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Interboro is an architecture, urban design, and planning firm based in Brooklyn, New York. Experts in public space design and community engagement, Interboro works across scales, from the building and neighborhood to the city and region. They are known for a participatory, place-specific approach that helps build consensus around complex projects.

Working collaboratively with clients and stakeholders, Interboro builds on the unique qualities of each place to plan, program, design and build open, inclusive environments that are inviting to everyone. Their portfolio includes architecture, planning, and urban design, but has also crossed over into communication design, legislative reform and branding.

Interboro first came to prominence with their project for the LA Forum for Architecture’s “Dead Malls” competition. Their project, “In The Meantime: Life with Landbanking,” envisioned a future for the closed Duchess County Mall in Fishkill, New York. Interboro identified the principal problem with the mall was landbanking– where a developer allows a property to sit unoccupied and officially closed in hopes that the value of the land will rise for a future sale. Through research, Interboro discovered that while the mall was officially closed, it was in fact a hub of organic activities and micro businesses. For example, truck drivers were pulling over in the mall’s parking lot to rest, so a hot dog truck owner noticed this and set up a business. A flea market entrepreneur used the space for a weekend market. Various clubs and organizations used the parking lot as a meeting point. In this spirit, Interboro proposed cheap, flexible moves that promoted the activities which were already ongoing.

Interboro’s most recent project is a book: The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion, which is actually the summation of years of work leading back to the 2009 Venice Biennale. The book details the 156 ‘weapons’ that are used by designers and developers to either open or close a city – and how such weapons can be redeployed to create more inclusive communities.

We had an opportunity to have an extended conversation with Daniel D’Oca of Interboro on our podcast, Social Design Insights. Listen to the episodes below.

24 | Tools for Urban Action, Part 1
25 | Tools for Urban Action, Part 2


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2017 is "Sorry" by Comfort Fit. The break music is "Wonderful" by Aretha Franklin from her album "So Damn Happy."