“Working with the Los Angeles Community Design Center (LACDC) allowed me to help the Center develop their capacity in sustainable design and community building...”
Before beginning his Rose Fellowship Peter Aeschbacher had already worked on community development projects in South Africa during the transition from apartheid. While his time with the Los Angeles Community Design Center (LACDC) may have been less exotic, it was no less productive.
Working with neighborhood residents, Peter oversaw the design and construction of the Union Avenue-Cesar Chavez Community Garden and the Las Brisas Community Facility & Childcare Center. He advocated for small urban parks, spatial equity and bicycle transportation. He also served on a major urban park development board, co-founded a nonprofit design-build advocacy group, co-organized a museum retrospective of community-based design work, and lectured extensively on design and nonprofit development issues. In addition, he developed a pioneering design-build program linking the LACDC and Enterprise with university architecture programs.
Peter remained with LACDC as project designer until 2004 when he accepted an assistant professorship at Pennsylvania State University. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Department of Architecture, and works with Penn State’s Hamer Center for Community Design. Peter teaches studio and implementation courses, and conducts research on community design, small parks and public space issues. In 2008, Peter was awarded a National Education Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Peter holds degrees in fine arts and communication from Trinity University, and a Master of Architecture and Urban Planning from UCLA. He is a board member of CityWorksLA and the Association for Community Design.