The Public Library: Designing a Community Asset

Recently, HBM Architects received national attention for their leading-edge library projects. The CUDC’s new Post-Graduate Fellow, Sam Friesema, worked for the firm and had a hand in the recognized projects. This is his story about his involvement and how he plans to bring his expertise to our work with the Cleveland Public Library and their CPL150 Community Vision Plan.

Before joining the CUDC, I had the privilege of working for HBM Architects for 4 ½ years. HBM specializes in library planning and design and has worked with over 300 libraries throughout the country. Libraries are in an exciting period of exploration where traditional library services are transitioning as technologies rapidly alter information access in our society. Libraries are becoming community centers and neighborhood technology hubs. Instead of housing books they now house activities, workshops, cafés, performance spaces, interactive learning areas for all ages, and yes, still a few books.

Libraries are an integral part of any city. As a public amenity, libraries build upon input from the community to construct spaces which meet local needs. While we can only guess what the library of the future might look like, several new projects give a glimpse into cutting edge library design. Four HBM projects recently received national attention for their innovative architectural visions of the contemporary library. I was fortunate to work on all of these projects at varying capacities.

hbm projects

Click on project name for more images and information:


Projects range in size and scope, from adaptive reuse to new construction. While each project is very unique, themes start to emerge as to where library services are headed: Open floor plans, flexible meeting spaces, technology saturation, less book shelves, casual seating areas, maker spaces, interactive early childhood literacy areas, all act to inspire the next generation of public library users.

Looking ahead, I am excited by the CUDC’s involvement with Cleveland Public Library’s CPL150 Community Vision Plan and hope to continue contributing to the library world in my new role here at the CUDC.

-Sam Friesema, Graduate Fellow


EASTSIDE HUB multi-family living for a multicultural population


Congratulations to Kent State CUDC graduate student Alena Miller who took 3rd place in the 2015 Cleveland State University Real Estate Market Analysis Competition. Alena competed in a field of 20 students. Her project focused on the design of a community to support an influx of immigrants and refugees, in accordance with resettlement criteria outlined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Using a site in Cleveland (E. 61 Street, just south of Chester Avenue) she developed a plan for 180 apartment units plus 156,000 SF of urban agriculture. The inclusion of  urban farming generated 25 on-site jobs for the refugee community.

PowerPoint Presentation

Alena’s project is especially timely, given the large and growing numbers of people who are forced to flee their homelands each year due to political conflicts and violence. Greater Cleveland receives approximately 600-700 refugees a yeara number that could grow if planning, policies, and programs are in place to support these populations.

Her work represents a unique investment opportunity that advocates for the future of Cleveland. Congratulations, Alena!


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.


Monica Ponce de Leon | November 13 | CWRU


Thursday, November 13, Case Western Reserve Baker-Nord Center for Humanities will welcome Monica Ponce de Leon as part of The Richard N. Campen Lecture in Architecture and Sculpture: Across Art and Architecture.

Using examples from her own creative practice, Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, will discuss the ever-shifting relationship between artistic production and the architectural project. At the center of the lecture she tackles pre-conceived notions about design, creativity, and the power of imagination.

Pre-lecture reception begins at 5:30 pm in the lobby of the Allen Memorial Medical Library.

Date: 11-13-2014
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Location: Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library – 11000 Euclid Avenue
Registration: Free and open to the public, registration recommended

You can find out more details about Monica Ponce de Leon and the event here.


Call for Participants | CIA National Conference | Deadline Extended


The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) announces a Call for Participants in a national conference to be held November 6-8, 2014. They pose the question, what does it mean in contemporary art and design to be socially engaged?

The conference proposes to examine various approaches to social practices in both art and design in an effort to understand the concepts, terms, and varieties of engagement of the past two decades.

The CIA invites presentations of conventional and unorthodox forms from artists, designers, and scholars on the topic. Prospective participants may submit proposals for short papers or examine specific works or activities that address the questions as noted. Suggested related themes may include but are not limited to:

  • Socially engaged art and the new public sphere
  • Artists as activists: voices from the Great Lakes region
  • Historical precedents and present strategies of social practice
  • Urban design and design in the city as force for change
  • Aesthetics, ethics and politics
  • Student agency and society: 21st-century visions of the art school

Please submit PDF formatted abstracts of no more than 650 words, along with letter of interest and CV to: Gary Sampson and José Carlos Teixeira. Email to unrulyengagements@cia.edu.

Deadline for proposals is July 14, 2014. 

Detailed information about Unruly Engagements can be found here.


Save the Date | June 13, 2014


AIA Cleveland’s “Goodtime for Design” annual boat cruise will take place Friday, June 13, 2014. Join hundreds of members in the design, planning, construction and building management professions on board the GOODTIME III cruise ship for an evening of informal networking, collegiality and fun! Guests are also welcome to attend.

Detailed information available here.


Design Diversity Launch & Event


The CUDC, along with a small group of Cleveland architects, urban designers, and graphic designers are pleased to launch Design Diversity. Design Diversity’s goal is to foster learning, influence growth, and promote African Americans in the Design Professions in Northeast Ohio.

As a kickoff for the initiative, Design Diversity will host a Powered by Pecha Kucha event. The Black History Month social event will feature short presentations from six local African American designers, spanning a range of disciplines. Following the presentations, attendees are invited to stay and connect with other local designers, while learning more about Design Diversity’s ongoing work.

The event is FREE and open to the public, including all ages and backgrounds. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required, on the Facebook event page or via email (info @ designdiversity.org).

Design Diversity  Kickoff Event
Thursday, February 27, 2014
7 – 9 PM
Take 5 Rhythm & Jazz
740 W Superior Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113

To learn more about the initiative, please visit www.designdiversity.org.

To receive news and more about Design Diversity subscribe to our mailing list.


LECTURE: Marika Shioiri-Clark on Dignifying Design

Marika Shioiri-Clark, principal of SOSHL Studio, will speak at the CUDC on “Dignifying Design” as part of AIA Cleveland‘s 2013 Emerging Practitioner Lecture Series. Based in Cleveland, SOSHL Studio is dedicated to creating social impact through architecture and design. In response to Denise Scott Brown’s comments on her exclusion from the Pritzker Prize, Marika recently co-authored a CNN.com article on the continuing discrimination of women in architecture.

Marika Shioiri-Clark | Dignifying Design
Friday, May 31, 2013
Kent State CUDC
1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
RSVP on the Facebook event page here

From 2007 to 2010, Marika was Co-Founder and Managing Director of MASS Design Group, an architectural nonprofit designing well-built environments that aid in the reduction of global poverty. Marika was a lead designer on the Butaro Hospital project in northern Rwanda in collaboration with Partners in Health, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, and the Rwandan Ministry of Health, and lived on-site in 2008 developing the designs and overseeing construction.

Marika has received several awards for her work in reframing architects as global change agents. She was an invited Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute in 2009, and received a US National Commission for UNESCO Traveling Fellowship in 2008. Marika received her BA in Urban Studies from Brown University, and her Masters of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where her graduate thesis under advisors Jacques Herzog and Pierre DeMeuron focused on gendered public spaces in Cairo, Egypt. In 2011 she served in the first class of global residents at IDEO.org.

Watch Marika’s TEDxStellenbosch talk on Empathic Architecture:

The Emerging Practitioner Lecture Series is organized by AIA Cleveland‘s Associates Committee in partnership with Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. Events are free and open to the public.

Questions can be directed to: angela.jayjack@gmail.com


2013 Capstone Final Review Schedule

We’re excited to announce the final review schedule for the 2013 Master of Urban Design capstone projects (see below). Graduate students at the CUDC enrolled in the Master of Urban Design or dual degree (Master of Architecture + Master of Urban Design) programs at the CUDC conclude their coursework with an individualized capstone project. Each capstone project is developed over two semesters, with the first semester focused on framing a research question and the second devoted to creating a design response. As can be seen from the project names below, the investigations span a wide range of topics and geographies.

The capstone presentations for this year’s class will be held at the CUDC (1309 Euclid Avenue, 2nd Floor) and are open to the public. If you are interested in pursuing a Master of Urban Design degree or just curious about one of the capstone topics, please feel free to attend any of the presentations. You don’t need to RSVP, but we ask that attendees arrive shortly before the designated start time. The presentation and discussion immediately following each project should run about an hour and a half. More information on the academic programs offered at the CUDC can be found on our website here. Contact us at cudc@kent.edu with any questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!

2013 Capstone Final Review Schedule:


Antonia Marinucci | Erieview, Cleveland: Economic + Physical Reimagining
(Advisors: Charles Harker, Steve Rugare, Ellen Sullivan)


Thom Nester | Public Space and the Effects of Digital Culture
(Advisors: David Jurca, Greg Stroh, Steve Rugare)


Matt Provolt | TopoCity: Sheraden Neighborhood, Pittsburgh
(Advisors: Ellen Sullivan, Charles Graves, Sagree Sharma)

Brandon Young | Revising Richard Florida: Creative/Productive Space for Cleveland
(Advisors: Diane Davis-Sikora, Jonathan Kurtz, Terry Schwarz)


Sarah Myers | From Waste to Pop Up: a Temporary Diversion from the Landfill
(Advisors: Jonathan Fleming, Charles Frederick, Terry Schwarz)

Gabriel Fey | New Futures for the Infrastructural City
(Advisors: Steve Rugare, Jonathan Fleming, Jonathan Kurtz, Jacqueline Mills)

Troy Eklum | Transit Based Metropolitan Master Planning: Developing a Large Scale Strategy for Growth and Mobility Patterning
(Advisors: Ellen Sullivan, Charles Frederick, Steve Rugare)


Arthur Schmidt | Beyond Complete Streets: a Methodology for Designing a Complete Urban Street System
(Advisors: Steve Rugare, Jeff Kruth, Stephanie Ryberg-Webster, Daniel Vieyra)


Tommy Chesnes | Neighborhood Tuning: Waterloo Arts District, Cleveland
(Advisors: Terry Schwarz, Wayne Mortensen, Ellen Sullivan)

Download PDF: 2013 Capstone Final Review Schedule


Call for Abstracts | COLDSCAPES Urban Infill Volume 6 | Due May 31, 2013

Call for Abstracts : Improving livability in cold climate cities

Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) invites writers, designers, artists and thinkers to submit abstracts for Volume 6 of our annual publication, Urban Infill. Urban Infill examines themes in contemporary urban design, architecture, and planning. Past volumes have addressed shrinking cities, temporary urbanism, urban hydrology, storytelling, and diagramming in an urban context. These can be previewed here: (www.cudc.kent.edu/publications/urban_infill/index.html)

Volume 6 is part of the CUDC’s 2013 launch of the Center for Outdoor Living Design (COLD), which is dedicated to improving livability in cold weather cities (www.coldscapes.org). We invite examples and perspectives that challenge common perceptions of cold urban environments and reveal the unique design opportunities that winter cities present. Writings and projects may span across various disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design. We are particularly interested in submissions that correspond to any of these five (5) themes:

(historical / theoretical framework for understanding the winter experience in cities)

(visualizations and multi-sensory communication techniques that evoke the atmospheric conditions and ephemerality of the winter season)

(responses to the needs of homeless individuals and immigrants during winter weather conditions)

(examples of successful constructed architectural or urban design projects in cold climates)

(unbuilt projects and evocative possibilities for winter cities of the future)

Submission Requirements:
Abstract / Description (text) : 500 words or less
Images: no more than 5 thumbnails – total file size under 10MBs.
Please send abstracts and/or images via email to cudc@kent.edu no later than Friday, May 31st 2013. We welcome new, in-progress or pre-published, original work.

Relevant Dates:

  • Abstracts due: Friday, May 31st 2013
  • Notification to selected contributors: Friday, June 7th 2013
  • Final entries due: Friday, July 19th 2013
  • Expected publication: November 2013

Download Call for Abstracts PDF

Please feel free to share with your friends and networks!



LECTURE: The Professional Guide to Green Roofs with Co-Author Lisa Lee Benjamin

Lisa Lee Benjamin is a catalyst for the planet profoundly dedicated to altering the way we live. With a botanical background, her work focuses on international collaboration to open possibilities and challenge our ideas of sustainability and community. She has led and consulted on projects from California to Kenya.

Her new book, The Professional Guide to Green Roofs, is a collaborative venture with designers to aid practitioners in green roof design. Come hear her speak about vegetative roofs in our changing world.

12 – 1pm
Friday, April 19th, 2013
CUDC 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Free and open to the public

Lisa will also speak on the Kent State main campus the same day at 3:40pm in Rm 202 Taylor Hall.


Full Video + Slides from Susannah Drake’s dlandstudio Lecture

Proposal for southern tip of Manhattan by dlandstudio for MoMA Rising Currents exhibition

Thanks to everyone that attended Susannah Drake’s presentation at the CUDC. If you were in the audience, then we’re sure you found her dlandstudio projects to be as creative and inspiring as we did. Fortunately, for those unable to attend the presentation, we have the full video available online. The 1 hour 18 minute presentation is divided into 3 parts, including introductory remarks from CUDC Director Terry Schwarz and updates on the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District‘s green infrastructure plans from Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, followed by Susannah Drake’s detailed presentation of several public projects ranging from city-wide infrastructure plans to temporary pop-up parks. Enjoy!


Susannah Drake Lecture 3/2/12

Susannah Drake Lecture
Friday, March 2, 2012
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
CUDC Conference Room
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland – PlayhouseSquare

Susannah Drake is founder and Principal of dlandstudio llc, an award winning multidisciplinary design firm. She will discuss dlandstudio’s recent public projects including the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, a public open space system designed to absorb and remediate urban storm water, and the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-up Park, a temporary waterfront open space that attracted almost 200,000 visitors over six weeks of operation in 2008.

This event is free, but reservations are required. RSVP for the event on our Facebook page here, by email at cudc@kent.edu or give us a call at (216) 357-3434.

Continuing Education credits are available for landscape architects.

Sponsored by The George Gund Foundation, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, and the Kent State College of Architecture and Environmental Design.


CUDC Temporary Staff Position

The CUDC is looking for a temporary staff member to manage our books and answer the phones for a couple of months, starting in late February. If you’re interested, go to the KSU job site and search for position 003777. https://jobs.kent.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1328724047456

For additional information, please contact the CUDC at 216.357.3434 or cudc@kent.edu.


Cleveland EcoVillage Design Charrette

Members of the public are invited to attend a design charrette, a.k.a. community workshop, to envision the Cleveland EcoVillage‘s future development and urban design plans. Several projects have been recently completed or are currently underway in this vibrant community, so the charrette comes at a good time to envision linkages between these investments and plan for new opportunities.

The charrette will take place over the course of several days, beginning with a public meeting on Saturday, October 22nd at 10am and culminating in a public presentation on Wednesday night, October 26th at 7pm. The design charrette will be conducted by the CUDC staff and KSU graduate students, in partnership with Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization and Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone.

Public Meeting 1
Saturday, October 22
10am – noon
Metro Catholic School
1910 W. 54th St.

Public Meeting 2
Wednesday, October 26
7pm – 8:30pm
Metro Catholic School
1910 W. 54th St.

The Cleveland EcoVillage is located in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood and is defined by W. 52nd St. on the east, W. 65th St. on the west, I-90 on the south and Franklin Blvd. on the north. The boundaries of the EcoVillage are based on a 15 minute walking radius around the W. 65th St. RTA rapid station.

Please consider attending both public meetings to provide your input and review the proposals that will be developed quickly between Saturday and Wednesday by the design team. The community charrette is an important opportunity for design professional, students and local residents to create a shared neighborhood vision for the future.

Click here for the Facebook event page.

Download the charrette flyer here.

For more information, please contact the CUDC at 216.357.3434 or cudc@kent.edu