We recently interviewed Master of Architecture (MArch) student, Jordan Charles, about his independent studio project “Urban Proxy”. Read our interview below to learn more about this unique project.
Hi Jordan, introduce yourself, what is your background?
My name is Jordan Charles, most of my friends know me as Peezy. I like to consider myself an “architect in training” striving to acquire his Master of Architecture during the day and a superhero at night. I pretty much have the same profile as some other individuals in the field – jack of all trades, master of none. However, I do take pride in my drawing abilities. While they aren’t where I’d like them to be they are good enough to allow me to make sense of my ideas and transfer them from my thoughts to paper.
What studio was this project for?
“Urban Proxy” was my final project for the independent studio I had taken up to fulfill the final requirements for my MArch. I had derived from the typical trajectory for the CUDC’s MArch program due to conflicts with my summer schedule and the required summer studio. So instead of taking the summer studio, I pushed the studio back to the following fall semester which is where it had morphed into an independent studio. However, I am pleased with how the adjustment worked out. I believe the independent studio gave me the freedom necessary to create “Urban Proxy”.
“Urban Proxy” embodies a lot of personal beliefs I have in regards to design and architecture. People are in part defined by their experiences and architecture provides a stage for experiences to occur, so in theory architecture defines people. I wanted this project to provide a stage where positive experiences could occur for individuals that may feel they didn’t have a proper place within the city.
At the root, what is “Urban Proxy” about?
The genesis of Urban Proxy initiated with the intent of devising a scheme that resisted a static nature in search of a proposal that could be primarily flexible. The idea of flexibility sparked a desire to devise a plan to produce both programmatic and architectural elements that were freed from shackles. Change occurs more frequently than ever before and as society (thus the city) change, more should be expected from our environments. To be able to keep up with the changes, adaptability is a trait critical to designs that intend to remain relevant. Read more…
Cleveland State University and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs are convening an interdisciplinary meeting to discuss the role of historic preservation in revitalizing America’s Legacy Cities. This is the first event to bring together key stakeholders and decision-makers from cities where entrenched population loss and economic decline present difficult challenges for the future of the urban built environment.
CUDC Urban Designer, Jeff Kruth will be presenting Thursday, June 5th, from 1:30-3:00 PM at the sessions titled: Industrial Heritage, Activism & Social Values in U.S. and International Legacy Cities.
Jeff’s presentation examines the role and legacy of public housing and urban agriculture as ways to preserve long-standing neighborhoods who may have valuable, though scattered resources in legacy cities, as well as catalyze growth . Recent pilot projects and policies pertaining to vacant land have created an alternative vision and relationship to the landscape in legacy cities with large swaths of vacancies. However, there has yet to be a corollary redefinition as it pertains to the unique challenges facing public housing development and neighborhood stability in general. Framed broadly, this presentation seeks to fit into a larger context that asks questions about strategies for declining social infrastructure in legacy cities.
The session will be moderated by the CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, and will also feature Kate Daly (New York City Landmarks Commission), Anne B. Raines (Maryland Historical Trust), and Daniel Campo (Morgan State University).
For more information about the Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities Conference and registration information please visit here.
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.
The CUDC is gearing up to host students for the 2014 international ULI Urban Design Competition! Now in its twelfth year, the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition is a two-week interdisciplinary finance, planning, and design competition for currently enrolled graduate students. An “ideas” competition focusing on contemporary urban issues asks students to devise a viable financial and design scheme for development.
The 2014 competition takes place between January 13-27, 2014 and will house local participants here at the CUDC. The registration period for teams closes on December 9, 2013. If you are a graduate student interested in participating, please contact Jeff Kruth of the CUDC, jkruth @ kent.edu, for more information. The competition website can be found here, along with past winners and entries: www.udcompetition.org
Last year, a Cleveland team composed of Case Western, Cleveland State, and Kent State students received an honorable mention in the pursuit of a $50,000 grand prize for their “Active East” proposal in Minneapolis. A mixed use program and transit oriented development design promoted an active lifestyle for residents and visitors downtown.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Urban Design: An Introductory Workshop
GIS enables designers to use and create spatial information for understanding and designing places and their context. By viewing and overlaying thematic layers of geographic information, we can better integrate the built and natural environments and design places that are more beautiful, equitable, ecologically healthy, and economically robust. GIS maps are both a design tool and a design outcome. This workshop will acquaint you with the basic principles and mechanics of GIS and inspire you to produce maps and diagrams that are clear, informative, and visually compelling.
The GIS workshop will be held at the CUDC on November 15, from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM. It is free and open to the public, but non KSU students must bring their own GIS equipped laptops. Space is limited so please RSVP to cudc @ kent.edu if you would like to attend.
About the Instructor
Lisl Kotheimer is a Columbus, Ohio-based design professional. Her professional interests center around design representation, communication, design research, critical inquiry, and strategy. Her expertise include graphic design, 3-D modeling and rendering, digital design, and fabrication. Lisl has worked with several award-winning design practices in Boston and Columbus on a wide variety of projects from concept to implementation. To see more of her work please visit lislkotheimer.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
We’re very excited to announce our new winter weather-related initiative, the Center for Outdoor Living Design, which conveniently forms the acronym COLD. The project is intended to encourage designers of various disciplines to engage more creatively with the opportunities presented by winter weather urban environments.
Representations and design strategies in architecture and urban design are often dominated by idealized imagery from warmer seasons, marginalizing the unique design opportunities that winter weather cities present. As a result, creative approaches to improving urban livability during winter are left unexplored, reinforcing common perceptions that public life can’t survive outdoors for much of the year (ahem…skywalks).
The first of this year’s COLD activities is the launch of COLDSCAPES: New Visions for Cold Weather Cities, a multi-disciplinary design competition intended to gather compelling ideas for revitalizing cold climate urban places. Submissions from the competition and other projects gathered by COLD will comprise a growing online archive of images and videos to inspire designers, city officials, and interested members of the public to embrace their city’s winter identity.
A jury of artists and designers familiar with cold weather design issues will select three thought-provoking and visually compelling submissions, each to receive a $1,000 award. A larger set of submissions will receive honorable mentions and the opportunity to be included in an exhibition and published in this year’s Urban Infill journal. To learn more about COLD and to register for the COLDSCAPES competition, please visit our website at www.coldscapes.org.
April 1, 2013 – Competition Announced
May 24, 2013 – Registration Deadline
July 12, 2013 – (6pm EST) Submission Deadline
July 26, 2013 – Competition Winners Announced
Shane Coen, Founder and Principal at Coen+Partners | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Gary Toth, Director of Transportation Initiatives at Project for Public Spaces | New York City, New York
Aase Kari Mortensen, Senior Architect at Snøhetta | Oslo, Norway
Greg Peckham, Managing Director at LAND Studio | Cleveland, Ohio
Patrick Coleman, CEO at The Winter Cities Institute | Anchorage, Alaska
As Spock would often say during winter, “Live Cold and Prosper!”
* Order Diagrammatically from the CUDC Amazon storefront here.
The 2012 volume of Urban Infill is now available through Kent State’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, local book stores, and Amazon. UI5: Diagrammatically applies the techniques of diagramming to urban design practice through critical essays, case studies, and examples. Over twenty contributors from the US and Europe discuss the ways that urban diagrams engage the public, reveal hidden agendas, and navigate uncertainty. The book features innovative and thought-provoking examples of urban diagramming, presented in a lively, full-color format.
A few examples of the work included in the book:
‘Re-cultivating the Forest City‘ is a must-read for Clevelanders. A design proposal developed by PORT Architecture + Urbanism, this series of diagrams and renderings offers a seductive glimpse at Cleveland’s future where urban vacancy leads to economic productivity, ecological regeneration, and increased public use of the Cuyahoga Valley.
‘Thinking + Talking Adaptability,’ a series of diagrams created by the Adaptable Futures project at Loughborough University in the UK, provides a toolbox of diagrams that communicate sustainable values and highlight aspects of building performance. This work is useful to designers and lay audiences alike, and provides the basis for a shared understanding of the components of sustainable design.
‘Strategrams‘ by Susan Rogers at the Community Design Resource Center in Houston and ‘Empowerpoint‘ by Interface Studio in Philadelphia present diagramming strategies in the context of community design practice.
‘Through the Diagram…‘ by Kent State University faculty member Greg Stroh showcases recent work from the graduate studios at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
Diagrammatically will be of interest to architecture and planning students, urban design practitioners, and anyone interested in better, more livable cities.
Get your copy of Diagrammatically today: CUDC Amazon Store.
For more information about the Urban Infill journal series, please contact the CUDC at: cudc[AT]kent.edu
We’ve extended the deadline to submit abstracts for our upcoming Urban Infill publication focused on Diagramming in Urban Design. Abstracts for this fifth volume of Urban Infill will be accepted until Friday, June 15th, 2012. Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com.
We invite writers, designers, artists and thinkers to submit abstracts, which include examples and perspectives on diagramming and its place in urban design practice and processes. We are particularly interested in the intents and agendas behind various forms of diagramming within the following framework. Submissions may correspond to any of these six (6) themes:
DEFINING THE DIAGRAM
(historical / theoretical evolution of diagramming, diagramming in design thinking and processes,
conventional and unconventional approaches to diagramming in / for urban design)
MEANING | FUNCTION
(diagrams as a way to represent meaning; to clarify / communicate with accuracy and specificity)
TRANSLATION | INTERPRETATION
(diagrams used to reveal, explore, analyze and represent information and ideas)
VAGUENESS | SUGGESTION
(diagrams used to hint, suggest, obfuscate, subvert, conceal or lie)
COMPOSITION | NARRATIVE
(diagrams that simulate and present composite perspectives, juxtapositions of ideas and objects, and
communicate processes and narratives)
EXCHANGE | ENGAGEMENT
(diagram as process and tool for engagement)
Abstract / Description (text) : 500 words or less
Images: no more than 5 thumbnails – total file size under 5MB.
Please send abstracts and/or images via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, June 15th 2012. We welcome new, in-progress or pre-published, original work.
Abstracts due: Friday, June 15th 2012
Notification to selected contributors: Monday, June 22nd 2012
Final entries due: Friday, July 27th 2012
Expected publication: September 2012
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 email@example.com or give us a call at (216) 357-3434.
Continuing Education credits are available for landscape architects.
Do you want to design safer, healthier, sustainable and beautiful communities?
Do you have the planning, design or the economic acumen to create a comprehensively sustainable development?
Do you like working in multi-disciplinary settings and learning from your colleagues?
If so, then please consider joining us this Friday for an information session on the Urban Land Institute‘s recently announced 2012 Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Compete to design an innovative built environment as a multi-disciplinary team and try your luck at winning the $50,000 prize!
All students currently enrolled in their last year of undergraduate studies or a graduate program in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, real estate, business or urban planning at any university are invited to attend the introduction session at the CUDC on Friday Nov 4th and meet other interested students to form your winning team!
ULI Competition Intro Session
Friday, November 4
12 – 1 PM
CUDC Conference Room
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland (Playhouse Square)
More information on the ULI competition can be found at http://www.udcompetition.org/
Please contact the CUDC for more information on the Intro Session at (216) 357-3434 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: Application deadline has passed – we are no longer accepting resumes.
The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) is currently seeking applicants for an Urban Designer position. The Urban Designer will be an emerging design practitioner with a deep commitment to working with community groups and public involvement in the design process. He or she will be involved in all aspects of the CUDC’s operations, working closely with CUDC staff on community design projects, research efforts, and technical service contracts. The successful candidate will hold an advanced degree in landscape architecture, architecture or planning, and have 2-3 years of professional experience in urban design or a closely related field. Strong graphic presentation skills, including hand drawing and digital methods, are essential. Knowledge of advanced computer applications and an interest in urban design teaching at graduate or undergraduate level are preferred, as well as a record of project work and/or research publication.
The Urban Designer will be a full-time employee of Kent State University, with a full benefit package. This is an administrative position, which does not include the possibility of tenure. Salary is dependent upon qualifications.
To apply for the position, please visit Kent State University’s Employment site here and search for position number 990632.
The Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) is a community design and research division of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Kent State University. Based in a new facility in downtown Cleveland, the CUDC provides technical design assistance to communities throughout the northeast Ohio region, conducts research into urgent and emerging areas of design practice, and offers a variety of public education and design advocacy programs. CUDC staff participate in the graduate level architecture and urban design curriculum for the CAED, including studios and seminar courses that convene at the CUDC’s Cleveland facility.
For additional information, please contact the CUDC at 216.357.3434 or email@example.com.
We’re very excited that Next American City, a non-profit dedicated to promoting socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth in America’s cities, recently featured the CUDC’s Hipp Deck project on their Americancity.org website. In addition to the popular website, Next American City also publishes a quarterly magazine focused on emerging practices dealing with urban change and innovation.
The Hipp Deck was a temporary use intervention that transformed the upper level of the 740 Euclid Ave. parking garage in downtown Cleveland into an outdoor live performance venue and active rooftop public space. The event was a celebration for the release of Cleveland Stories: True Until Proven Otherwise, the fourth volume in the CUDC’s Urban Infill journal series. The parking garage is located on the site formerly home to the Hippdrome Theater, a nationally renowned 4,000 seat performance venue. The “Hipp”, as it was commonly known, was demolished in 1981, so the Hipp Deck told the story of the site’s illustrious past by bringing back live music performance for one spectacular night.
We’re encouraged to think the Hipp Deck’s intent of spurring dialogue and action around the temporary activation of parking infrastructure in Cleveland will spread to other cities and enable others to reactivate their favorite underused spaces.
For more information on the Hipp Deck or Cleveland Stories project, please visit the CUDC’s website. The event was supported by the George Gund Foundation and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, in partnership with Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, SPIRE Institute, Filtrexx, Opera Cleveland, Ohio City Bike Co-op, Cleveland Bikes and Ampco System Parking.
Connecting Cleveland: Beyond the Burnham Plan
Tuesday, November 30th
noon – 7pm
Cleveland Public Library, Stokes Wing, Room 218
The Cleveland Group Plan Commission invites you to participate in a design charrette to develop a unified vision for Downtown Cleveland built around signature public spaces and the connections and opportunities that link development projects from the Cuyahoga River, the proposed downtown Cleveland Casino, across Public Square to Malls A, B, C and the new Medical Mart and Convention Center, and onward to the lakefront.
The charrette will be held on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 from Noon until 7pm in Room 218 East/West of the Cleveland Public Library. Take the elevators in the Louis Stokes Wing to the Second Floor (business department) and turn left.
This charrette is an afternoon-long work session, facilitated by the Cleveland City Planning Commission, ParkWorks and the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. The event is being organized in collaboration with the Cleveland chapters of the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Planning Association.
Your participation is critical to the success of this work. Ideas and recommendations from the Connecting Cleveland charrette will be incorporated into the downtown connections plan being prepared by LMN Architects and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. LMN and GGN are also working on the Convention Center and Medical Mart project.
- Noon: Welcome and introductions
- 12:15 pm: Overview of process and the design assignment
- 12:45 – 4:30 pm: Work session in small, interdisciplinary design teams
- 4:30 – 6 pm: Pin-up, drinks and dinner/snacks
- 6 – 7 pm: Community presentation/conversation, coffee & dessert
If you plan to attend, please RSVP by November 23 to Gina Love Slade at (216) 696-2122 ext. 101 or glove(at)parkworks.org. A briefing document will be sent to all charrette participants a week before the event.
If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Terry Schwarz at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, (216) 357-3426 or tschwarz(at)kent.edu.
The Cleveland Group Plan Commission welcomes designers from LMN and Gustafson, Guthrie and Nichol to share their proposal for Connecting Downtown Cleveland and to gather feedback from the public. The event is free and open to the public.
Mayor Frank Jackson appointed The Group Plan Commission to create a unified vision for downtown built around signature public spaces and the connections and opportunities that link development projects from the Cuyahoga River, the proposed downtown Cleveland Casino, across Public Square to Malls A·B·C and the new Medical Mart and Convention Center, and onward to the lakefront. Design consultants have been commissioned to work on each of these projects, but there is also a need to look at overlapping areas between these projects and the connectivity of the entire system.