This Friday, September 19th, Rob and Melanie Dower will discuss their personal journeys to establish their individual career paths, as they settled in the City of Pittsburgh. They will discuss key moments in their career, defining projects, seizing opportunities, and the influential literature and mentors in their lives. Rob and Melanie will share their experience balancing their family life while always striving to push themselves to the next level of their careers. They will even touch on the struggle to have two architects attempt to renovate a home together! Rob and Melanie look forward to being able to share the knowledge they have gained to date, and hope that it will help to inspire others to “Find the Right Fit”.
Melanie Buzgan Dower graduated from Kent State University with a Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design in 2006. After graduation, Melanie moved to Pittsburgh and joined Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. Now an Associate, Melanie has spent her last 8 years expanding her leadership role. With a focus on workplace excellence and integrated systems, Melanie has carved her niche and found herself on a longer term trajectory in the firm. Melanie continues to balance her work-life ratio as an active mom of two, while also influencing some of the most meaningful architecture in the City of Pittsburgh.
Rob Dower graduated from Kent State University with a Master of Architecture and Certificate of Urban Design in 2006. After graduation, Rob moved to Pittsburgh and joined Strada Architecture, LLC. Immediately recognized as a key designer in the firm, Rob has worked closely on some of the most influential new projects in the City of Pittsburgh. Rob works on a wide array of project types and has continued to be a leader in the firm for the past 8 years.
What would your neighborhood look like if your neighbors and you designed it together? What could the community look like if it was built from a place of trust and respect towards each other, and nurtured local ecology? This Friday, September 12, Divya Sridhar will share how City Repair attempts to explore the power of people through collaborative place making in urban spaces, and reconnects them to each other and to the local environment.
Divya Sridhar is a graduate of the M.Arch program from the class of 2006, and a LEED AP. She’s a Permaculture Certified Designer and a mom. She facilitates design approach and outcomes in neighborhoods for a process called City Repair.
The weekend of October 3-4, 2014 Kent State University Alumni are invited to return to campus to see the changes and what the future holds for College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). The college will be hosting a number of events to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new building; this is an ideal time to visit your alma mater!
The CAED wants this to be a great experience for you; a time to reconnect, participate in the building project and meet alumni from other years. More than 10 classes have committed to reunions and many alumni are planning to return to campus. Their hope is to have more than 150 alumni come back to campus and celebrate together.
If you have any questions please contact Wiley Runnestrand (wrunnest[at]kent.edu) or Marti Ring (mkring1[at]kent.edu); especially if you are interested in planning a reunion for your class.
by Justin Glanville
My kayak’s bow splashes quietly through the river, my knuckles skimming the surface with each paddle. The water feels warmer than I expected, almost welcoming.
It doesn’t smell bad, either — just a mild mix of mud and ripe, midsummer leaves. This is a surprise in the infamous Cuyahoga River, once so polluted it caught fire repeatedly. Its last blaze, in 1969, got so much attention it inspired the federal Clean Water Act.
Our first Post Graduate Fellow, Julie Whyte, will be leaving the CUDC after her 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. Julie shared with us some of her thoughts about her time here at the CUDC and what she was able to accomplish. We wish her well in her next adventure!
What did this year-long Fellowship mean to you?
This year meant being able to be fully integrated into the workings of the CUDC, from the project side to the academic side. It meant the opportunity to work with and learn from a talented and multidisciplinary staff that is dedicated to promoting positive change in Cleveland and the broader region. I’ve spent the last year exploring what it means to work for a non-profit urban design practice and what it means to be a public-interest designer. On the personal side, I became a Clevelander, began volunteering to play piano for Alzheimer’s patients at a local nursing home, utilized public transit, and joined the local cycling community. Becoming ingrained in multiple aspects of the community expanded my perspective and enabled me to be a better designer.
What were some of the highlights of the Fellowship?
I’ve had the privilege in being involved with many great projects over the past year. One of my favorite projects is the Homeless Initiative, which focuses both on neighborhood-scale interventions to benefit the Campus District neighborhood as a whole, as well as targeted interventions to directly impact and benefit the homeless population. I have enjoyed working with the homeless, aiming to improve their quality of life and help provide them with a sense of empowerment, while working with local stakeholders with the goal of benefitting the entire neighborhood.
Another highlight was the opportunity I had to travel with the staff and students to Indiana for a charrette based in the Indianapolis’ midtown neighborhood. Throughout this design-intense weekend, we collaborated with staff and students from Detroit-based Lawrence Tech and Indiana’s own Ball State University. The students truly light up in that kind of interactive, hands-on environment, and they came up with some fantastic design ideas.
What will you miss most about working at the CUDC?
Aside from the people of course, I will most miss the projects. The CUDC consistently pursues the projects that truly matter. At the end of the day, you feel like you contributed to the community in a positive way. Whether the project is client-based or grant-funded, the CUDC strives to unearth the design solution or solutions that can most benefit the neighborhood where the project is located as well as the broader community.
What’s next for you upon the conclusion of the Fellowship?
What’s next for me is to shift to more Architectural work while still continuing to develop my skills in Urban Design. The Fellowship has been great for helping me along my path of figuring out where I fit in the design profession. I’m aiming to pursue both Architecture and Urban Design and to continually pursue work that is multidisciplinary, because I firmly belief that design is most powerful when it engages at multiple scales.
This summer, July 25-26, Kent State University faculty and staff will embark on the first ever Crooked River Commute. This kayaking trek along the Cuyahoga River from Kent State University’s main campus to Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative is intended to promote the river as a shared regional asset for education, recreation, and sustainability.
Cheer us on.
Meet us at the start and finish of the trip. We’ll begin early morning (7-7:30am) on Friday, July 25th at Heritage Park in Kent and end with a celebration late evening (6-6:45pm) on Saturday, July 26th at the Coast Guard Station during The Burning River Festival in Cleveland.
Follow us for updates.
Share our story.
Tell your friends, family and social network about the Crooked River Commute. We’ll live-tweet during the trip, using hashtag: #RiverCommute
Read the two-page summary below to learn more about the backstory and goals of the trip:
The landscape architecture profession is projected to grow by 14% nationally over the next decade. Be part of a graduate program intent on reimagining Northeast Ohio’s landscape for the benefit of future generations.
We invite you to consider our new Master of Landscape Architecture program, housed at Kent State University’s CUDC facility in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square District. We are pleased to offer one of only two professionally-oriented Landscape Architecture program in Ohio and the only one of its kind located in Northeast Ohio.
Please join us at our Master of Landscape Architecture Open House event to learn more about the program and enjoy a networking lunch with local professionals, student peers, and faculty.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Kent State University’s CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
Please reserve your place for this event before June 25, 2014. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW or call 330-672-3765.
Congratulations to Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) graduate students Jeff Jasinki and Matt Dureiko for receiving 2nd Place and $1000 in the 2014 DawnTown Alternative Mobilities Design Competition in Miami, Florida!
DawnTown is the annual public international architecture ideas competition for Downtown Miami. DawnTown’s mission is to bring innovative architecture to Downtown Miami, and to tell the exciting urban story of Downtown Miami to the world.
The 2014 Alternative Mobilities Design Competition was sponsored by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The Miami DDA’s Master Plan called for the promotion of regional connectivity and creative mobility solutions. This inspired DawnTown to develop a program based upon the alternative strategies people can take to moving around their downtown without having to rely on a single automobile. Using examples such as bicycle storage and sharing, car sharing, and ride sharing, they asked designers to create a nexus of where these strategies could meet and call home. This central hub would be located in a dense part of downtown’s Central Business District and would not replace the existing options we have; On the contrary, the proposal would bolster Miami’s transportation network.
Their project “Mobile Miami” stresses the importance of intermodal transportation as a growing urban trend in the city. The concept projects real-time digital information to communicate the availability of all modes of on-site transportation. This allows for absolute freedom of choice on how to better connect with Miami.
Jeff Jasinki and Matt Dureiko are both graduate students in Kent State University’s College of Architecture & Environmental Design pursing their dual degree, Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design, at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.
This spring, a ten week graduate studio led by the CUDC’s David Jurca and Kristen Zeiber explored urban design strategies to reframe the Cuyahoga River corridor as an eco-tourism destination and regional spine for new sustainable development. Throughout the course, students worked at multiple scales to understand the complex economic, ecological, and cultural forces that would impact their design proposals. Students ultimately developed urban design projects that engaged this confluence of issues at two very different sites along the Cuyahoga River: Cleveland’s Scranton Peninsula and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park surrounding the Brecksville Dam.
The City Relink Project, by Carolyn Emmer and Adam Hirsh, evolved through a redefinition of Cleveland’s Industry for the 21st Century, based upon the rugged industrial history of Scranton Peninsula. Emphasizing sustainable industry, the site is proposed to house pharmaceutical and biomedical manufacturing facilities as an extension of Cleveland’s Health Tech Corridor.
City Relink by Carolyn Emmer and Adam Hirsh
Threaded Paths, by Megan Haftl and Isaac Ocasio, proposes to transform Brecksville into an ecotourism destination within the larger network of the Cuyahoga River. During the research phase of their project, they discovered that Brecksville was in close proximity to another city, Macedonia, on the east side of the river. Both of these cities have tributaries running through them, creating an important hydrological connection between the two. Each city lacked certain amenities that the other city had, essentially creating a balanced destination, when considered in tandem. The routes that connect these two cities (both water and roadway) pass through the Breckville Dam site, creating an opportunity for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to stitch together the two towns. In order to achieve the overall goal of making the site a destination within a larger regional network, Threaded Paths proposes a grand, multimodal infrastructure intervention to link the valley to surrounding tourist amenities.
Threaded Paths by Megan Haftl and Isaac Ocasio
All Aboard–Linking the Region with Water and Rail, by Jonathan Nagy and Mia Katz, proposed the Brecksville Reservation as a new destination that makes it an asset for regional and local connections. The amphitheaters bridge these local and regional connections through its participation in what they proposed to be “The Music Line,” which utilizes the existing Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The line is to run from Jacob’s Pavilion in Cleveland south to Blossom Music Center, with the Brecksville Reservation as a central stop. The project proposes an ecologically designed area of flooding along the river’s edge, as well as a series of recreational services related to the new water environment.
All Aboard- Linking the Region with Water and Rail by Jonathan Nagy and Mia Katz
Find more information about these projects and student work here.
The Bike Box Living Lab was headed by Dr. Reid Coffman who brought together a team of CUDC graduate students consisting of Claire Markwardt, Neil Reindel, Josh Thomas, and Pasquale Esposito to explore design and experiment concepts that would be tested on the flagship bike box at Gordon Square adjacent to Happy Dog. With help from local fabricators, Rustbelt Welding, the bike box was prepared for conversion into the first bike box with a green roof in Cleveland, and now the site of the Living Labs exploration in soil compositions effects on water quality.
The Bike Box represents existing concepts re-imagined in the exploration of point source water mitigation and filtration. With water quality being a prevalent issue in many cities including Cleveland, The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District granted funding that spurred the Bike Box Living Lab concept to be explored within the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.
The roof itself is divided into two separate zones; the first being a control side, the second implementing mycorrhizae to test its ability to increase productivity of native species while reducing nutrient and runoff discharge. Mycorrhizae, are natural occurring soil fungus which form symbiotic associations with the roots of vascular plants. In a mycorrhizal association, the fungus colonizes the host plant’s roots, and aides in the plant’s uptake of water and nutrients.
Runoff water from the roof is collected into two separate tanks storing water separately from the two experimental zones of the roof. This provides the ability to test water quality improvements that result from the use of mycorrhizae. A pump is connected into the storing tanks allowing the collected water to be reused as the roof irrigation system. This hand pump is placed in an easily accessible location which allows the public to directly interact with the roof itself.
Dr. Reid Coffman and the CUDC have committed to studying the roof for 10 years. Beginning this summer they will be recording water and planter interactions that will be studied over the long-term. A summary of the project and the initial findings will be presented by the students at this year’s CitiesAlive Conference in Nashville, TN November 12-15, 2014.
For more information and a detailed description of the Bike Box Living Lab download the project sheet here.
The Master of Urban Design Capstone Project final reviews will take place at the CUDC May 7-8, 2014. The reviews will begin each morning at 9:00 AM, with a closing reception on Thursday at 6:00 PM where attendees can review all the projects and enjoy some light refreshments. Click here for a detailed list of presentations and times.
All reviews are free and open to the public. The CUDC is located at 1309 Euclid Avenues, Suite 200. Please contact Steve Rugare at srugare (at) kent.edu for me information.
Summer design/build experience at The College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) starts in June! Enroll now to build a CAED designed project in Cleveland and earn credit and IDP hours.
The CAED has opened two field study sections this summer to work on the construction for the design/build project, led by Professor Chris Maurer. The project will be a renovation of this home in the St. Clair/ Superior District of Cleveland, Ohio.
Students will work side by side with experienced contractors, construction workers, construction management students, and architects; and will learn many of the trades required to renovate a home.
The sections are M-F 1:00 – 6:15 PM in Summer I (June 9- July 12) and Summer III (July 14 – August 16). They are each worth 3 upper-division-elective credit hours and students can earn IDP hours for their work on site. Summer I will deal mostly with rough construction and Summer III with finish work.
Look for course number ARCH 46992. Please enroll now as there are a limited number of spaces available.
Students may only enroll in one of the sections for credits that count toward graduation.
***Housing can be made available in Cleveland for students taking the course. Please contact Professor Maurer with any questions: cmaurer(at)kent.edu
The City of Lakewood is seeking a part-time urban design intern to work directly with planning staff and the City Architect to gain hands-on practical experience working on planning and design related issues in the city. It is the city’s objective to provide an intern with portfolio caliber projects. The intern will spend 20 hours a week working individually and collaboratively to complete assigned projects by a given timeline.
Detailed description available here.
Our Spring Lunch Lecture Series is back April 4th, from 12- 1 PM. This Friday’s featured speaker will be Matt Schmidt.
Matt Schmidt, a graduate of Kent State University and the CUDC, will be speaking about his career in architecture and planning in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio communities. Matt has been responsible for work in diverse neighborhoods while working for a private firm, and is now a Program Manager at the Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit whose mission is to foster healthy neighborhoods through parks and green spaces. At the Trust for Public Land, Matt is working in Cleveland neighborhoods to integrate parks within green infrastructure basin sites, bring publicly accessible fitness facilities to residents, and develop a series of trails and green spaces through the Flats to the Lake Erie waterfront. The discussion will follow the projects that he has been a part of, and his path from architecture to community-based neighborhood planning.
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Some of the projects that Matt Schmidt has been working on:
The reconstruction of Historic League Park is the focal point of a neighborhood planning study that unites resident, baseball and historic preservation communities to catalyze reinvestment.
The Central Choice Neighborhood Plan brought a holistic definition of “community” under consideration through its focus on Neighborhood, Housing and People.
The CUDC and The College of Architecture and Environmental Design will be celebrating the accomplishments of our students and the work they submitted for the Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition at the CUDC on April 14, 2014.
Students from Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University collaborated on five submissions, two of which received honorable mention. Please join us to find out about their projects and congratulate them on their success.
The five teams will have their work displayed for you to review as well as light hors d’oeuvres and beer/wine. This is a great time to network with fellow design professionals and learn about the work of the CAED students.
Space is limited, so please RSVP here.
April 14, 2014
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115