Ten years ago, CUDC students participated in a Community Design Charrette in Youngstown, Ohio. The charrette is an annual event in which the students and staff of the CUDC collaborate on an intense, focused design effort for a nearby community, over the course of a fall weekend.
In 2005, the charrette took place in the Oak Hill neighborhood, a beautiful, but distressed part of Youngstown. The charrette helped lay the groundwork for the CUDC’s newly created Shrinking Cities Institute. The work subsequently featured in a local documentary and highlighted in the national media, including Metropolis magazine and the New York Times.
This year, CUDC students and staff are returning to Youngstown to tackle new challenges. The design team will also include students and faculty from Ball State University and Lawrence Technological University. The charrette will take place October 22-24 in downtown Youngstown. The work will target Hazel and Phelps, two key streets that terminate at the Wean United redevelopment site ion the Mahoning River. We’ll explore possibilities for creating the linkages, public spaces, and development opportunities necessary for rejuvenating this part of the city.
If you’re a CUDC alumni and remember your charrette experience fondly, we invite you to join us for this year’s charrette. We’ll provide food and accommodations, courtesy of the City of Youngstown and Youngstown State University. It will be a fun opportunity to connect with our current students, stretch your creative muscles, and help a community work through some interesting design challenges. Space is limited, so if you’re interested, please contact Kristen Zeiber at the CUDC (kzeiber[at]kent.edu) as soon as possible.
The CUDC’s Future City Sessions are an exploration of emerging ideas in urban design and citymaking. These sessions, developed with the support of The George Gund Foundation, will take place in the fall and winter of 2015/16. Each session will begin with a public presentation or workshop on a specific topic by a leading national thinker. Following the public session, we will host a smaller, facilitated conversation over a meal with our guest speaker and a thoughtfully selected group of Greater Clevelanders. During these conversations, we can explore big and useful ideas in a comfortable setting, and uncover new directions in urban design that will be relevant locally and on a broader scale. These conversations will be captured and published as a book or a series of pamphlets so the discoveries made in conversation can be shared with the widest possible audience.
Our first Future City Session will feature a GIS Workshop: Fake Places and Data Shapes on Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor taught by McLain Clutter on September 25th. This workshop will introduce participants to experimental workflows and data manipulation processes in conventional GIS software platforms in order to illuminate latent potentials for progressive urban design. The workshop is free, but limited, so please register soon. For more information and to register click here.
Eschewing the conventional use of GIS software, this workshop will introduce participants to experimental workflows between standard GIS software, publicly available datasets, and visualization software more common to architectural practice. McLain’s goal will be to reveal urban development potentials that are solicitous of new forms of public life, aesthetic regimes, formal conglomerations, urban intensities, and more. The workshop will entail a lecture delivering a conceptual framework through which to understand the potentials and liabilities of GIS as an urban design medium, an introduction to the ESRI ArcGIS software environment, and advanced instruction on unconventional and complex methods of spatial data manipulation, working between ArcGIS and architectural visualization software.
The Monday following the workshop, McLain will give a public lecture entitled Master of None at the CUDC , September 28th at 6 PM. McLain’s lecture will focus on his design practice that is dedicated to rethinking architecture’s disciplinary capacities within the complexities of contemporary urbanism. This event is free, but registration is requested. For more information and to register please click here.
McLain Clutter, is an architect, writer, and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture. Clutter received a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and an MED from the Yale School of Architecture, where he was the recipient of the Everett Victor Meeks Fellowship. He has worked in design offices in New York, Chicago and New Haven on a diverse array of projects ranging in scale from residential renovations to urban master planning.
Every other weekend this summer, volunteers have been coming out of the woodwork* to help us finish constructing Kent State University’s first Design RE/build house in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland. Lots of progress has taken place at the house, not least because of the boundless, donut-fueled energy of our crews.
On August 22nd six employees from Bialosky + Partners Architects donated their time, energy, and expertise to the project. Alongside our other enthusiastic volunteers, the construction crew graded landscape, placed insulation, installed cabinets & countertops, replaced floorboards, welded guardrails, and many other important jobs around the project. The project is finally nearing the extra-fun finishing details, when we’re really getting to apply our creativity.
For those of you thinking how much fun this all looks, you’re in luck! We’ve extended the schedule through September and October. Our 5 remaining dates are:
- September 5
- September 19
- October 3
- October 17
- October 31 : Halloween House Party!
These dates are tentative and may change, based on our progress, so check our Facebook page regularly for updates and email Kristen Zeiber at kzeiber [at] kent.edu to get on the mailing list.
Also, if your firm is interested in “sponsoring” a day at the Design RE/build house, let us know. This is a great opportunity for your architects & interns to get out of the office for a day and get some hands-on experience in the field (plus PR for your firm). AIA Associates, you’re eligible to use the volunteer hours towards your IDP Leadership and Service hours too! Just email Kristen with any questions and we’ll set you up.
Thanks to all our dedicated students, volunteers, and community members who are supporting this project! The end is in sight, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the finishing touches emerge.
* – please forgive the construction pun.
This project is generously funded by The George Gund Foundation, Sandvick Architects, Sears-Swetland Family Foundation, and the Helen Brown Fund. Additional support from 84 Lumber, RoosWork, VIP Restoration, and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation.
To view more photos of our Design RE/build house click here.
Join us for an evening with John Cerone, Director of Virtual Design & Construction at SHoP Architects. John has been instrumental in SHoP’s development of technology and process, specializing in Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Honing Digital Design and Delivery (1 CEU)
• Model-based project delivery
• Parametric design-to-fabrication workflow efficiencies
• CNC-driven fabrication & data management
• Collaboration via cloud-based platforms
John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Architecture at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (2002), and his Master of Architecture degree from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (2008). He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Planning and Preservation, teaching seminars in ‘Digital Representation’ and ‘Parametric Modeling’. He has taught at Parsons New School for Design in New York and actively lectures on the topic of Virtual Design & Construction.
The CUDC created the post graduate fellowship as a one-year position for graduates of KSU’s Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Design, or dual MArch/MUD program. This year we welcome Sam Friesema as our Post Graduate Fellow.
As an urban and architectural designer, Friesema seeks to engage with the theory and configuration of the built environment to enhance human flourishing in our cities and neighborhoods. His interests revolve around the interaction of architecture, policy, networks, and infrastructure space, to construct development models that appropriately contribute to globalizing and mechanized urban form. Sam has over ten years of architectural design experience at firms in Cleveland and Colorado. He received a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Architecture from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Master of Urban Design from Kent State University at the CUDC in 2014. Sam is involved in urban design, teaching, and research at the CUDC.
We’re excited to have Sam on board!
Created in January 2015, MakingOurOwnSpace (MOOS) is a collaborative effort between Cleveland youth and local design professionals to empower the next generation of placemakers. Led by the CUDC, the project trains middle and high school students as community designers. Over the course of nine months, students will design and construct multiple public environments and outdoor playscapes.
Britt Oval, a large green space across the street from St. Luke’s Pointe, will serve as the site for all the outdoor constructions. Three on-site projects will be built by the students to respond to changing weather conditions and user preferences. Although the projects will be short-term, they are intended to guide future investments in permanent public space enhancements on the site.
Youth participating in the MOOS project include 7th & 8th graders from the Boys and Girls Clubs and high school students from East End Youth Services. The students, along with two adult leaders from the local community, will be paid a stipend for their participation. The project will increase collaboration across community-based organizations, residents, and public/private partners. The CUDC has brought in architect Erick Rodriguez and graphic designer Arlene Watson to teach workshops. As well as, Alex Gilliam of Public Workshop to teach a week long class.
Freshwater Cleveland recently spoke with David Jurca, our Associate Director and one of the leaders spearheading MOOS about the initiative and our upcoming event Splash on Britt Oval that is taking place on August 8th. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“On a sunny Friday afternoon at the park, Jurca asks Streeter and McClain-Ferrell, “What do you hope to get from this?”
“To get people to come and keep coming back. So they want to build things of their own,” says McClain-Ferrell. “I just want to be able to say, ‘I made that.’”
This is their park made to their specifications. And that’s no small feat.
Jurca knows that although community planning often focuses on creating spaces for youth, those very same voices are regularly left out of the actual discussion. The format of public meetings aren’t aligned to make them feel welcome, Jurca says, whether it’s the time, location or questions asked.”
Learn more about MOOS and read the entire article here. Also come out this Saturday and check it out for yourself. There will be music, games, hot dogs and ice cream from 12-2 PM. The event is free and open to the public and will be happening rain or shine. Britt Oval is located across the street from Saint Luke’s Foundation, 11327 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44104.
The CUDC partnered with the Cleveland Public Library (CPL) to conduct a planning process with four branch communities, together envisioning the 21st century library. CPL faces a challenge familiar to many institutions serving communities in Cleveland: How can we best meet the needs of our patrons in a changing context of new technologies, aging facilities, and declining population? CPL’s response to this question must be crafted individually for each branch neighborhood, based on the unique demands and opportunities present in those communities. The CUDC’s local knowledge of Cleveland neighborhoods and expertise in public engagement, depopulation research, and physical urban planning provide the complementary skills to enable CPL to take the next step in crafting an equitable Community Vision Plan.
The report articulates a wide-range of community priorities and reveals a clearer vision of the library’s role in each target area. Neighborhood asset maps, programming concepts, and visual renderings produced through this process enable CPL to now conduct a finer grain analysis of the operational costs, interior architectural feasibility, and financial investments required to commit limited resources appropriately. The CPL150: Community Vision Plan provides a road-map for actions worthy to celebrate in 2019 and beyond.
The CPL150 Community Vision Plan | Group 1 report includes recommendations for four initial branch communities:
- Fleet Branch Slavic Village neighborhood
- South Branch Clark-Fulton and Tremont neighborhoods
- Sterling Branch Campus District and Central neighborhoods
- Woodland Branch Central and Kinsman neighborhoods
The branches in the Community Vision Plan have been selected by CPL and their order of participation in the process has been determined through conversations with local public officials. The planning process is expected to be refined and expanded beyond this first group to include additional CPL branch neighborhoods.
Final recommendations for the current target neighborhoods were developed by the CUDC in close partnership with CPL and Enlightenment Consulting Group (ECG), through a carefully designed engagement process for each of the targeted branch locations. ECG’s previous work gathered feedback from residents that promote community building and address community deficits. Building upon this initial engagement process, the CUDC advanced the community conversations into the realm of physical planning. Gathering abundant feedback, the CUDC led 6 focus group sessions, 8 public meetings, 12 advisory committee meetings, and collected over 280 surveys in English and Spanish. In order to stay connected with people unable to attend meetings in person, the design team shared frequent updates on the process through a project website at www.CPL150.org.
The CPL150: Community Vision Plan articulates a wide-range of community priorities and reveals a clearer vision of the library’s role in each target area. Neighborhood asset maps, programming concepts, and visual renderings produced through this process enable CPL to now conduct a finer grain analysis of the operational costs, interior architectural feasibility, and financial investments required to commit limited resources appropriately.
The Cleveland Botanical Garden has a special exhibit on display called Branch Out. They invite you to explore a series of magical, interactive tree houses throughout the garden. Its a chance for kids (and adults) to put away technology and let their imagination run wild. Each tree house explores a theme connected to learning and fun including art, music, reading, math and play.
The tree houses were designed by local architects several of whom are CUDC alums. Two Teams of CUDC alums participated ThenDesign Architecture who built Jack and the Giant Pulpit and Sap +Iron Design|Build who built Acoustic Canopy and Seasons.
The team from ThenDesign Architecture included CUDC alums Wade Kratzer, Mia Katz, Claire Markwardt, Steve Bell, and Scott Alleman. Jeff Henderson of Ohio State University and Ed Parker of Kent State University were also on the team. We spoke with the team about their design, Jack in the Giant Pulpit. Here is what they had to say about their design process and working with the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.
“We surround ourselves with design; it is our livelihood. All of us find ourselves in nature whether it’s exploring on our own, or designing within, so when the Cleveland Botanical Gardens released a Competition to design a Treehouse, it was something that we could not pass up. It combined the opportunity to design with nature in the most literal way. During the competition process, we challenged ourselves to understand what a treehouse was and what a treehouse could be. Is it a shelter? Is it a private getaway? Is it a platform to overlook nature? Could it be all of these and more?
Our love of nature skewed us to think of what nature is. How big in reality it is compared to humans and how our imagination always leads us to get lost within it. We began thinking of folk-lore and Science-Fiction and other childhood tall tales that involved nature. This led us to expand upon the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, giving us the opportunity to work a Giant Jack in the Pulpit into the story, so that adults and children alike could have the opportunity to participate in the tale.”
The team from Sap + Iron Design|Build consisted current and former CUDC students including Mykie Hrusovski, Alan Hipps, Jessie Hawkins, Adrian Marti, and Charles Fredrick who is an Assistant Professor and Interim Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program. Of the five projects that ultimately got selected for construction via a juried competition, two of their submissions were accepted. Of note, the jury was headed by Pete Nelson, the Tree House Master!
The houses each have a particular theme, Acoustic Canopy being a tree house that has built-in, bespoke musical instruments that encourages children to make and discover noises within the tree canopy, and Seasons being a small outdoor reading room for children. Both houses have a lot of custom details and features that were either planned from the beginning, or evolved as the project progressed. Another important note to emphasize is that Sap + Iron’s contractor was unable to commit to the project as it was beginning, so their team ended up constructing, rigging and installing everything by themselves.
- The Acoustic Canopy project weighs well over 2.5 tons, and was lifted manually by only four people over the course of 2 days.
- The tree that supports it is a Dawn Redwood which is a species thought to have gone extinct many millions of years ago, but was rediscovered and introduced to the U.S. only about 50 years ago as seeds and saplings. It’s already about 160′ tall.
- The Seasons Reading Room’s exterior is wrapped in Western Red Cedar that was hand-charred with a torch. This gives it its iridescent black color which serves a couple of purposes; a pleasing aesthetic, weather protection, rot resistance and insect repellency, (bugs don’t enjoy the taste of burnt wood).
We’re pleased to see our students working on such creative endeavors. The tree houses will be on display from now until August 23rd. Go out and explore the tree houses today!
All are invited to check out our Summer Graduate Studio’s final work on display at our upcoming public reception:
Wednesday, July 30
5PM – 6:30PM
Kent State University’s CUDC
1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
The reception will begin immediately following the studio’s final review. All of the presentation boards will remain on the walls and attendees are encouraged to speak with our students to learn more about their design ideas.
Light appetizers and drinks will be provided. RSVPs are not required, so feel free to stop by and bring a friend!
Nine CUDC graduate students have worked through the Summer Semester to develop urban design proposals for Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor. They met with stakeholders in the neighborhoods, Opportunity Corridor project leaders, and out-of-town design experts to explore a range of approaches to this significant planned redevelopment.
Early in the semester, students met on-site with Jason Minter and Jeff Sugalski from Burten Bell Carr Development Corporation (BBC) to walk the neighborhood. The E. 79th Street Rapid Station and Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone were areas of particular interest for BBC and the students.
Chris Ronayne and Debbie Berry from University Circle Inc. met with the students to share the Opportunity Corridor’s long history and current goals.
Students spoke with Opportunity Corridor Partnership‘s Executive Director, Marie Kittredge, to gather the most up-to-date plans for construction and discuss an overall vision for the project.
Stormwater and green infrastructure issues grew in importance for several students as their projects developed over the semester. Joseph Danyluk from Cincinnati-based Human Nature is currently working with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District on projects within the Opportunity Corridor and graciously offered his time to visit our studio.
Although unable to join us in person, Elizabeth Ward from Perkins+Will shared her students’ recent work from Georgia Tech via WebEx. The Mission Zero Corridor graduate studio proposed design concepts for creating a regenerative, restorative, and sustainable highway, supported by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
Rounding out the range of possible design approaches from large to small-scale, Mike Lydon met with the students to share his research on Tactical Urbanism. His recent book on the topic includes a case study from a previous CUDC studio, Pop Up Rockwell.
We hope you can join us for the public reception to see the students’ work for yourself. Please feel free to contact the CUDC with any questions at (216) 357-3434 or email cudc(at)kent.edu
The Chris Connell Lecture has been cancelled. We will updated your when it is rescheduled and apologize for any inconvenience.
Join AIA Cleveland for a lecture by Chris Connell of Foster + Partners, Partner in Charge of the Health Education Campus, a joint venture with the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.
When: Wednesday, August 5th 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115
Cost: $5 for AIA Members (Must provide valid AIA #)
$15 for Non-Members
Free for all Students
Drinks and snacks will be provided for those in attendance. This program is worth 1.0 HSW CEU. Seating is limited and advanced registration is required.
The CUDC would like to welcome our new office manager, Ellen Schneider. Prior to joining the CUDC, Ellen worked as an Advising Office Assistant for the College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University for three years. Ellen holds a B.A. in Classical and Medieval Studies from Cleveland State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Sciences and a Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management from Kent State University.
We are excited to have Ellen on our team and please contact her for any administrative inquiries.
3D Rendering of Downtown Elyria
The CUDC in collaboration with Streetsense and Partners for Economic Solutions recently completed a plan for the City of Elyria. A Western Reserve town thirty miles west of downtown Cleveland, the City of Elyria asked the project team to develop a strategy for revitalizing three of its core areas: its historic downtown, the Midway Mall area, and the Cleveland St. corridor. These areas are rich with natural amenities and attractions. The downtown is cradled by the two forks of the Black River, creating two sets of waterfalls while the town is linked regionally through the North Coast Inland Trail, as well as a recently renovated light rail station in downtown.
Despite these abundant amenities, Elyria has seen more prosperous days. In 2012, the New York Times’ Dan Berry reported on Elyria in a series of articles and interviews titled “This Land,” painting Elyria as a quintessential American city full of heritage and hope, but not immune to the effects of decades of disinvestment and economic decline.
The CUDC and partners proposed a series of tactical policy, design, and economic development strategies as part of the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative program. Emphasizing the benefits of infrastructural and transportation improvements coupled with economic development, the plan seeks to leverage existing efforts and projects to maximize benefits for the city. The plan, titled “Jumpstart Elyria” was recently featured in Cleveland Magazine’s “Rating the Suburbs” issue.
Our Post Graduate Fellow, Matt Provolt, will be leaving the CUDC after his year of service. The CUDC created the one-year position for graduates of KSU’s Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Design, or dual MArch/MUD program. Matt shared with us some of his thoughts about his time here at the CUDC and what he was able to accomplish. We wish him well in his next adventure!
What did this year-long Fellowship mean to you?
Initially, when I accepted the post-graduate fellow position, I was excited to return to the CUDC because I was remembering the time I had here in the past. I was a CUDC intern during my time in graduate school, and that experience opened my mind to so many different ways of looking at the city; gave me the opportunity to forge lasting friendships with my fellow students and staff; and connected me with people who have significantly influenced and shaped my life and professional trajectory in the time since. Coming back here for this fellowship, then, meant working with my former colleagues again and getting involved with more of the interesting projects I so enjoyed during my internship. Over the course of the year, though, this position has turned into something much more than that. It has been an amazing learning experience which has helped me mature as a person and as an urban designer. I have been able to have my hand in many thrilling and meaningful projects, and this has given me the foundation I need to take a strong step forward in my career. I am very grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity.
What were some of the highlights of the Fellowship?
One of the most enjoyable things for me was my involvement with the Elyria TLCI, a project which I saw from start to finish. It gave me the opportunity to explore and get to know an entirely new place; one with a fascinating history, beautiful building stock, and a distinct set of exciting challenges. I also got to work closely with the city’s Mayor, so that was an exciting experience as well. Additionally, I got to pick up the reins from a former fellow on a project that sought to improve the grounds of a men’s homeless shelter and create for them a recreation + garden space. That project was my first experience in being able to design and physically build (with the help of my colleagues) an outdoor garden space that then was used by the men staying at the shelter. That one was pretty rewarding, and it’s still continuing on and growing to this day! And of course, toward the end of my year, I got to utilize my interest in pedestrian-friendly street design. I did this in conjunction with a climate change mitigation project, wherein I created a set of user-friendly illustrations that show how various types of streets should be designed to mitigate the negative effects that extreme climate days have on people; namely pedestrians. For that I drew from personal research and my own daily experiences within the pedestrian environment in Cleveland.
What will you miss most about working at the CUDC?
It’s truly difficult to decide whether it is the people or the projects I will miss most, so I suppose it’s a combination of both. The project work here has been really exhilarating, and the wide range of its scope and the impact it has on our region is truly remarkable. It is why I loved my internship and is what has inspired me most during this fellowship year. What additionally makes the project work so enjoyable, however, is my colleagues with whom I am able to share ideas, ask questions, and just goof around on a regular basis. They have definitely added another level of fun into the mix, and I’ve had countless great conversations with everyone here. I’m certainly going to miss this group of people.
What’s next for you upon the conclusion of the Fellowship?
This fellowship has greatly strengthened my desire to build a career in which I can design at a large scale and affect meaningful change in our cities. To continue pursuing that goal, I have recently accepted a position as an urban designer + planner at a local community development corporation. This new position will allow me to continue growing as a designer, to further develop my skills in planning and community engagement, and to affect some of the meaningful change which motivates me to be a better urban designer. I’m very excited for this new challenge!
Can new design and construction ideas breathe life back into some of Cleveland’s houses?
We believe that design brings value, and may help others re-envision the possibilities for Cleveland’s undervalued housing stock. Every year Cleveland loses thousands of houses to demolition.
In 2014 a 3rd year Kent State University architecture studio led by Chris Maurer examined design possibilities for radically renovating an existing vacant brick house, 1045 E 67th St. Over the summer, CAED/CAEST students worked on-site every afternoon to realize their collective design vision.
In 2015, we’re returning to the house to finish construction with the aim of selling it in the fall and using the funds to renovate another house in 2016. And we’re looking for volunteers to join us!
Five Saturdays in 2015 – July 11; July 25; August 08; August 22; and September 05 – we’ll be on-site working 8:00AM-4:00PM at the house. If you’re interested in volunteering please reach out to Kristen Zeiber via email: kzeiber[at]kent.edu – we’ll put you on our list and email out the to-do tasks the week ahead of every Saturday. Earn Community Outreach IDP hours, bring tools for the day if you have them, and come as you can, whenever you can.
Thanks in advance for all your help! For more information on the design/REbuild house visit here.
AIA Cleveland is bringing back their annual summer festival that will bring architecture and design firm personnel and their families together with the public to celebrate design and enjoy the beach! The AIA Cleveland Sand Castle Competition and Beach Volleyball Tournament will take place at Edgewater Beach on Saturday, July 18th and feature a competition of more than two dozen sand castle and volleyball teams populated by Cleveland architecture, engineering, and construction firms.
When: Saturday, July 18th
Where: Edgewater Beach
10 AM – Castle Competition / Volleyball Tournament Begins
5 PM – Parade of Castles, Jury
6 PM – Championship Volleyball Match & Awards Presentation
Registration closes Friday, July 3rd. Register HERE to build collegiality within the architectural community and raise design awareness across Cleveland.