We know it’s still cold outside, but our Spring Lecture Series is really heating up! This Friday we welcome former student, Samuel Friesema.
His lecture lecture will focus on his recent thesis proposal, Networks of Urban Acupuncture, which explored methods of injecting large amounts of new program into existing built-out contexts through interdisciplinary methods that combine architecture, urban theory, and policy. The lecture will feature an overview of Friesema’s thesis research and proposed design solution as well as speculative projections on how the research can be further developed and implemented in practice.
Samuel Friesema is an urban and architectural thinker and designer. He has over eleven years of professional practice experience in the field of architecture. He has worked at award winning firms and has several award winning projects. He has recently earned a Masters of Urban Design from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (Kent State University).
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Monday, February 27th from 12-1 PM, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
NOTE* due to extreme cold today, Allison Schifani’s lecture will be rescheduled for Monday, March 9th from 12-1 PM.
Allison Schifani, Postdoctoral Scholar in Digital Humanities at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, joins us this Friday for our Spring Lecture Series.
Her talk, “Speculative Urbanism: Uncertain Architectures in the Rust Belt” explores the emerging cultural logic of “speculative urbanism.” Following the work of An Uncertain Commons in Speculate This!, Schifani situates speculative urbanism in two distinct categories: affirmative and firmative. Firmative speculation “renders latent possibilities as calculable outcomes.” Affirmative speculation is rather a collection of “modes of living that recognize the dormant energies of the quotidian and eventualities that escape the imagination.” Contemporary forms of urban practice and play that harness emerging technologies or re-imagine analog forms, she argues, have the distinct capacity to affirmatively speculate in and about the city. She explores new forms of speculative urban engagement that run counter to the financial speculation of contemporary capital: destabilizing firmative valuation structures, unearthing hidden infrastructures thought to be “virtual,” and opening up space for the formation of alternative publics.
Allison Schifani received her PhD from the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work explores literatures, media art, and urban intervention in the 20th and 21st Century Americas. Her manuscript project, Biotechnical Ecologies: Urban Practice and Play in Buenos Aires and Los Angeles focuses on extra-institutional ways of shaping the experience of the city and speculating on its digital futures. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies and is forthcoming in Media Fields. She is also currently writing on emerging DIY media and art practices in Cleveland.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Monday, March 9th from 12-1 PM, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
The 2015 Rudy Bruner Award selection committee met last weekend in Cambridge to review applications from 40 communities in 26 states, and selected five finalist, among them was Cleveland’s Uptown District.
The Uptown District is the redevelopment of a corridor linking art, educational and health care institutions with surrounding neighborhoods, creating outdoor gathering spaces, retail shops and restaurants, student and market-rate housing, and public transit connections.
Congratulations on such a prestigious honor! Stay tuned to late May/early June when the medalists are announced.
Aerial rendering of a development proposal for Cleveland’s MidTown District created by CUDC graduate students Matthew Nykamp and Heather Flick. The concept, named “Deeply Rooted,” proposed a public green space network overlaid on broadband data infrastructure.
First year graduate students at the CUDC kicked-off their urban design studio experience this fall with a local design competition. Focused on a segment of Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor, the competition involved several local partners and offered a $1,000 cash prize provided by Geis Companies.
Stretching along three miles of Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, the Health-Tech Corridor (HTC) served as the geographic scope for the studio. The HTC is a 1,600 acre swath of near east side neighborhoods, including healthcare institutions, business incubators, academic centers, and over 123 high-tech companies, all anchored by a bus rapid transit (BRT) line.
The competition’s primary focus sites lie within the broader Health-Tech Corridor, clustered between E. 55th Street and E. 70th Street in the MidTown neighborhood. Students were given a tour of the area by knowledgeable community partners, including: Jeff Epstein, Director of the Health-Tech Corridor; Maura Maresh, Development Director at Geis Companies; and Will Warren, Finance Analyst at the City of Cleveland’s Department Economic Development.
Five student teams competed in the studio’s design competition. Each project employed a unique perspective on the opportunities presented by the site. Although all teams produced strong proposals for the jury to consider, ultimately Team RED was selected as the prize winner.
Students will present their work again at an event organized by Heath-Tech Corridor at JumpStart on February 26, 2014. If you’re interested in learning more about the upcoming event or the student projects, please contact studio instructor David Jurca.
Final slide presentations from all teams are shown below:
From Grey to Green | Clarisse Gates, James Lennon
Graduate students Clarisse Gates and James Lennon envision a holistic development strategy focused on improving the health of MidTown employees and surrounding residents. From Grey to Green identifies measurable goals for green infrastructure, providing attractive and functional amenities to spur new development.
MidtownLink | Said Abiakl
Exploring the site’s potential to connect adjacent neighborhoods, MidtownLink weaves a multi-use trail through variously scaled public spaces. Said Abiakl conducted a rigorous analysis of climatic conditions, storm water strategies, and programmatic arrangements to arrive at an iconic circular form to anchor the mixed-use development.
Mi[xe]d Town | Tyler Middendorf
Through research on the district’s historic development patterns, Tyler Middendorf derived the insight that past developments were too focused on a single industry. Comprised of businesses primarily based on the automotive industry, the district fell victim to volatile global market forces, resulting in the vacancy we see today. In an effort to prevent similar collapses in the future, Mi[xe]d Town diversifies entertainment, mobility, and employment opportunities, creating a resilient community.
MidTown Beat | Brittany Ballish, Andrew Foster
Building on existing assets within MidTown, Brittany and Andrew aim to grow the various rhythms of activity in the neighborhood. A proposed music therapy facility leverages the area’s music identity, punctuated by the nearby Cleveland Agora. Public spaces create areas of respite while integrating multiple levels of entertainment. Transit-oriented design elements reconnect Midtown with Downtown Cleveland, universities, and healthcare campuses. Streetscape enhancements and public arcades respond to the need for north-south connections to enable future growth and neighbor relations.
Deeply Rooted | Heather Flick, Matthew Nykamp
“The Deeper the Network, The Greater the Community” is the tagline for Matthew Nykamp and Heather Flick’s proposal, which aims to grow rich digital and physical social spaces. Leveraging the area’s broadband fiber infrastructure, Deeply Rooted attracts both new technology businesses and current neighborhood residents to interact in a dynamic public realm.
RED | Turki Alosimi, Mykie Hrusovski, Katelyn Milius
* Competition Winning Project
RED‘s goal is to create a technology-focused environment that promotes healthy living, celebrates diversity, fosters collaboration, and provides opportunities for growth on site. The project team addressed this goal by creating a flexible design strategy, rather than rigid master plan, which empowers nearby residents to climb up the ladder of success.
Team RED also created a stop-motion animation, which portrays an engaging story of two people working in the neighborhood.
This Friday we welcome Jeffrey Kerr, Principal with Environmental Design Group, as part of our Spring Lecture Series. His talk, “Building Blocks: The Art & Science of Rebuilding Communities” will provide insight to Environmental Design Group’s focus on revitalizing our region, reconnecting our communities, and restoring our environment through the integration of creative design and technical problem solving. He will share some of their current work that is reshaping our region.
Jeffrey Kerr, ASLA, AICP is a planning, landscape architecture and engineering firm located in Akron and Cleveland where he manages the firm’s planning + design group. As a licensed landscape architect and certified planner, Jeff brings twenty-five years of experience in revitalizing urban communities, restoring ecological systems, and supporting sustainable regional land use. Throughout his career, Jeff has worked with communities in developing planning initiatives such as urban redevelopment strategies, regional watershed studies, comprehensive land use plans, green infrastructure & conservation plans, and parks & trail design. Mr. Kerr has studied at Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. He currently sits on the Board of Zoning Appeals for Bath Township and on the Board of Directors for Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township. He is also the Co-chair of the Cuyahoga River Water Trail Partners.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, February 13th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance seeks a creative professional or team (architect, designer, artist, engineer, landscape architect or combination thereof) to propose unique and attractive design solutions for the area under and around the Main Avenue Bridge Underpass, centered at the intersection of West 9th Street and Main Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. This location is a critical pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular connection between the Warehouse District and the Flats East Bank, with infrastructure, history, and functional potential to inspire the highest level of creative treatments.
The CUDC recently worked with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance to complete a strategic planning process to create a holistic vision and tactical plan for improving the physical connectivity of Downtown Cleveland. The resulting plan, Step Up Downtown, enumerates eighteen (18) key connections where real or perceived gaps or barriers impede the experience of Downtown Cleveland as continuous and traversable.
This is an open Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from established creative professionals based anywhere in North America who are interested in a highly visible and impactful project in Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Click here to view full submissions details and criteria.
Please submit materials on or before March 6th, 2015 at 4:30pm. Questions may be addressed to Laura Kushnick Wiegand, Director of Development & Community Relations, at 216-325-0975 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Thomas Starinsky, Associate Director of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, at email@example.com, or 216-325-0937.
Students from the CUDC, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University recently partook in the 2015 ULI Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition. The intensive two week competition asks students from design, planning, and finance to provide a conceptual, yet realistic and financially feasible proposal for a site in a North American city. This year’s site was based in New Orleans, in the Treme-Lafitte neighborhood. Three interdisciplinary teams took on the challenge to provide an equitable, resilient, and sustainable neighborhood across a 23 acre site.
Students’ concepts included a green space & storm water network that fed into larger regional systems, utilization of the I-10 underpass as a programmable communal space, the incorporation of large amounts of affordable housing, and particular attention to the neighborhood’s cultural heritage.
Students from the CUDC, CWRU, and CSU will present their final work to a local audience of developers, architects, and ULI associates this Friday morning, while the national jury will release the teams of finalists in mid-February. Experts from the local design and development community served as external advisors and jurors providing invaluable feedback throughout the process.
This week we welcome three landscape architects from the global, networked design firm, NBBJ. Brian Bernstein, Ed Mickelson, and Carmine Russo’s talk “What’s Your Awareness? The Power of Integrated Design” will focus on the perspective of landscape architects and urban designers, as they will be sharing thoughts about the design practice and why they believe awareness and engagement matter.
A little bit about our speakers:
Brian Bernstein is a Project Leader with NBBJ. Brian is accomplished in the development of complex, large-scale sites. Much of his experience has been in the realm of hospitality and resort design, with extensive involvement in residential resorts and mixed-use commercial development. His completed projects are located across the U.S. and Mexico. Working in multidisciplinary teams, Brian has established expertise in understanding site, environmental, and regulatory constraints that are critical in successfully shaping site solutions. He is also keenly interested in understanding the needs and desires of his clients to assure the projects reach their maximum potential within the financial and time constraints established.
Ed Michelson is a Design Leader for NBBJ’s Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Practice. Ed is regarded as a leading voice in the design of many of the firm’s most prestigious projects; his concepts are well-conceived, practical and provocative. He directs projects of national, international and cultural significance and builds consensus among disparate groups for the realization of clients’ specific goals. During his 35-year career he has won more than 30 design awards for his work in the planning and design of highly complex sites and campuses in the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait.
Carmine Russo is a Project Landscape Architect who brings a broad background of planning and design to NBBJ. Within the United States, he has led multiple projects for world-class leaders in healthcare institutions, and has worked on major urban transportation projects as well as corporate, commercial, and civic assignments. In addition to his domestic projects, Carmine has also engaged with accomplished multidisciplinary teams and influential international clients in the development of projects in Russia and China. He is a leader who works well in the team environment and builds strong relationships with his clients working toward projects that meet their highest standards and aspirations. Carmine is a strong advocate of innovation in design, as well as sustainability strategies that protect and enhance the natural environment.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, February 6th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
University Circle Inc., the development, service, and advocacy organization responsible for the growth of University Circle as a premier urban district and world-class center of innovation in health care, education, and arts & culture, is seeking an enthusiastic and dependable team member to serve as the Urban Planning & Design Associate. As a 501(c)3 organization, UCI is the community service corporation chartered to ensure the vitality of the Circle.
Minimum Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, Architecture, Real Estate, or related fields. Masters Degree in any above fields or 3-5 years professional work experience preferred.
See full job posting here. Send cover letter and resume to: Hiring Manager, University Circle Inc. 10831 Magnolia Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit resume by Tuesday, February 17, 2015.
The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative would like to congratulate Isabela Gould as she has just been named the new Executive Director of the Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) in Columbus, Ohio.
The NDC is a 501c(3) nonprofit committed to assisting the under served. They believe that access to design is a right, not a privilege. When in need of affordable design services small businesses, neighborhood institutions and government entities in Central Ohio and beyond utilize the Neighborhood Design Center.
Isabela previously taught at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture and the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is also the co-founder of Rogue Studios, LLC in Chicago.
Congratulations Isabela, we wish you all the best!
College students & recent grads! Want to spend your summer working with us here at the CUDC? Interested in non-profit and public sector careers? Apply for a paid placement with the CUDC through the 2015 Cleveland Foundation Summer Internship program!
The 2015 Summer Intern will be exposed to all aspects of the CUDC’s work, but will focus specifically on our Design [re] Build studio, a community-based effort to generate new ideas for low-cost, high-impact transformation of vacant houses that might otherwise be demolished. The Cleveland Foundation Summer Intern placed at the CUDC will primarily be working to develop a user-friendly guide to low-cost house design and rehab ideas that can be distributed widely to city residents. The intern will also help with community events and programming at our current house project on E 67th St. However, there is flexibility for the intern to be exposed to a wide range of the CUDC’s practice and educational programming.
Design [re] Build House – Exterior Rendering
You don’t have to have an architecture or urban design background, although we hope you’re broadly interested in design issues and the city. Please check out eligibility details and application instructions at the Cleveland Foundation’s website. The application deadline is January 30th.
The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is an equal opportunity employer.
Our lecture next week will not be held at our regularly scheduled time, Friday at 12 PM. Instead it will be Wednesday, January 21st, at 1 PM. We will be welcoming Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Chair of The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, Saskia Sassen.
Her most recent book Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy is a groundbreaking analysis of the ways in which economic power is increasingly exerted across traditional jurisdictions and boundaries. In the book Sassen traces complex logistical, legal, and algorithmic mechanisms that determine the distribution of wealth and the treatment of land and natural resources in a context of widening inequality, intense development of resources, and weakening state institutions and legal regimes. She reaches the sobering conclusion that these regimes are increasingly calibrated to function optimally without necessarily using human resources fully. The result is that large populations may be permanently left over – expelled – from the system, and subjected to increasingly brutal forms of policing and neglect. Her analysis helps explain the increasingly varied fortunes of “winner” and “loser” cities and the deep systemic challenges facing cities like Cleveland that have been subject to the global operations of industrial restructuring and speculative finance.
Other books by Saskia Sassen include Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global, A Sociology of Globalization, and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy. Her books are translated into over 20 languages. She has received diverse awards, from multiple doctor honoris causa to being chosen as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in multiple lists. She was awarded the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize for the Social Sciences and elected to the Netherlands Royal Academy of the Sciences. To learn more about Saskia Sassen and her work, please visit www.saskiasassen.com.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 1-2 PM on Wednesday, January 21st, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
We are kicking off our Spring Lecture Series on Friday, January 16th, with urban design and city planner, Alex Pesta of City Architecture. Originally from Cincinnati, he will talk about his outsider perspective on the City of Cleveland, as well as, his career path that spans from a single family residential architect to now, urban designer and city planner.
Alex’s broad vision and understanding of “big picture” thinking and planning motivate him to constantly challenge himself and others in pursuit of maximizing a project’s impact and potential. He believes that intelligent, effective and meaningful investments in public spaces and infrastructure have the ability to celebrate place, redefine a street and establish new identities. His involvement leading the City of Huron’s master plan process led to the development of initiatives, that when considered together, can reshape this prime waterfront community. Alex’s approach begins with projects that are immediately realizable to gain momentum and community support. He believes that overall change can happen at the smallest scale, whether it is the construction of a median, the installation of landscaping or a signage package that helps define place.
Planning Process: Huron existing conditions.
His project experience ranges from small infill redevelopment sites to overall city master plans and has led him towards a widespread appreciation of design, successful project implementation, open and effective communication with consultants, city officials, and most importantly, clients. Alex studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati, has practiced at City Architecture for 12 years and recently became a partner at the firm. He leads the firm’s planning efforts and feels the firm’s combination of planning and architecture services provide a unique perspective for each project.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, January 16th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
We recently interviewed Master of Architecture (MArch) student, Jordan Charles, about his independent studio project “Urban Proxy”. Read our interview below to learn more about this unique project.
Hi Jordan, introduce yourself, what is your background?
My name is Jordan Charles, most of my friends know me as Peezy. I like to consider myself an “architect in training” striving to acquire his Master of Architecture during the day and a superhero at night. I pretty much have the same profile as some other individuals in the field – jack of all trades, master of none. However, I do take pride in my drawing abilities. While they aren’t where I’d like them to be they are good enough to allow me to make sense of my ideas and transfer them from my thoughts to paper.
What studio was this project for?
“Urban Proxy” was my final project for the independent studio I had taken up to fulfill the final requirements for my MArch. I had derived from the typical trajectory for the CUDC’s MArch program due to conflicts with my summer schedule and the required summer studio. So instead of taking the summer studio, I pushed the studio back to the following fall semester which is where it had morphed into an independent studio. However, I am pleased with how the adjustment worked out. I believe the independent studio gave me the freedom necessary to create “Urban Proxy”.
“Urban Proxy” embodies a lot of personal beliefs I have in regards to design and architecture. People are in part defined by their experiences and architecture provides a stage for experiences to occur, so in theory architecture defines people. I wanted this project to provide a stage where positive experiences could occur for individuals that may feel they didn’t have a proper place within the city.
At the root, what is “Urban Proxy” about?
The genesis of Urban Proxy initiated with the intent of devising a scheme that resisted a static nature in search of a proposal that could be primarily flexible. The idea of flexibility sparked a desire to devise a plan to produce both programmatic and architectural elements that were freed from shackles. Change occurs more frequently than ever before and as society (thus the city) change, more should be expected from our environments. To be able to keep up with the changes, adaptability is a trait critical to designs that intend to remain relevant. Read more…
As the year comes to a close, we here at the CUDC, are looking back at some of our students accomplishments and their achievements throughout the semester. MArch & MUD student, Tyler Middendorf, participated in a design charrette in Detroit, MI. We asked him to write about his experience for our blog. Read Tyler’s story below and get a glimpse of the student perspective.
When the semester first began, I was asked if I would like to participate in a design charrette in Detroit. To be perfectly honest, I did not know exactly what a charrette was, but, as jumping into an adventure head first is my nature, I did not hesitate to accept the invitation.
Ultimately though, that is what a charrette is all about; a bunch of adventurous minds jumping into a new problem together and exploring the possibilities. As the home team, Lawrence Technological University knew the lay of the land, both in terms of the design site and the studio. The visitors, Ball State University and your hometown heroes from Kent State, provided the distanced outside perspective; the “fresh take.” This mashup of perspectives allowed for informed design that did not get too caught up in the particulars involved in the typical design process.
The three day charrette went quickly, to say the very least. We arrived to Detroit, our trace paper and markers in tow, with just enough time to get a quick and dirty tour of the city and throw down some BBQ. Still wiping the sauce from our faces, we were swept onto a tour bus to visit our design site, the Marina District, about 4 ½ miles northeast of downtown. We drove the site with local narration, giving us just enough background information to really start asking questions. Shortly after, we met with a couple of Marina District citizens who presented what they saw as the gems and the germs of the site. After a delicious dinner of lamb and flaming cheese (Opa!) we headed to Lawrence Tech’s downtown studio and split up into three teams, each one a blend of the three participating schools.
We started off the design process by listing the key problems of the district that we had heard throughout the day, and from there laid out our project goals. We then broke off into sub committees to draw site analysis diagrams addressing the problems and goals we had listed. We drew until night became day. We drew until even our Microns were tired. We drew until the project finally insisted that it needed a break from us, and only then did we return to the hotel.
We were back at it early the next morning though, only now we were overlaying our analysis diagrams, tracing their interactions, identifying nodes, and extracting pathways. There were mounds of trace, transparencies covering all surfaces in the room. With these nodes and pathways identified, we were ready to really begin producing. We drew sections that gave the streets personalities and signage and symbols that gave the district identity. The waterfront, bike paths, and commercial streets were illustrated. Again, we drew late into the night, taking breaks only for coffee and pizza.
The next morning was crunch time. Though we had been working hard, there was still much left to do, much more visual explanation required to make the locals see what we saw in their district. We worked until the zero hour. With only minutes before the presentation, we decided who would explain each part of the project, and we formed a rough and rudimentary outline of our speech. The ink on the master plan was not yet dry when we hung it on the wall for review.
Each team presented their project, and it was fairly remarkable the differences that had emerged between each in the short span of time. The local natives gave us their feedback on our work, and just like that, the intensive three day design session drew to a close.
In the end, perhaps we gave the Marina District residents some new ideas, and hopefully at least a few of them were good. Beyond that, we got to learn from our peers from other places, exposing us to different methods and different graphic techniques. We learned the value of quick iteration which can be applied to the long and tedious projects with which we are typically involved, helping us to move through problems with just a little more ease. Most importantly, the charrette was also a reminder of why we do architecture and urban design in the first place. We aim to improve the world in some capacity, and if we can achieve that to any extent in just three days, imagine what we might do with the rest of our lives?
-Tyler Middendorf, MArch/MUD