Thriving places, thriving lives

Informing how the built environment can be a medium for creating healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive.

We fuse research findings with design-related best practices to build a more equitable and just world by eliminating health, income, and educational racial disparities and strengthening the economic and cultural vitality of neighborhoods, cities, regions, and states. You can search for best practices by building type and city, foster synergies with other cultural enrichers, and connect with us for more targeted resources and dialogues.


For Landscapes of Hope see here.

For COVID-19 environmental interventions see here.

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Our Purpose – Thriving places, thriving lives

We inspire, empower, and connect Cultural Enrichers to create healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive.

The built environment is among the primary settings where we live, work, play, socialize, pray, study, eat, cook, and engage in activities that impact our ability to live healthy and connected lives. As social inequalities are partly spatially constructed, by suppressing diverse meaning-making processes, the built environment can delineate the construction of health, income, and educational disparities, marginalization, and inequality. 

Cultural Enrichers are daring and caring design educators, architects and interior designers, planners, policy makers, housing developers, neighborhood organizers, and advocates who are committed to using design in building a more equitable and just world.

Three Pillars

Research: Developing research that increases understanding of the connections between the design of the built environment and racial/social inequalities.

Convening: Bringing around the table Cultural Enrichers who can strengthen dialogues and catalyze action.

Impact: Translating research findings and insights into design interventions, teaching curricula, and policies that create a more equitable and just world.

Guiding Principles

Recent Conversations and Publications

Professor Tasoulla Hadjiyanni has been named the annual recipient of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Foundation’s Educator Diversity Award. Feb. 19, 2021

Article by Ethan Mickelson on the When Places Speak – North Dakota exhibit.

UMN Initiative on the Sustainable Development Goals – Panel on Reducing inequalities. Aug. 25, 2020.

Hadjiyanni, T. Why I believe in Minneapolis. MinnPost, Jun. 22, 2020.

Hadjiyanni, T. (2020). Reflecting on community-engaged research in the post-pandemic and post-protest era. Palgrave Macmillan Social Science Matters.