Designing Boston Series: Accessory Dwelling Units

MON, JUN 25, 2018

Boston's Housing Committee hosts a discussion on Accessory Dwelling Units. It is part of the BSA’s Designing Boston Series, which looks at current issues and trends in architecture and design that could have a significant impact on the Greater Boston area or a particular neighborhood in the City. Two of the panelists are Marcy Ostberg, Director of the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab and James Shen, Founding Partner of the People’s Architecture Office.

Marcy will offer the perspective of a municipality that has launched an ADU Pilot Program. James will offer the perspective of an architect and how innovative projects like his Plugin House can provide an opportunity for infill of vacant areas and additions in backyards to address the housing crisis.

+ BIO: James Shen

James Shen is an architect, product designer, and founding partner of the People’s Architecture Office. Originally from Los Angeles, James Shen received his M. Arch from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc in Product Design from California State University, Long Beach. He is a Visiting Lecturer at MIT and a Harvard Loeb Fellow.

In 2010, James co-founded People's Architecture Office, a multi-disciplinary studio focused on social impact through design. People’s Architecture Office is the first architecture practice in Asia certified as a B-Corporation and serves as a model for social entrepreneurship. PAO engages in urban issues through designs that straddle architecture and product design. The studio’s award-winning works have been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Harvard Graduate School of Design and the London Design Museum.

Photo: The LOEB Fellowship 2018

+ BIO: Marcy Ostberg

As the Director of the Housing Innovation Lab, Marcy Ostberg brings an eclectic background in civic innovation, urban policy and education to MONUM. She previously worked as a Strategic Project Manager advancing a question formulation strategy used for problem solving in innovation, critical thinking in education and self-advocacy in social services. Additionally, Marcy worked as a High School Biology Teacher at the Boston Day & Evening Academy, a Boston Public School where she developed experiential education and personalized learning modules. Her experiences as an urban educator drove her to explore innovative solutions to systemic and complex problems that face low-income families. These varied experiences influence how she thinks about creative solutions to ensuring Boston is affordable for all residents. Marcy holds a MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University, and an MEd from Franklin Pierce University.

Photo: New Urban Mechanics |

Boston Society of Architects/AIA and the BSA Foundation
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