10-24-16

Ryan Dewey | Oct 28

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This week we welcome Ryan Dewey to our Fall Lecture Series. He will be speaking at the CUDC this Friday, October 28th,  at 12 PM. His talk is titled, “Landscaping the Deep Future”, is a land art project that speculates at how we can harness future climate conditions for human-geologic collaborations after human extinction by exploring formal relationships between supply chains and geologic forces. Supply chains already are a kind of geologic force in that they move natural materials faster and farther than nature ever could, this project makes use of that acceleration to prime landscapes for phase changes and activation at the transitions of deep future climactic regimes.

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GROOVESRyan Dewey does post-disciplinary translational research that crosses borders between expanded media, cognitive science, and environmental practice. He is the founder of Geologic Cognition Society, an open platform for collaboration focused on helping people experience nature in new ways. He is the author of the upcoming book Hacking Experience: New Tools for Artists from Cognitive Science (Punctum Books), and has also published in KERB, MONU, and Archinect on topics of urban design, landscape design, and spatial-emotional design. Dewey holds an MA from Case Western Reserve University where he served two appointments as visiting researcher in the Department of Cognitive Science exploring design cognition, ethnography, human attention, visual rhetoric and spatial cognition.

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Join us, Friday, October 28th, from 12 -1 PM. As always, this lecture is free and open to the public.

Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115

 

09-20-16

CUDC welcomes Post Graduate Fellow | Jonny Hanna

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The CUDC created the Post Graduate fellowship as a one-year position for recent graduates holding a Master’s degree in Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, or Planning. This year we welcome Jonny Hanna as our Post Graduate Fellow.

Jonny is a Detroit-based real estate developer, architect, and urban designer. He earned his B.S. Architecture and Master of Urban Design from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He has worked in varies design firm in and around the Detroit area, most recently working for A(n) Office on the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale for the U.S. Pavilion. He has previously worked for Clement Blanchet Architecture in Paris and Etchen Gumma Limited in Detroit. He has lectured and been an invited guest critic at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and Columbia Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation. His work has been featured on I Made That, Students of Architecture, Arquisemteta, and Paprika! His research focuses on alternative means of representation for projective urban conditions including, cartography, photography, videography and short story narrative writing.

We’re excited to have Jonny on board!

07-25-16

Urban and Social Policy Crowdsourcing Exercise

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The Urban and Social Policy Team of the French-American Foundation has invited almost 3,000 experts across the United States to participate in a crowdsourcing exercise. The aim is to identify clearly defined US urbanism and social problems that French-based practitioners could help resolve. Participating experts are drawn from local and federal government, charitable foundations, the private sector, nonprofits, academia and journalism.

The CUDC has a close relationship with the French-American Foundation. In 2012, CUDC Director Terry Schwarz participated in an international exchange that looked at challenges faced by older industrial cities in the US and France. Terry traveled to the former coal-mining cities of Lens and Lille and discovered that despite the differences of climate, culture, and language, Cleveland has much in common with French counterparts.

For example, in 2003 Paris experienced a deadly heatwave that claimed the lives of almost 15,000 people. Since then, French researchers, designers, public officials, and  residents have developed programs and projects to help protect the most vulnerable residents, especially the elderly, from the dangers of climate variability and change. As the City of Cleveland’s Office of Aging advances it’s Age Friendly Cleveland initiative with the publication of guidelines for staying safe in hot weather, perhaps there are lessons we can learn and share with our French counterparts. And this is just one of many possible areas of common interest.

The French-American Foundation is now conducting a crowdsourcing exercise to identify issues and priorities that French and US cities share. Participants are asked the following question:

If you could problem-solve/brainstorm one specific cities-related question with your French counterpart, what would it be?

Responses are limited to 1 or 2 sentences, so this exercise is quick and easy to complete. To participate, click here.

06-21-16

Cut the Cord by Sam Friesema

Our Post Graduate Fellow, Sam Friesema, 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. Before he left, Sam shared with us some of  the work he has been interested in at his time here at the CUDC. We wish him well in his next adventure!

Cut the Cord
by Sam Friesema

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In the early 1900s two enormous projects were undertaken simultaneously in Cleveland Ohio by the Van Sweringen brothers. Firstly, the garden city suburb community of Shaker Heights became one of the premier residential neighborhoods in the country. Secondly, the Cleveland Union Terminal (now Tower City) was an immense mixed-use facility. The complex’s 52 story Terminal Tower became a monumental symbol of the city’s successes. Standing at 771 feet tall, it was for a time the second tallest building in the world.

TC bp1 (1)Building Section through the Tower City Complex. The multiple linked buildings span several city blocks with multiple level changes and confusing wayfinding.

TC bp2 (1)Building Section through Tower City Complex with callouts.

Light Rail. Fueling and enabling these two projects was a third project critical to ensure the birth of the others. Shaker Heights was conceived first but as residential building lots initially sold slowly the developers needed a means to quickly transport their potential suburbanites, along with their wealth, to and from the heart of the city. The Van Sweringen brothers hastily assembled properties and easements which allowed the developers to install a light-rail rapid transit line from their new suburb to the city’s center at Public Square. Less iconic yet equally important, the transit project supplied the capital and populations necessary to fully construct the tower and the garden city. Interestingly, to secure a small one mile section of rail easement, the brothers bought an entire rail company with 523 miles of track spanning from Buffalo and Chicago which led to their eventual rail business holdings of over 30,000 miles of track and assets of an estimated $3 Billion.

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1902 Map of Greater Cleveland with highlighted Downtown, Shaker Heights, and the rail connections.

The rail line within Shaker Heights is a beautifully designed centerpiece along tree lined medians and half million dollar homes. However, once the rail line leaves Shaker Heights and cuts through poor sections of Cleveland en route to downtown, the line is sunken and hidden from view. The views to and from the transit line are obscured by grade changes and dense vegetation. Shaker residents are shielded from any views of the vacancy and poverty they are passing through. The transit line awkwardly slices through communities and pedestrian access is dangerously out of sight, unlike the well-planned stations within Shaker.

What if we removed the passenger light rail line connecting downtown Cleveland to Shaker Heights in order to re-evaluate regional public transportation options and to let the two communities build their own unique and separate self-identities moving forward?

Read more…

04-07-16

Helen Liggett Lecture | April 8

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This Friday, April 8th, we welcome Helen Liggett to our lecture series. Her talk, titled, The City Built by Hand, explores analogous relations linking photography, theory and the city.  The “stickiness” that joins the documentary impulse to urban experience also infects aesthetics practices and cultural infrastructures that sustain urban life.

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Helen Liggett’s interests are in the related fields of urban theory, visual culture and photography. She teaches in the Urban College at Cleveland State University and in the ARCH Studies program at Kent State University. Recent projects include exploration of urban governance and aesthetic practices in legacy cities as well as photo documentation of Re-imagining Cleveland and Design/Rebuild.

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

 

03-15-16

Adil Sharag-Eldin Lecture | April 7 | 5:30 PM

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We will be hosting a special Thursday night lecture as part of our Spring Lecture Series, April 7th at 5:30 PM, featuring Adil Sharag- Eldin. His talk is titled, Resilient Cities: Learning from the Chicago Heatwave.

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In essence, resilience at the city level is the ability of its citizens to overcome immediate crises, learn their lessons, adapt to new realities, and succeed. It is inevitably a function of its readiness for potential calamities. One of the tenants of Resilience is “Reflection”, or learning from the past. In his presentation, the College of Architecture and Environmental Design will draw lessons from a 20-year old disaster that occurred in the Midwest. The objective is to understand the series of events and the conditions (environmental and social) that have happened and avoid re-occurrence of what we claim to be a preventable disaster. In 1995, a heat wave struck the Midwestern area in the United States causing 739 deaths in five days. Despite the large impact, very few studies were conducted focusing on the urban environment and its design. His presentation will share with the audience a comprehensive analysis of the existing built environmental conditions that occurred in July of 1995 and to which heat-related fatalities could be attributed. The research took advantage of the advanced computational methods available to us to recreate the microclimatic conditions that occurred at the time. Simulation programs were used to evaluate the indoor conditions where some of the victims lived. The research has identified and established causality between the building and urban design failures and heat-related deaths. Dr. Sharag-Eldin will emphasize on the likelihood of reoccurrence of similar incidents in extreme heat episodes unless certain building codes issues addressed and city response plans modified to prevent a repeat. The discussion will also include the impact of climate change, Urban Heat Island (UHI) and the strategies cities implement to reduce its effect.

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Dr. Sharag-Eldin is a professor in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. He has over 25 years of experience as a building scientist in the area of green and high-performance architectural and urban design, and over 17 years of teaching experience. He published extensively on topics related to building and urban design and their impact on performance and health. As a consultant, he worked with some major universities and governments on sustainable building projects in the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and his Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 5:30-6:30 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

02-29-16

Kelley O’Brien Lecture | March 4

This Friday, March 4th, at noon we welcome Kelley O’Brien to our spring lecture series. Kelley’s talk is titled, “Societies with No Form”, which is part of a larger initiative, Mapping Systems.

kelley_obrienWorkshop held at the University of the Phillippines

Mapping Systems is an on-going collaboration by artist/architect Kelley O’Brien and writer/academic Francis Halsall through a triangulation of Pontiac, Michigan; Payatas, Philippines; and Dublin, Ireland. As an interdisciplinary project conceived in the spirit of a meaningful exchange between practice and theory, they explore methods of representing the operations and experience of social systems through creative practices. In short, they investigate and develop methods of giving aesthetic forms to society and real-life situations.

kelley_obrien_2Performance:”Resurrection of the Clinton River”

Kelley O’Brien (b. 1987) is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio; where she is the co-director of the alternative art space The Muted Horn. She holds a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Tennessee and a Masters of Fine Arts in Three-Dimensional Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 2014 she was awarded a Fulbright to live and work in Quezon City in the Philippines where her work was exhibited as part of the international exhibition “Hold Everything Dear” at the University of the Philippines Film Institute. Kelley O’Brien has had residencies at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin, 2015), Green Papaya Art Space (Quezon City, 2014), and Hattie Carthan Community Garden (NYC, 2013).

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

 

02-22-16

Doug Steidl Lecture | February 26

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This Friday, February 26th at noon, we welcome Doug Steidl, Dean of the Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Doug’s talk, “International Travel and Lessons Learned”, will emphasize that learning about and understanding cultural subtleties, and some not so subtle, will facilitate both practical aspects for relationship building and a broader understanding of global perspectives.Doug3

Mr. Steidl was a practicing architect for 35 years. He was a founding partner of Braun & Steidl Architects in Akron, Ohio, a position he held from 1983 to 2007. Before joining Kent State, he served as manager of Renard, LLC, an investment, development and consulting company. His career also includes working at John David Jones & Associates as designer, project manager and director of architecture; the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps; Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority in Pittsburgh, PA; and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Over the course of his career, he was elected National President of the American Institute of Architects, and served as President of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Mr. Steidl is a Registered Architect with the State of Ohio (23 jurisdictions previously).

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

 

01-21-16

2016 Spring Lecture Series kicks off with Rick Espe of MKSK

Spring Lecture Poster_template Join us Friday, January 29th, for our first lecture of the spring semester. We welcome Rick Espe, Principal at MKSK as he will discuss “Transforming the Columbus Riverfront”. This will trace MKSK’s work on the Columbus Riverfront over the past 25-years. From the Riverfront Vision Plan, through specific projects – North Bank Park, Scioto Audubon Metro Park, Scioto Mile, and the recently opened Scioto-Olentangy Greenways. rick_espe Rick brings a career-long commitment to improving the quality of the built environment while minimizing the impact on the natural environment. Through each project he strives to find the appropriate balance within the interconnectedness of environmental, economic, and social sustainability and implementing sustainable design practices as a value-added proposition. His expertise in the management and design of complex national and international projects and design abilities demonstrate his experience in developing the built environment. Several of his projects have been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects awards programs from campus master plans to healthcare facilities to award-winning urban parks. View the full list of speakers here. The lecture will be held at the CUDC from 12-1 PM. As always, free and open to the public.

12-08-15

Nicholas Rajkovich Lecture | December 11

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For our final speaker in our Fall Lecture Series we welcome Nicholas Rajkovich. His talk, Designing the Resilient City, will discuss the concept of resilience as it relates to cities, the expected impacts of climate change in Cleveland, and how our design processes need to go beyond just an examination of the physical environment to include issues like social cohesion.

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Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA is an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo. His research investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change. Prior to earning a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, he was a Senior Program Engineer at the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company Customer Energy Efficiency Department. At PG&E, he was responsible for coordinating a new Zero Net Energy Pilot Program. He was also chair of the San Francisco American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment.

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

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.

Reintegration_Reintegration, James Lennon

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

Reintegration_13Reintegration, James Lennon

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.

11-09-15

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.

10-08-15

Havana: the future never happened by itself…

 

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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.

 

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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.