects and processes, and refined the underlying strategies of Ethical Redevelopment. Although the Sessions were private, the content generated is being shared for discussion on the Place Lab website and in a publication, Ethical Redevelopment Salon Sessions ((university of Chicago, 2017). Paul Rosenblatt authored one of the publication’s essays, focusing on the first principle ‘Repurpose and Repropose.’ He writes,

“Throughout my participation in Place Lab’s Salon Sessions, many of the Ethical Redevelopment principles have resonated. Reflecting upon these principles has helped me to recognize the value and meaning of community-based work differently.”

Theaster Gates is internationally celebrated for his “cross-disciplinary blend of social practice, performance, institution-building, painting and sculpting. His practice, deeply rooted in African-American history and culture, revolves around the transformation of objects, buildings and communities by catalyzing development through art and cultural activity. His most ambitious projects, like the Dorchester Projects and the Stony Island Arts Bank, transform buildings’ raw materials into sculptures that fund their rejuvenation as radically reimagined centers for community activity.”

(Richard Gray Gallery)