FF – Distance Edition: HECTOR

An online visit with the Newark-based urban design and civic arts practice.

October 14, 2022
12:00 p.m.

HECTOR with Hinge Collective, Marc Norman/Ideas & Action, V. Lamar Wilson Associates, KS Engineers, and International Consultants, Inc | Reconstruction of Mifflin Square Park, Philadelphia, PA, 2022. Image credit: HECTOR

The League’s FF – Distance Edition events are informal online studio visits offering a behind-the-scenes look at leading design practices.

This season’s events feature practices navigating the legacies and possibilities of American infrastructure, from ecological systems and transit hubs to community facilities and social networks.

Jae Shin and Damon Rich founded HECTOR in 2012 after several years working as designers within municipal bureaucracies. Focused on urban planning and civic arts, the practice designs landscapes, buildings, development plans, and regulations that serve complex constituencies with competing priorities. Shin and Rich draw from traditions of visionary architecture, popular education, and community organizing and employ “vivid and witty strategies to help residents exercise power within the public and private processes that shape our cities,” in the words of the MacArthur Foundation, which awarded Rich a fellowship in 2017.

Past projects include:

  • Newark Riverfront Park, a series of public spaces along the Passaic River with routed-steel narrative railings, a dancing pavilion, and an orange recycled-PVC boardwalk
  • Space Brainz, an installation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where the art center becomes a laboratory for dissecting how power works through built space
  • People Power Planning Newark, a permanent exhibition and learning space in Newark City Hall that documents struggles over land use and features a model of the entire city.

Current and upcoming projects include: 

  • Reconstruction of Mifflin Square Park, a 130-year-old South Philadelphia square, with an accompanying neighborhood plan for the surrounding area
  • Cody Rouge and Warrendale Youth-Centric Neighborhood Framework, a plan for housing, transportation, public space, and local business in a district with 37,000 residents on Detroit’s west side
  • GES Triangle Plan, a neighborhood development proposal for 96 acres of public land in North Denver that integrates large event facilities with housing, business, and public space.

The program will be moderated by Liza Fior. Fior is a founding partner of muf architecture/art, a London-based collaborative practice committed to public realm projects.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.



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