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Damon Rich

Partner, Hector Urban Design Planning & Civic Arts Studio

Damon Rich is a partner at Hector, an urban design, planning, and civic arts practice whose recent projects include designing a neighborhood park in one of Philadelphia's most diverse neighborhoods, constructing a housing crisis learning center at the Queens Museum, and creating a memorial for eco-feminist Sister Carol Johnston. He formerly served as planning director and chief urban designer for Newark, N.J., where his team’s achievements included completing the city's first riverfront parks, launching a municipal public art program, and winning the 2015 National Planning Award for the first comprehensive update to the city's zoning regulations in over 50 years. He also was chief of staff for capital projects at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses art and design to increase meaningful civic engagement, where he served as president for 10 years.

Mr. Rich teaches architecture and planning at schools including Barnard College and Harvard University, and his designs have been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Queens Museum, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Netherlands Architecture Institute, and the 11th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. In recognition of his work, Mr. Rich has received the MacArthur Fellowship, American Planning Association National Planning Award, Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, MacDowell Colony Fellowship, MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies Fellowship, and Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Past Conferences

2018