Students learn the design process at CMA/MOOS workshop


Last Wednesday we had the pleasure of working with high school students from the Museum Ambassadors Program at the Cleveland Museum of Art. We were asked to lead a workshop as part of the CUDC’s Making Our Own Space (MOOS) initiative. Created in January 2015, MOOS is an ongoing effort to engage Cleveland youth through hands-on design projects to empower and inspire the next generation of placemakers.



Museum Ambassadors is a twelve-year-old, multi-visit program, where high school juniors and seniors and their teachers gain experience in all aspects of museum life at the Cleveland Museum of Art and other University Circle institutions. Guided by museum staff and volunteers, museum ambassadors come to the museum for a full day once a month to participate in presentations, projects, and discussions relating to different departments in the museum. The program currently serves 80 students and teachers from Bedford, Hawken, John Hay, Lincoln-West, Shaker, Shaw, Strongsville, and Westlake high schools and the Cleveland School of the Arts.


We invited the group of over 30 students to participate in a fast-paced exercise to design a piece of furniture for the museum. Students were asked to imagine the user needs for different age groups, including themselves (teenagers), children, and the elderly. We led them through the whole design process from sketching and brainstorming, to design iteration and group presentations. After building a quick model in SketchUp on the computer, each team uploaded their design to an augmented reality app and viewed the model through iPads to see what their furniture would look like 3D in a real setting.



The final presentations produced some really creative ideas, crafted through multiple design tools and quick iterations. We hope that this intense, yet fun, workshop had the students thinking about a career in the design fields. To view more pictures click here.



Havana: the future never happened by itself…



On October 7th, the CUDC hosted a lecture by the influential Cuban architect and urban planner, Miguel Coyula. Professor Coyula is on the faculty at the University of Havana. In his lecture at the CUDC, he talked about Havana–past, present, and future. He organized his remarks around a central idea:

The future never happened by itself. It was created.

As many have observed, Havana is a city that feels fixed in time. Yet everything is on the verge of change. Buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces throughout the city are crumbling due to the decades-long embargo, widespread poverty, and a complex political system that allocates resources inefficiently. As foreign capital flows into Cuba at an accelerating rate, local entrepreneurs and outside investors are beginning to transform the city. The long term cultural effects and the physical form of the city in the future are as yet unknown. And Havana’s future is yet to be created.



Professor Coyula is both optimistic and concerned about the future of Havana. He sees opportunities to learn from other cities; that every city can show you something, good or bad. But despite the outside pressures and international influences that will inevitably be part of Havana’s regeneration, his advice to architects and planners in Cuba is to:

Think Cuban. Be Cuban. Don’t imitate.

In the US, we’re on the outside looking in. But that too is about to change. Havana poses many complex questions…about architecture, real estate development, historic preservation, and infrastructure networks. We have a remarkable opportunity to both support reconstruction efforts in Havana with new technologies and design expertise, and simultaneously learn from the resourcefulness and tenacity of the many Cubans who’ve held their city together under difficult circumstances for the past six decades.

Havana remains a vibrant place, though the scale of disinvestment feels overwhelming at times. But there’s good reason for optimism and the US and Cuba gradually rediscover each other.

The Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the CUDC are exploring opportunities to engage our students, faculty, and research staff in Cuban design issues. In March of 2015, CAED Dean Doug Steidl and CUDC Director Terry Schwarz traveled to Havana with Jorge Delgado and James Thompson of the Joaquin Weiss Institute. The purpose of this trip was to observe the physical environment of the city and provide initial reactions about how future development might evolve. We also used the trip to explore ideas for future academic programs. Our findings are summarized in a report: CUBA_observations.

The CUDC is grateful to Kent State University President Lester Lefton who provided support for Miguel Coyula’s visit to Cleveland, and also to KSU Professor Anne Morrison who organized the event. Anne is organizing a study trip to Cuba from December 31, 2015 – January 8, 2016. If you’d like to see Cuba for yourself, contact Anne at amorriso[at]kent.edu for more information.


Miguel Coyula Lecture | October 7th

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Miguel Coyula is an architect, urban planner, and professor at the University of Havana. He will give a comprehensive overview of Havana from its origins to the present, ending with an open question shared by many people these day: What kind of city will Havana be in the coming years?

The event will be held at:

Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
Kent State University
Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Directions to the CUDC

Following Professor Coyula’s talk, there will be a light dinner catered by Earth Bistro Café featuring contemporary American cuisine with a Cuban flair. This event is free and made possible by KSU President Emeritus Lester Lefton, but REGISTRATION is required.

For any inquiries regarding the event, please contact the CUDC.



7 Ways To Become A Better Forest Citizen

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Happy Arbor Day 2015!

Today is Arbor Day (April 24th this year), a holiday dedicated to planting and caring for trees. Could there be a more worthwhile activity? As many Subaru bumpers proclaim, Trees Are The Answer to many problems. This is especially true in our neck of the woods.

We all know one of Cleveland’s nicknames is The Forest City, but what can we do as residents to better live up to this title?

Be a good Forest Citizen and check out these opportunities to show some love to the leafy friends that make our city a better place:

  1. Get your hands dirty at the Adventure Tree Planting at Whitesburg Park in Chagrin Falls on Sat., April 25, 9am. Learn more on the Facebook event page here.
  2. Did you know the City of Cleveland will plant 1,000 trees in the next two years? Learn more about the Cleveland’s urban reforestation plan.
  3. Check out Cuyahoga County’s Tree Canopy Interactive Map to see how your home’s tree canopy compares to surrounding communities.
  4. Learn more about the Western Reserve Land Conservancy‘s Reforest Our City initiative, which offers Tree Steward Trainings and grant programs: http://www.wrlandconservancy.org/ReforestOurCity.htm
  5. Did you know roadside trees reduce nearby indoor air pollution by more than 50%? Learn more about the health and economic benefits of having leafy neighbors with these Tree Facts
  6. Attend the Arbor Day 2015 event at The Holden Arboretum tomorrow, April 25th from 10am-4pm, which includes tree seedling giveaways, kids guided tree climb, and Great Lake Timber Show.
  7. Search all of Ohio for a volunteer opportunity or create your own event. Visit Arbor Day Foundation’s Volunteer Center.

Enjoy your Forest City!


Keith Hayes + Nikole Bouchard | In Version: The Mistaking of Placemaking

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Join AIA Cleveland and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for the next lecture in the Emerging Practitioners Series as we welcome visiting designers Keith Hayes and Nikole Bouchard. Based in Milwaukee, Keith and Nikole are currently working in Cleveland’s St. Clair Superior neighborhood on the matireal landshape project. Focused on creating an up-cycled public plaza, the project will reuse discarded tires to construct topography and engage residents to build community.

In Version: The Mistaking of Placemaking
A first hand perspective on the amalgam of forces at work (Keith) and the role of architecture in the field of public interest design (Nikole).

Friday, April 24, 2015
CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115
Lecture is free and open to the public.
Visit the Facebook event page here.

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As a designer and social entrepreneur, Keith Hayes is informed by interfacing with resources, landscape, and language.

ln 2010, he launched beintween, a social and spatial organization improv(is)ing leftover spaces, based in Milwaukee, WI. Noteworthy accomplishments include a successfully funded Kickstarter for matireal, an 8 acre linear corridor known as the artery, a guerilla installation known as the swing park, and the organization of a design/build coopetition. He is now actively pursuing partnerships to develop a takerspace, the reclamation of a double lot + vacant home in Milwaukee, in addition to a plaza proposal in Cleveland. Hayes informs his practice through the application of relationships, resources, and research through a process he refers to as sp/acement, whereby arts and cultural development become a retainer of community rather than a token to displace it.

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, MArch
University of Miami, BArch

Nikole Bouchard’s research focuses on how the intersection between architecture, landscape, and infrastructure can stimulate ecologically sensitive and culturally relevant design interventions.

Nikole has previously taught at Syracuse University, Cornell University, The University of Waterloo and The University of Toronto. While teaching in Canada, Nikole collaborated with Toronto-based InfraNet Lab/Lateral Office on various design competitions and exhibitions. During this time, a number of award-winning projects were produced, including the 2011 Holcim Gold project Regional Food-Gathering Nodes and Logistics Network in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Prior to joining InfraNet Lab/Lateral Office, Nikole worked at the offices of Steven Holl Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in New York City.

Princeton University, MArch
Cornell University, BArch

For more information, contact the CUDC at cudc(at)kent.edu or call (216) 357-3438.


Spring Lecture Series | Terry Schwarz



Terry Schwarz

Friday, April 24th 12-1pm

CUDC Conference Room, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200

Event is free and all are welcome!

Click here to RSVP.

Cuba–hasta siempre

Havana, Cuba is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, despite decades of disinvestment in its historic architecture and civic infrastructure. As diplomatic relations begin to improve between the US and Cuba and the long-standing trade embargo is lifted, foreign investment will pour into Havana. The rapid influx of new money and ideas may help to stabilize Havana, but will also inevitably disrupt and transform the city in unpredictable ways.

Last month, Doug Steidl, Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State, and Terry Schwarz, Director of KSU’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, traveled to Cuba at the invitation of Hiram College and the Joaquín Weiss Institute. At Friday’s lunch talk, Terry will discuss some emerging opportunities for design and urban regeneration in Havana.

To RSVP, please click here. (RSVPs encouraged, but not required.)

For more information, please contact us at cudc@kent.edu or (216) 357-3434.


Lecture 4/29: Richard Kennedy of Field Operations

AIA Cleveland JCFO April Event

AIA Cleveland and the Kent State CUDC are pleased to host an evening lecture from Richard Kennedy of James Corner Field Operations. As Principal In Charge of the Public Square project, Richard will discuss the aspirations of the redesign of Cleveland’s most prominent public space. The two part event will start at the CUDC, then continue at the new AIA Cleveland Center for Architecture & Design, nearby.

Richard Kennedy Lecture
Wednesday, April 29th
5:30p -6:30pm
CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115
Directions here

AIA Cleveland Center for Architecture & Design Grand Opening Party
Wednesday, April 29th
AIA Cleveland, 2059 East 14th Street
Cleveland, OH 44115

Space is limited to 100 seats for the event, so attendees must register. Tickets are available for $5 for all AIA Members and $20 for Non-Members.

Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided at the AIA Cleveland Center for Architecture & Design during the Grand Opening Ceremony. This program is approved for 1.5 HSW Learning Units.

To register for the event or obtain more information, please visit: AIA Cleveland Lecture and Launch



A recent rendering of the current plan for Cleveland’s Public Square, designed by James Corner Field Operations.


Spring Lecture Series | MAKER



M A K E R // Westleigh Harper and Michael Horton
Friday, April 17th
CUDC Conference Room, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Event is free and all are welcome!
Click here to RSVP.

Elastic Limits

MAKER is a Cleveland-based design studio established in 2011 by Westleigh Harper and Michael Horton. The firm was founded on the principle of responsibly contributing to the development of the City’s urban fabric. Through design, construction and planning exercises, they seek to uncover the inherent potentials specific to each site while progressing the design culture of the region forward. In addition, factors such as project timeline, budget, site constraints and zoning restrictions are viewed as generative attributes. This method has instigated new opportunities within each project, allowing their studio to produce thought-provoking work and contribute to the success of our Cleveland neighborhoods.

Their lecture, titled “Elastic Limits”, will follow the trajectory of their growing practice from its inception in 2011 to the present. Maximizing density, material exploration, and responding to client and zoning challenges are common themes throughout their body of work and have served as the guiding ethos behind their design process.

To RSVP, please click here. (RSVPs encouraged, but not required.)

For more information, please contact us at cudc@kent.edu or (216) 357-3434.



Spring Lecture Series | Jack Bialosky Jr.

Jack Bialosky


Jack Bialosky Jr | Senior Principal and Managing Partner, Bialosky + Partners Architects
Friday, April 10th
CUDC Conference Room, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Event is free and all are welcome!

Staying Out of the Niche: How to keep your firm fresh and relevant in an ever-changing world

The talk will explore the diversity and evolution of the work and culture of Bialosky + Partners Architects. A talk in three parts; first Jack will take a brief walk through the progression of major projects in the firm’s 60 year history. Each design represents a milestone in the firm’s history and contains key advancements and knowledge that builds and informs the next work. This also provides a window into the progressing culture of the firm. Second, Jack will discuss how to build a great firm culture and what talents, skills, and qualities the firm looks for in its staff. The talk will conclude with a quick presentation of current work and a picture of where the firm is headed over the next 10 years.

Learning objectives include the following:

1. Why diversity of project types and scale are more fun
2. Winning new project types through collaboration
3. Applying design knowledge across various project types
4. How to build a great firm culture
5. What it takes to secure and advance in a position at a great firm


Jack A. Bialosky, Jr., AIA, LEED AP, leads one of the Midwest’s most successful and collaborative architecture firms, Bialosky + Partners Architects.

Jack A. Bialosky, Jr., the son of a prominent Cleveland architect, assumed leadership of a firm widely known for its modern residential and religious projects. After working at Kallman McKinnell & Wood Architects in Boston, Jack returned to Cleveland to initiate 20+ years of stewardship and transformation of his father’s small local firm, Bialosky + Partners Architects. The firm is known for the quality of its designs, the trust of their clients, the longevity of its staff, and the diversity of its portfolio.

In addition to design awards, the firm garnered the 2013 Northcoast 99 Award that recognizes the highest ranked workplaces in Northeast Ohio across all sectors.  In 2009, the firm was recognized by the American Institute of Architects as an AIA Ohio Gold Medal Firm, the highest honor awarded by its peers, in recognition of great depth and breadth, a collaborative environment, and having a cumulative effect on the profession over a substantial period of time. Jack’s initiative to seek out other collaborative designers and artists has resulted in ongoing partnerships with designers such as Maya Lin, David Moss, and Architecture Research Office.

For more information, please contact the CUDC at cudc@kent.edu or call (216) 357-3434.


Spring Lecture Series | India Pierce Lee

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Join us for our upcoming Friday Lunch Talk with guest speaker India Pierce Lee. She will share lessons and work since completing the Loeb Fellowship from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Friday, March 20th
12pm – 1pm
CUDC Conference Room
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200

India Pierce Lee joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2006 as program director for neighborhoods, housing and community development. She oversees the foundation’s Greater University Circle Initiative, a unique multi-institutional anchor-based partnership engaged in catalytic projects to revitalize neighborhoods that include transportation, wealth building and economic inclusion, employer-assisted housing, and community engagement. Ms. Lee is a graduate of the Louis Stokes Fellowship in Community Development from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, where she obtained a Master of Science degree in social administration.

In 2010 she served on the Design Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. In April 2014 she lectured at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design on Cleveland’s Greater University Circle Initiative: Building a 21st Century City through the Power of Anchor Institution Collaboration and in May served as the commencement speaker at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences where she received the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award for outstanding contributions to the social work profession, the community and the Mandel School.

Ms. Lee serves on several boards and has been recognized for outstanding service to Cleveland throughout her career, including receiving keys to the City of Cleveland from former Mayor Michael White and the City of Dallas-Fort Worth by former Mayor Jewell Woods. In January of 2012 she was appointed by Mayor Frank Jackson to the City of Cleveland’s Civil Service Commission.

As always, our lectures are free and open to the public.


Spring Lecture Series | Jennifer Coleman


Where do the intersections of urban design, architecture and entrepreneurship merge? Find out Friday, March 13, 2015 as we welcome Jennifer Coleman to our Spring Lecture Series.

As an architect & entrepreneur Jennifer Coleman has over 24 years experience in the field of architecture and has managed the design, bidding and construction observation of a diverse array of building projects. Her company, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC, is dedicated to improving life in the city through smart design, combining a traditional architectural design and planning practice with community engagement and history gathering and website and graphic design. She is also the founder and CEO of CityProwl, a company producing urban walking-tours that can be downloaded from the Internet to digital media players for self-led tours. Jennifer received a $30,000 startup grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Civic Innovation Lab.

Ms. Coleman is Chair of both the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and Downtown/Flats District Design Review Committee and was appointed to the Mayor’s 2010 Group Plan Commission. She is a past board member of the Ohio Board of Building Standards. An avid civic volunteer, she is past president of the Cleveland Chapter of Links, Inc. and has served as an officer on the boards of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She is also a board member of LAND Studio, the Cleveland Arts Prize, Cleveland International Film Festival and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, March 13th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.



Rooms to Let: CLE | Call for Artist


Built upon the overwhelming success of the inaugural Rooms to Let: Cleveland last year, the innovative event will return to the Slavic Village neighborhood on Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, 2015. Artists will create a temporary art exhibition using vacant homes as their medium. The event, free and open to the public, will also include a neighborhood block party with live music, hands-on art activities and local food purveyors.

Led by Slavic Village Development, Rooms to Let: Cleveland seeks to continue the conversation around vacancy and the plight of Cleveland’s historic neighborhoods in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. This year’s event will expand this dialogue to a new group of visual and performance artists to further interpret the evolution of community and recovery.

Interested artists should apply here. The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2015.

Rooms To Let: Cleveland is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Slavic Village Development is an entrepreneurial non-profit neighborhood redevelopment organization serving the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland with over 30 years of experience in community development.


Applications for SPACES R&D Season ends December 5


SPACES Gallery is exploring the concept of Invisibility during its 2016 R&D season in order to bridge different artistic disciplines through a holistic framework, connect various projects across multiple platforms, and encourage an investigative examination of timely issues.

This open call requests that artists respond to Invisibility with proposals that explore the theme for its multiple dimensions, including but not limited to: labor, surveillance, debt, dematerialization, power, marginalization, transparency, hidden structures. They are especially interested in projects that expand conventional notions of Invisibility while offering new insight into contemporary art and exhibition-making.

This call-for-entries is open to all established or emerging artists, curators and cultural producers who are 21 years old or older. Applications must show a response to the theme of Invisibility, a strong conceptual grounding, and a willingness to delve into research and then develop that research into projects.

The deadline for applications is December 5, 2014. For more information and to apply please visit here.


Night Market Preview | December 6

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All are welcome to come enjoy live music, fire side chats, cold weather wear swap, gift wrapping and FREE lantern making at the Night Market Preview—located in the Superior Arts Neighborhood of Cleveland’s Campus District. This is a smaller scale version of the Night Market planned by St. Clair Superior this spring. The event invites us all to join in the holiday spirit for an outdoor evening of fun!

WHEN: Saturday, December 6th
4-8 PM Night Market Preview
5-7 PM FREE chili from The Manna Truck
6 PM Superior Arts Banner Celebration
WHERE: 2203 Superior Ave.
BRING: If you can, something for the cold weather wear swap!

The event will coincide with the 27th Annual Holiday Open Studio & Sale taking place at the ArtCraft Building, 2570 Superior Ave. Tower Press & Artefino, 1900 Superior Ave. will also be hosting open studios and displaying local artwork.

The event is a partnership of Campus District, Inc., Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, Brite Winter, Needs Cleveland, and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

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Massimo and Lella Vignelli | December 1, 2014


Join AIGA Cleveland, the Consulate of Italy in Detroit, AIA, the Cleveland Institute of Art and Kent State University ‘s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative for an evening celebrating the lives and work of Massimo and Lella Vignelli.

Panelists include R. Roger Remington, Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design, RIT; Dr. Renato Miracco, Cultural Attache, Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C.; and Steven Litt, Moderator, Art and Architecture Critic, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com. RSVPs are needed by November 24, 2014, and can be sent to maryhelen[at]aiacleveland.com. There is no cost for attendance at this event.

December 1st, 2014
5:30 PM (event will begin at 5:45 PM)
Cleveland Institute of Art – Russell B. Aitken Auditorium
11141 East Boulevard Cleveland Ohio

In preparation for the main event on December 1, the CUDC will be hosting an in-house screening of Gary Hustwit’s film Helvetica, which features Vignelli prominently. The screening is this Monday, November 24 at 5:30pm at the CUDC, 1309 Prospect Avenue. Buzz for entry. There will be popcorn!