Quardean Lewis-Allen

Made in Brownsville
Founder and CEO

Key Topics: Community development, grassroots organizing, architecture, urban planning, social justice design, active listening in design

Bio: Focused on the issue of minority underrepresentation in design and tech fields and youth unemployment, Quardean Lewis-Allen founded the nonprofit youth creative agency Made in Brownsville (MiB) in 2013 to provide a gateway for young people in his native Brownsville community to learn marketable hard skills in STEAM, access postsecondary education, gain or create employment, and rebuild their community in a way that benefits residents. He teaches Architecture at CUNY City College and is a 2016 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Brownsville Community Development Corporation. Prior to starting MiB, Quardean was the inaugural recipient of Community Solutions’ Greg “Jocko” Jackson Community Fellowship at the Brownsville Partnership. He has worked for the global architecture firm, Perkins Eastman in healthcare and campus planning. In 2011, he worked for the Chife Foundation in an eco-sustainable affordable housing development in Nigeria. His work has been exhibited at Le Laboratoire in Paris, at the Afrika Museum in the Netherlands, and Harvard University.

Quardean has been a guest critic and lecturer on social advocacy in design at Columbia, Harvard, Parsons, The New School, Queens College and Pratt Institute. He is an honoree on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and a 2013 40 under 40 creative urban leaders Next City’s Vanguard. MiB is a recipient of the 2016 MAKINGOODESIGN Award, a $100K Neighborhood Challenge Innovation Award from New York City Small Business Services and NYCEDC, and a 2016 Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design. In 2015, MiB was a finalist in the AIGA Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award. They have been featured by NY Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, JPMorgan Chase, and Al Jazeera.

Selected Speaking Experience

  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • Parsons School of Design
  • Queens College
  • Medgar Evers College
  • Pratt Institute