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Hostile Design in the Built Environment

Most people regard exclusion as a passive outcome from a lack of design, rather than an intentional design choice. During a self-guided tour of Austin, we'll disprove that notion through the exploration of design choices from park benches that prevent sleeping to buildings that limit access. Along the way, you'll hear commentary and examples from experts in architecture and urban planning.

Your Hosts


Kaitlin Maud

Partner, Current Forward


Ashley Lapin

Partner, Current Forward

A: 600 Congress | Starbucks

B: 106 E 6th Street | Littlefield Building

Featured Contributor


Donna Carter

President, Carter Design Associates

Donna D. Carter, FAIA is President of Carter Design Associates, an architectural, planning and restoration firm in Austin, Texas.  Her practice is focused on projects combining revitalization, historic preservation and new construction within a complete community context.

C: 400ish Trinity Street | The Portland Loo

Featured Contributors


Kathie Tovo

Council Member, Austin City Council

Council Member Kathie Tovo represents City Council District 9. She was first elected to the Austin City Council on June 18, 2011, and was re-elected and began serving on the first geographically elected City Council in January 2015. She was also selected by her peers to serve as Mayor Pro Tem 2015-2018. Her Council service includes chairing the Audit and Finance Subcommittee and serving on the Planning and Neighborhoods, Open Space and Sustainability, and Health and Human Services Committees along with the Joint Subcommittee of the City of Austin, AISD, and Travis County and the Police Retirement Board.


Matt Macioge

Director of Operations, Downtown Austin Alliance

As the Director of Operations at the Downtown Austin Alliance, Matt manages the delivery of direct services and service contracts to ensure downtown is welcoming for residents, employees, and visitors alike. He also oversees the Downtown Ambassadors team and is responsible for the operations and maintenance of Republic Square. With a master's degree in Architecture, he has a diverse background ranging from sustainable design and construction to non-profit programming and events.

D: Trinity & 2nd | Austin Convention Center

Featured Contributor


Brendan Wittstruck

Principal, Asakura Robinson

Brendan is a Principal and Director of Urban Design based in Austin, Texas. He leads the Asakura Robinson’s urban design practice, working at multiple scales to enrich public spaces through streetscape design, placemaking, and master planning. He contributes regularly to the firm’s planning and landscape design work, both through the Urban Design studio and as a project manager providing design and construction administration services for a variety of public and public-facing landscape architecture projects. Within the Austin office, he provides design leadership, sensitivity toward site context and history, and professional experience in sustainable design and LEED.

E: 201 E. 2nd St. | Parking Garage

Featured Contributor


Christy Taylor

Partner, Chioco Design

Christy joined Chioco Design in 2018 and brings a broad range of experience in commercial projects, from larger educational and mixed use buildings that emphasize program and efficiency, to more elevated design projects that focus on crafted details and the creation of dynamic spaces. Christy is also a board member of the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

F: 200 Congress Ave | Around the Austonian

Featured Contributor


Chelsea Collier

Founder, Digi.City

Chelsea works at the intersection of tech, policy, social impact, civic engagement and entrepreneurship. She is the Founder of Digi.City, Editor-At-Large at Smart City Connect, Co-Founder of Impact Hub Austin and Senior Advisor for Texans for Economic Progress. Chelsea is a Zhi-Xing Eisenhower Fellow (2016) focused on researching smart cities in the U.S. and China.

G: 5th & Guad | Republic Square

Featured Contributor


Emilie Twilling

Community Planner, Architect of the Capitol

Emilie Twilling is an urban planner and designer with multidisciplinary experience in architecture, landscape architecture, sustainability, public outreach and engagement, construction and real estate. After earning her master's degree at the University of Texas where she wrote her thesis Women's insecurity and exclusion in public spaces : a call to action and initial response, she started working as a Community Planner in Washington D.C.-based firm Architect of the Capitol

H: 401 Congress Ave | Modern Market

Prefer to listen to the whole playlist? No problem.

Playlist photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash. 

Music courtesy of

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