Michael Rios is associate professor in the Department of Environmental Design at the University of California at Davis. He is project director of the Sacramento Diasporas Project that focuses on the cultural and political landscapes of (im)migrant and refugee populations. Drawing from architecture, human geography, and urban planning, Rios's research focuses on the intersection between marginality, urbanism, and public space. A theme emerging from this work is "placemaking" as an assemblage of different practices that involves negotiations of belonging, authorship, and power; a means for marginalized communities to produce different imaginations of space, action, and identity; and a lens to analyze tensions between the state and civil society groups, planning, and design professionals, and the publics they purport to serve. Rios has contributed numerous publications on the topics of placemaking, marginality, and the ethics of practice. Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities, coedited with Leonardo Vazquez, takes note of how Latinos are shaping urban, suburban, and rural places, and considers how the growing cultural diversity in regions, cities, and towns both challenges and offers insight into placemaking practices in an increasingly multi-ethnic world. He has written articles on these and other related topics in the Journal of Architectural Education, Landscape Journal, the Berkeley Planning Journal, and the Journal of Urban Design. He has also contributed chapters to a number of books including Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities, Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism, Good Deeds, Good Design: Community Service through Architecture, and From the Studio to the Streets: Service Learning in Architecture and Planning.
Service-Learning in Design and Planning|
Educating at the Boundaries
Urban planning and architecture educators challenge traditional community-university relationships by modeling meaningful and reciprocal partnerships.