Future Culture


Cultural engagement

The Future Culture: Connecting Staten Island’s Waterfront project provides a set of recommendations that cultural organizations, civic groups, public agencies, developers, businesses, and other stakeholders can use to strengthen culture and enhance the waterfront. This set of actionable design, planning, and policy recommendations was created by a team of Design Trust Fellows and Staten Island residents, cultural producers, civic activists, and small business owners.

The project aims to shape and communicate a vision for culture along Staten Island’s rapidly developing North Shore waterfront that:
• Supports and promotes unique cultural communities
• Develops art and cultural initiatives that connect places and people
• Strengthens the relationship between the cultural sector and owners and stewards of property.

The Future Culture project was initially proposed by Staten Island Arts through a Design Trust for Public Space open Request for Proposals. After an independent jury selected the proposal, Staten Island Arts and Design Trust partnered to begin initial research and project scoping—holding participatory mapping events with Staten Island Arts’ network of artists, meeting with potential stakeholders, securing project funding, and partnering with a Cornell urban planning studio. Design Trust and Staten Island Arts then released an open call for Fellows, seeking expertise in the fields of participatory art, policy, urban design, and graphic design.

The Design Trust for Public Space Fellows used their respective expertise to convert learnings from sources including public officials, private stakeholders, community working groups and roundtable sessions into the detailed set of recommendations featured on this page. (The descriptive text here is adapted from those recommendations.)



Our Teams Recommendations:

Design Documentation:

Photo credits: Photos incorporated in Future Culture project identity and publications by Gareth Smit. Photos of live events in slideshow by: Ozgur Gungor, Sam Lahoz, Liz Ligon.)


design trust for public space
graphic design: john schettino
urban design : margie ruddick
policy: ben margolis
participatory art: lisa dahl
photo urbanism: gareth smit


  • community working groups
  • community roundtables
  • cultural strategy recommendations
  • pilot projects, including:
  • public art installations
  • cultural stewardship tools

  • identity, ID guidelines
  • reports
  • newspapers
  • outreach/facilitation materials
  • presentations
  • exhibit
  • (see book embedded on this page)