• The Practice of Democracy: We Hold These Truths
    April De Simone
    The High Line, New York
    Jul 15, 2022 to Oct 02, 2022
    Friends of the High Line

April de Simone, "The Practice of Democracy: We Hold These Truths," The High Line, New York, 2022. Photo: Rowa Lee

Everyday experiences can be viewed through the interconnected layers of culture, environment, economy, politics, and society. The Practice of Democracy offers perspectives on how these layers influence our buildings, streets, and open spaces—and how they support or hinder a collective pursuit of democracy. Using New York City as a starting point, the exhibition illuminates a collection of local stories often muted or left out of history books. Through these stories and other tools, the exhibition encourages visitors to see themselves as agents of change in shaping healing, equity, and justice through the design and stewardship of our city’s spaces and systems. The Practice of Democracy offers points of entry for all learners. Whether visitors have time to explore the whole exhibition or just a few panels, visitors will leave with a greater understanding of and appreciation for the spatial implications of democratic actions.
The Practice of Democracy will first invite communities at the High Line to understand how systems of the built environment have shaped the city we see today, and offer an opportunity to collectively reimagine a more just tomorrow. The exhibition will then travel to two additional cities in 2023, where each iteration will be constructed and presented with the collaboration of neighborhood stakeholders to empower those most impacted.

April De Simone (cofounder of Designing for Democracy) is an advocate for how design of the built environment can address equity, with over fifteen years of experience in strategically designing, developing, and launching for-profit, nonprofit, and government projects. Continuing to advocate for social innovation, De Simone is cocreator of various for-purpose ventures and initiatives that promote market-based solutions to address complex social challenges. A Dean Merit Scholar, she recently completed her master's of science in design and urban ecologies from Parsons the New School for Design and is now pursuing a PhD. De Simone continues to be recognized for her leadership and dedication in supporting frameworks that promote a just and equitable society.

The High Line (founded 1999) reimagines the role of public space in creating connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities through the convergence of possibility, place, people, and experience.