Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Charles Brown

St. Louis, Missouri


CHARLES BROWN, NOMA, Assoc. AIA – Charles Brown is an adjunct professor in the College of Architecture at Washington University St. Louis, teaching Introduction to Design Processes as well as a studio seminar comprising both graduate and undergraduate students. After earning his Master of Architecture in 1998, Charles’ professional experience has not only covered teaching but also a diverse range of architectural design projects. His skill level has afforded him the opportunity to work collaboratively at all phases of client engagement, design and construction process. Currently, Charles is also design professional working with a small company in Wellston, Missouri called Atelier3 Design. Mr. Brown is an active board member of the N.O.M.A. St. Louis Chapter and has been involved with the organization since 1995 even when he was a college student. In 2009, he had the privilege of co-chairing and planning the 37th Annual N.O.M.A. International Conference and Exhibition held in St. Louis, MO.


Empty Space as Common Ground: Open/Closed and Deliberative Innovation

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 10:30 am
1st Floor : Room A

Open/Closed is the middle ground between the extremes; it is the collective efforts of St. Louis residents envisioning collaborative solutions for empowerment. As an annual summit, Open/Closed strives to facilitate thoughtful, open conversation about population flight, disinvestment, and vacancy. As a civic organization, Open/Closed engages uncommon partners to link the emergent results of community-oriented creativity, enterprise, and policy. They are helping develop infrastructure for lateral civic thinking that will unsettle the most durable presumptions about the urban fabric. Unsatisfied by proclamations of population growth and conventional economic development, Open/Closed recognizes the potential for artists, entrepreneurs, advocates, neighbors, and leaders to learn through iteration, engage on contested issues, and acknowledge the multiplicity of forms. Open/Closed is a creative enterprise because the animated civil society, ultimately, is the crafting of the possible. St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Pittsburgh are human places. Crafted by people, dismantled by people, and, hopefully, remade by them, we have been instructed to revile the chaos, disorder, and collapse of our past. In contrast, Open/Closed imagines this biography as our defining attribute. The organizers lionize not the possibility to rewrite these cities into creative, political or social legibility, but to enhance our literacies to the existing city and its diversity of practices. This panel will help tell this story, but it will surely be incomplete, an incompleteness that should inspire all creative practitioners to find all the possible authors.