The Impact of Centers

The centers at the Weitzman School allow networks of researchers, thought leaders, and practitioners to work in agile, cost-efficient hubs, where they can generate the greatest impact.

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The Architectural Archives

If our memories are only as good as our buildings, then without archives, both shared memory and the built environment would suffer. The remarkable collection of the Architectural Archives preserves the works of more than 400 designers who shaped the built environment from the 17th century to the present. The Archives has developed an international reputation for serving education and scholarship, while also organizing exhibitions, publications, and programs for diverse audiences.

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Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

The Kleinman Center is the home on Penn campus for students, faculty, and practitioners to engage with energy policy.  Located in the historic Fisher Fine Arts building, the Center hosts lectures and classes and supports research and learning through a competitive grants program, a visiting scholars program, and a variety of student opportunities.  The Center seeks support for offices to house a growing faculty, as well as funding for student programming and faculty research. 

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The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

The McHarg Center brings environmental and social scientists together with planners, designers, policy-makers, and communities to develop practical, innovative ways to improve quality of life. McHarg scholars and practitioners focus on the places most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with the goal of creating healthier and safer communities. The Center builds on the University’s position as a global leader in urban ecological design, bringing Ian L. McHarg’s legacy to bear on the climate crisis now reaching catastrophic proportions.

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The Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites

At a time of intense national introspection and reckoning in historic preservation, the Weitzman School has launched the Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites (CPCRS). The focus of the center is twofold: to advance the understanding and sustainable conservation of heritage places commemorating American civil rights histories and Black heritage; and to organizations engaged in varied aspects of remembering, studying and stewarding the legacy of civil rights histories in the United States. CPCRS undertakes research, teaching and fieldwork to explore issues and solutions and raise awareness of civil rights histories.

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The Center for Public Art and Space

The Center for Public Art and Space (CPAS) is a platform for artistic research and civic engagement that supports Penn faculty, staff, and students in incubating public art projects and securing grant-based funding. Its work advances the practice of exceptional MFA students as artists-in-residence, and partners in critical initiatives that bridge the campus and the public realm. The Center also serves as the Penn hub for Monument Lab, an independent public art and history studio with a fast-growing national reach and impact.

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PennPraxis is the Weitzman School’s engine for ambitious collaborations that advance design justice. Powered by activist students, young alumni, and faculty, Praxis mobilizes resources and develops deep community partnerships to increase equity, inclusion and innovation in places that design generally does not serve. Opportunities for design action created by Praxis have a profound impact on the student experience.

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