#3 Quardean Lewis-Allen - Founder & CEO of Made in Brownsville
Focused on the issue of minority underrepresentation in design and tech fields and youth unemployment, Quardean Lewis-Allen founded the nonprofit youth creative agency Made in Brownsville (MiB) in 2013 to provide a gateway for young people in his native Brownsville community to learn marketable hard skills in STEAM, access postsecondary education, gain or create employment, and rebuild their community in a way that benefits residents. He teaches Architecture at CUNY City College and is a 2016 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow. Prior to starting MiB, Quardean was the inaugural recipient of Community Solutions’ Greg “Jocko” Jackson Community Fellowship at the Brownsville Partnership. He has worked for the global architecture firm, Perkins Eastman. In 2011, he worked for the Chife Foundation to develop affordable housing typologies for an eco-sustainable new town in Anam, Nigeria with support from the Harvard Community Service Fellowship Grant. He studied social housing under Anne Lacaton in Paris and public art under Krzysztof Wodiczko. His work has been exhibited at Le Laboratoire in Paris, at the Afrika Museum in the Netherlands, and Harvard University.
Quardean has been a guest critic and lecturer on social advocacy in design at Harvard, Parsons The New School, Queens College and Pratt Institute. He is an honoree on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and a 2013 40 under 40 creative urban leaders Next City’s Vanguard. MiB is a recipient of the 2016 MAKINGOODESIGN Award, a $100K Neighborhood Challenge Innovation Award from New York City Small Business Services and NYCEDC, and a 2016 Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design. In 2015 MiB was a finalist in the AIGA Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award. They have been featured by NYTimes Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, JPMorgan Chase, and Al Jazeera.
What we discuss
The role of design in youth empowerment as well as the role of youth led design in transforming communities for the better.