Welcome to Summer Jam
Don’t put away the beach bag just yet. The Perkins&Will podcast is back with a new co-host—hello, Eunice Wong!—and a special series focused on the people and places that bring us joy. Over three episodes, Erika and Eunice break down their recent conversation with Chicano brewery owner David Favela and how he designs for equity in Barrio Logan, San Diego.
David Favela opened Border X Brewing with his family in 2014. Six years later, it was named a James Beard Award Semifinalist for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer, the only San Diegan restaurant or chef to be recognized that year.
Erika Eitland: Alright, are we recording?
[“Both Shoes Gone Walkin'” by Alexandra Woodward fades in.]
Eunice Wong: We are rolling!
Erika Eitland: Alright people, we’re making it work.
Eunice Wong: Inhabit is a show about the power of design.
Erika Eitland: Everybody, we have missed you. Welcome back to Inhabit. This is Dr. Erika Eitland and I’m a public health scientist and the Director of the Human Experience Lab here at Perkins&Will. Eunice, where you at?
Eunice Wong: Hi friend! Thanks for inviting me to the party. Hi everyone, I’m Eunice Wong and I’m an urban designer of the Toronto studio of Perkins&Will.
Erika Eitland: It is our public health intervention this summer to take you from indoors to outdoors. Hello.
Eunice Wong: Summer Jam!
Erika Eitland: Summer Jam!
Eunice Wong: Over the last two years, Erika and I have been collaborating and really sinking our teeth into how public realm design could influence social equity and public health at the neighborhood scale. On paper, we might speak two completely different languages, you know, public health science and public space design. But we essentially share the same goal, right? We think it’s incredibly necessary to focus on the human scale, to start the conversation about people around people. There’s also a really special responsibility to not just tell data driven stories, but authentic, real stories as well.
Erika Eitland: Yes, definitely. What was important in the last season was the physiological impact the built environment has on our bodies, and this time, it is interpersonal, it is how do our communities develop and unfold in the built environment outside?
[outdoor sounds of wind and cars emerge]
Erika Eitland: Alright people. So we are in San Diego.
[“Both Shoes Walkin'” ends.]
It’s a beautiful day. We’re at the corner of Samson and Logan. I am Barrio Logan, we’re here because of the National Planning Conference. In this last couple of days, we’ve been able to meet so many incredible people.
[“The Farmer Street” by Vendla fades in.]
And one of those amazing people was David Favela of Border X Brewing.
David Favela: My name is David Favela. I’m the CEO of Border X Brewing here in beautiful Barrio Logan. It’s a nice, sunny, windy day.
Erika Eitland: It’s the best Tuesday I’ve had in a long time, it’s important to realize.
David Favela: We’ve got a barrio bird flying up above us, I’m sure chasing somebody. But here in the beer garden, we have peace and tranquility, we have an unusual, unlikely combination of really, a place that’s safe and comfortable and inviting in the middle of a neighborhood that hasn’t necessarily been considered that in a long, long time.
Eunice Wong: So I know inhabit is a show about the power of design. But power is tricky. As designers, we think we have the power, but we’re really just this tiny, tiny drop in the ocean that is the built environment. We don’t talk enough about who holds that power, who benefits from it. But most importantly, who gets left out.
David Favela: So when I came along, and 2014 I didn’t immediately recognize it all because you could drive around this neighborhood and you didn’t see the culture. You saw the graffiti, you saw the street art, but you didn’t understand the depth of what was going on here. And the fact that some of the families in these homes have been here for over two to three generations. And as a brewery, we just really sought to create a space for the community to fill with what was already here.
Erika Eitland: Gente-fication, what is it, you know, break it down.
David Favela: Okay. [Deep breath] One, two, three…
Erika Eitland: We’re excited. It’s Summer Jam. Get ready to go outdoors with us.
Eunice Wong: See you there!
Erika and Eunice: Inhabit.
[“The Farmer Street” [melody only] fades out.]
Eunice Wong: Inhabit is a production of Perkins&Will.
[Snapping fingers echoes into an empty auditorium.]Gone