Summer Graduate Studio Examines the E. 22nd Street Corridor


The program for the 2013 summer graduate urban design studio, which took place at Kent State University’s CUDC, was commenced with the investigation of the E. 22nd street corridor. Cleveland State University and the Campus District, Inc. sponsored the project led by studio instructor Charles Graves.  The initial investigation ran for three weeks and culminated in a proposal for the E. 22nd street corridor by the students of the graduate class.

The concept diagram below drove the project.


The goals of this study were as follows:

  • Link the city to the waterfronts
  • Thread amenities through new infrastructure
  • Revitalize natural resources to improve health & well being
  • Attract residents through new development & activity

Read more…


CUDC Green Urbanism Series | Phil Enquist and The Great Lakes Century


Please join us for a workshop and public presentation with Phil Enquist, FAIA, Partner in Charge of Urban Design and Planning at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) to discuss the ways that local conditions, planning policies, and design decisions here in Cleveland can align with the vision of a Great Lakes Century.

The Great Lakes Century is pro-bono initiative of SOM’s City Design Practice that advances a 100-year vision for the watershed focused on environmental protection, smart growth, and economic revitalization. The region’s future prosperity requires a collaborative approach to development that transcends political boundaries. The Great Lakes Century encourages all of us to think boldly about our shared wealth in the world’s largest surface fresh water source. The vision calls for strategic planning principles to guide regional decision making for the next 100 years.

Designers can play an important role in activating meaningful dialogue and advocating for progressive policies towards realizing a shared regional vision for the future.

The workshop at the CUDC is free and lunch is included, but RSVPs are required. For more information or to RSVP for the workshop, contact cudc@kent.edu. The evening’s public presentation will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and tickets are free, but must be ordered here.

Workshop & Presentation Details:

CUDC Workshop & Lunch

Friday, September 6, 2013

11:00 am – 1:00 pm


Cleveland Museum of Natural History Public Presentation

Friday, September 6, 2013

7:30 pm

Cleveland Museum of Natural History
RSVP Information here

The Phil Enquist workshop is part of the CUDC’s Green Urbanism event series, which also includes a waterfront drawing workshop and an upcoming lunch talk with landscape architect Jeff Knopp on September 20th at the CUDC. The Green Urbanism series is made possible with the generous support of The Cleveland Foundation.


CUDC wins Chicago’s Activate Union Station Competition!

Blah Blah Blob created by Kent State's CUDC and Latent Design

Kent State University’s CUDC along with Chicago based architecture and planning firm, Latent Design, have won the 2013 Activate Union Station placemaking contest presented by The Metropolitan Planning Council. The CUDC and Latent Design are the recipients of $5,000, thanks to sponsor Fifth Third Bank, which they will use to transform Chicago’s iconic Union Station with their eye-catching design and fun activities between Saturday, Aug. 24 and Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.

Individuals and families enjoyed venturing inside the strange and playful object

The winning design, Blah Blah Blob!, will bring playfulness to a space people too often associate with the hustle and bustle of their daily commute, but rarely use for other activities. The nylon sculpture, inspired by the CUDC’s previous collaborations with artist Jimmy Kuehnle and reminiscent of a childhood parachute tent, will be installed over an artificial lawn on the Plaza at Fifth Third Center. Lectures, fitness classes and other special events will take place there throughout the 10 days.


Jeff and Kristen sewing the Blob

The CUDC’s David Jurca, Kristen Zeiber and Jeff Kruth traveled to Chicago to fabricate the visually striking example of inflatable architecture, in collaboration with Katherine Darnstadt, founder and principal of Latent Design. Blah Blah Blob will alternate sites between the Great Hall in Union Station and the outdoor Fifth Third Plaza, in response to daily weather conditions. We were excited to exchange temporary placemaking ideas with Latent Design throughout the collaboration, which have inspired future projects in both Cleveland and Chicago. The intervention already received considerable press in Chicago through WBEZ, the Chicago Tribune, the Architect’s Newspaper, and other news outlets. We’re planning to bring Blah Blah Blob for a visit to Cleveland, so let us know if you have a space that could be activated with 45 feet of colorful pop-up whimsy!

Blah Blah Blob! installed in the Great Hall of Chicago's Union Station

Photograph of Blah Blah Blob's interior (credit: Katherine Darnstadt)

Blah Blah Blob installed outside on the 5/3 Bank Plaza next to Union Station

The programming schedule for the installation included Zumba classes and other physical activites

Blob eyes


Waterfront Drawing Workshop Aboard the Holiday River Boat: August 28th, 2013


Join the CUDC for a drawing workshop of waterfront sites facilitated by landscape designer Susie Maurer. The first in this two day workshop will take place Wednesday, August 28, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. The second session will be October, 5th, from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Please RVSP to cudc@kent.edu to reserve a spot, as space is limited on the boat.

Urban Landscape Drawing Workshop

This two-session drawing workshop is designed to acquaint attendees with the urban landscapes of Cleveland. The workshop is open to students, design professionals, and anyone interested in exploring the urban landscape through drawing. We will spend time at desolate, yet beautifully rich sites around rail corridors, the water’s edge and vacant terrain.

The goal is not only for the participants to refresh observational drawing skills, but also to highlight qualities within the selected sites as a way to express the identity of place.  What makes the site important/interesting?  Are there elements that can be retained for future use? What opportunities are waiting to be expressed?

The end result will be a small portfolio of drawings, illustrating personal experience as navigated through the sites.

WORKSHOP PART 1: August 28th


8:15 am- 8:30 am : Meet at E. 9th/North Coast Rapid Station.

8:30 am – 10:30 am : Introductions and “On-Land” drawing at several locations around the lakefront. Locations Map

10: 30 am – 12:30 pm : Cruise down the river aboard the Holiday, stopping at various locations for sketching.

WORKSHOP PART 2: October 5th


8:30 am – 12:30 pm : Additional details TBD.

Cost for Workshop (includes both sessions)

In advance: $10

Day of: $15

Make payment online HERE, or bring cash, check or card the day of the workshop.

Snack and beverages will be available on the boat for purchase.

Suggested supply list

  • sketchbook (11×17 preferred size)
  • fat tip marker pens
  • 5B or higher sketching pencils (soft lead)
  • drawing charcoals
  • kneaded eraser

About Susie Maurer

Susie Maurer is a landscape designer and sculptor working in Cleveland.  Prior to returning to her roots in Northeast Ohio in 2012, she spent six years in New York City at Pratt Institute and working in landscape architecture and urban design at dlandstudio. There, her interest in the innovative use of materials, namely steel, in architectural and artistic contexts, afforded her the opportunity to manage and lead the design on many urban, residential and public projects.  Her specific interest in the vacant, industrial landscapes of America, and the potential for their re-use, was the influence behind her MFA thesis and continues to influence how she works as both as an artist and designer. Susie holds an MFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute as well as a BA in architecture from Miami University.