11-30-15

Jennifer Mapes Lecture | December 4

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There are only a couple of lectures left in our Fall Series. Join us Friday, December 4th, as Jennifer Mapes will be discussing Lessons for Sustainability from Small Towns.

Jennifer Mapes, Assistant Professor of Geography, arrived in Kent in Fall 2012, having previously taught at Plattsburgh State in New York State and University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Jen’s dissertation examined the effects of global contemporary change in small towns, connecting theoretical understandings of place and space to on-the-ground outcomes. She spent nine months in seven towns in the American West, interviewing local residents and key decision-makers to learn how their towns experience and react to socio-economic and environmental change.

Her primary research and teaching interest is connecting global and national change to local outcomes, with a focus on urban sustainability in small cities. Living in downtown Kent, Jen continues her work on small towns by studying causes and effects of the city’s recent downtown redevelopment.

As a community geographer and internship coordinator, Jen works to connect students to local projects and non-profits. Last year, she taught a new course, “Online Mapping for Community Outreach” in which students created interactive maps to serve local groups.

The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 12-1 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

11-23-15

Alena Miller and James Lennon Receive AIA Student Awards

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Each year, AIA Cleveland recognizes excellence in design by inviting local firms and students to submit their best work to be reviewed by nationally renowned juries from all over the country. This year we are excited to announce that two CUDC graduate students received awards. Alena Miller received the Merit Award and James Lennon the Honor Award. Both submitted work from their Graduate Design Studio, focused on Cleveland’s Opportunity Corridor.

The studio explored new urban planning and design approaches for redeveloping the Corridor through adaptive reuse of vacant land. Led by co-instructors David Jurca, Jeff Kruth, and Pravin Bhiwapurkar, students developed alternative visions for the local neighborhood intended to establish connections with emerging economic development in the region. Of particular interest was the potential for physical interventions to build social cohesion, ecological value, and cultural resources through short- and long-term actions.

We spoke with Alena and James about their studio experience and design process. First, Alena tells us about her experience and her project, Urban Seam.

“The summer studio was a unique graduate experience, because it required a concise analysis of the current proposal for Opportunity Corridor. My design process began by identifying strengths within the Kinsman neighborhood that may be viewed as constraints and acknowledging that the existing urban fabric was not useless, but compromised. From this point, I developed a “sewing kit” of urban design strategies that identified formal and informal design solutions that were culturally appropriate for the existing population. These “patches and stitches” create multiple scenarios for future development in the neighborhood. Further expansion of the “residential patch and stitch” included a typology study and the design of alternative housing units that better served the existing population’s needs. The housing typologies met the required density for transit-oriented development while offering social and recreational amenities to the residents. Overall, the design of Urban Seam focused on the positive impact of the Opportunity Corridor on an existing population by creating design strategies that were culturally appropriate, transitional, and a catalyst for future development.” – Alena Miller

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If you would like to see more of Alena’s award winning project, you can view it here.

James also shared his overall impressions of the studio and the design process for his project, Reintegration.

“As far as the Studio experience goes, it was a great learning experience. In general, I believe that the project itself was an excellent opportunity to share insights and generate excitement for possible design solutions in a real world scenario. Being from another city, it was great to see how open-minded Clevelanders are to improving the city with new ideas. The support and feedback we received from a number of city officials and project stakeholders allowed us to better understand problems relative to the site. We were offered an inside look at how these projects may develop.

I also benefited from having three studio co-instructors. They each provided expertise from different perspectives, forcing us to use critical thinking in making our own decisions for the project. All nine students collaborated well together throughout the semester and served as a great support system. The design language and principles learned in this Urban Design Studio reinforced and improved my understanding of Architecture and its related fields.

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The design process for my work involved identifying key social, economic, and environmental problems that exist within the site. The solution was to leverage existing anchors and amenities in order to provide a cohesive site that encouraged user interaction through transitional “social condenser” spaces. Interaction with diverse community members will serve as a support system for people who have been recently released from incarceration. My project’s ultimate goal is to reduce recidivism. The design itself was a response to current conditions while also acknowledging the history of the site through various urban design interventions. The programming is organized to connect people with landscape, architecture, and each other.” – James Lennon

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If you would like to see more of James award winning project, you can view it here.

Alena and James both set high personal goals that extended beyond the studio requirements. It is evident by their achievements that their hard work and dedication has paid off. We can’t wait to see what they will accomplish in the future!

 

 

11-17-15

design/REbuild house nears the final stretch!

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Things have been moving on our design/REbuild house this extra-warm fall! On October 17th Sherwin-Williams hosted a Painting Day at the house and a small crew of professionals painted the entire first floor & some of the second. They graciously donated not just the paint, but also their time and impressive expertise. Local sponsors like Sherwin-Williams (and Moen, and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, and many others) really helped us keep close to our budget for the project – we wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. Plus, they helped us pick out some beautiful colors that really complement the exposed brick and original hardwood floors. It’s an amazing transformation from the beginning of the summer.

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In addition to the paint, the kitchen cabinets & countertops have also been installed. We’re all especially excited about the red maple island made of rough-sawn slabs from Metro Hardwoods, which salvages trees from the City of Cleveland. Tim Roos of Rooswork worked with us to join and finish the countertop, leaving the tree’s live edge exposed. The house is full of these special details, many creatively reinventing salvaged materials to breathe new life into them – echoing the whole mission of the house itself.

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We’ve also held two open houses for the local neighborhood & the development community, and it’s been fantastic to finally let people see what we’ve been working on. We opened the house up on Halloween for trick-or-treaters and campfire enthusiasts, and the following week held a happy hour for interested professionals and neighborhood residents. Lots of people have been curious about the project, and now that we’re close to completion it felt like a great time to show everyone around.

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The great news is that the house is for sale! The price is being finalized right now, but if you’re interested in learning more about the home please contact Andrea Bruno at St. Clair-Superior Development Corporation: ABruno[at]StClairSuperior.org and check out the comp sheet for more details. Thanks to everyone who’s helped us out on the house so far! We’re excited to be on the final stretch.

11-17-15

Future City Sessions | Call for Submissions

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Urban Infill is the journal of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. The current issue (Urban Infill 8) will be a series of pamphlets, bound together, that explore emerging ideas in urban design and city-making. Each pamphlet will correspond to conversations and public events held at the CUDC in 2015/16 under the banner of The Future City Sessions, sponsored by the George Gund Foundation.

We are currently seeking short works (text, images, or both) to be included in the first pamphlet on urban data, geographic information systems, and new design scenarios for cities that result from understanding and manipulating vast amounts of information.

We’re particularly interested in the older industrial cities of the Great Lakes region, but welcome contributions about other cities if they are broadly applicable to the topic or offer a useful comparison or contrast to Great Lakes conditions.

Click HERE to view Key Questions and Submission Guidelines. The deadline for submissions is January 11, 2016, 5:00 PM (EST).

11-16-15

ULI Competition Strategy Session | November 20

This Friday, November 20, from 12-1 pm the CUDC lunch lecture will feature strategies for the Urban Land Institute’s 2016 Urban Design Competition. Past participants recognized in the competition will be presenting their work and share their insights for competing in this noted international competition. Interested students for the 2016 competition should consider attending either the lunch lecture, or the ULI Team Formation session, also on Friday, from 5:00-6:30 pm.

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In past years, graduate students from the CUDC, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University have collaborated together to win four honorable mentions. More information on the competition can be found here.

The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 12-1 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

 

11-09-15

Emad Khazraee Lecture | November 13

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This week we welcome Emad Khazree to our Fall Lecture Series. Emad is a Sociotechnical Information Scientist and Assistant Professor in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at Kent State University. His talk is titled,  Mapping Digital Divide: Spatial Analysis of Information Access and Socio-Demographic Variables in the City of Philadelphia. 

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This study is an attempt to spatially identify areas where provision of public library and information services are insufficient, by mapping the spatial distribution of inequity of access to information services in Philadelphia. GIS techniques were applied to investigate the existence of a relationship between spatial orientation, socio-economic factors and information access. The findings of this study suggest the existence of a spatial pattern in relation to disparity in the distribution of information resources in Philadelphia. A secondary analysis utilized the aforementioned findings to assess the existence of patterns of library service provision on a limited data set. The results of analyses indicate that in the disadvantaged areas of Philadelphia, public libraries play the role of Internet access gateways. The findings can be used to better locate the future public library and information service centers in the city of Philadelphia.

Emad Khazraee has held a Post-Doctoral research fellow position at the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (2014-2015). He received his Ph.D. in Information Studies from College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University. His research is formed around the interplay between social and technical phenomena. Currently, he is studying the relationship between digital technologies, new media and social change. Emad is studying the cultural differences in new media use and the relationship between social change and digital technologies. Relying on sociotechnical approaches to social media studies and conceptual frameworks developed in Science Technology Studies (STS), he is exploring the role of social media in social transformations. Emad also received his Master’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Tehran. In addition to practicing as an architect in Iran, he worked in the preservation of historical monuments and sites before joining the Encyclopaedia of Iranian Architectural History (EIAH) in 2006, where he was the director of the IT Department (2006-2009), with the goal of creating infrastructure for meaningful integration of information technology into cultural heritage practices.

The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 12-1 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

11-05-15

Bill Willoughby Lecture | November 6th

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This week as part of our Fall Lecture Series we welcome Bill Willoughby, Associate Dean and Associate Professor at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. His talk is titled, Changing Places: Affect, Activism, and Urban Refitting. Here is an excerpt from Bill about his talk:

“Every day, events affect the city and its citizens. This preceding statement points to the simple potential in all urban places to yield and affect changes upon people and things. The items in a citizen’s pockets or handbag form a geography of occasions, force, and exchanges than have small but precipitous influences throughout the city. Starting with the contents in my pocket, I can derive an affect theory for urban place. From these pocketed forms of identity, access, networks, and instruments of purchase power, transit, political and social affiliation, I envision a theory of affects in which the places where we encounter other people and things are subtly refitted through our actions—and the affect places make on us. This lecture looks at ways artists, architects, and urbanists refit places through art, activism, and other derivations of affect.”

Bill Willoughby is an architect, educator, and essayist. After graduating from Kent State University and beginning his architectural career in Cleveland, he served as an assistant professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and later became an educator and administrator at Louisiana Tech University where he served for 15 years. In 2013, he boomeranged back to Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design to serve as Associate Dean and Associate Professor. He founded the Community Design Activism Center (CDAC) at Louisiana Tech University and has published on architecture and urbanism from a cultural studies perspective since 1993.

Join us from 12-1 PM at the CUDC. As always, free and open to the public.

CUDC
1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115