Damon Rich is the founder and Creative Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a nonprofit organization in New York City that does creative education about places and how they change.
In his work with CUP, Damon uses design and the design process as a framework for building innovative curriculum for public schools in New York City and other locations. A study of the waste management system of New York, for example, provided an opportunity to teach history, biology, math, and urban planning. He also works with community-based organizations to design educational tools for their constituents. CUP co-produces a series of videos for residents of New York City public housing with a group of tenant advocates. Finally, CUP conducts design research and disseminates it through public exhibitions and programs. In 2003, Damon developed the traveling exhibition Urban Renewal: The City without a Ghetto, an examination of the life and afterlife of federal urban renewal.
Prior to working at CUP full-time, Damon served as the Chief of Staff for Capital Projects at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, where he first worked directly on how designers interface with the public process. His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Leipzig Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Princeton School of Architecture. He has taught at Parsons the New School for Design, Cooper Union, and high schools and museums throughout New York City. As a writer, he has contributed articles to Architecture, the Village Voice, the Nation, and Metropolis.
As a Loeb Fellow, Damon studied design theory, development, and participatory design processes and looked for ways to apply the methods developed at CUP to broader scales.