The INDEX studio examined the relationships between two cities–Cleveland, Ohio and Havana, Cuba. The 15-week studio took place in the spring of 2016 at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC). By comparing these very different urban contexts, the studio provided new insights into familiar places and a better understanding of the challenges facing global cities.
Read and download the full report, written in English and Spanish, below.
Twelve graduate students generated proposals for a waterfront site in each of the two cities. The Cleveland site is the now-defunct Lakeshore Coal Plant, a monumental structure on a 60 acre site along the city’s eastern lakefront. The Havana counterpart is the Nico-Lopez Oil Refinery, a 500 acre facility still functioning as a refinery on the southeastern banks of Havana Bay.
Graduate students Alexander Scott and Jordan Fitzgerald re-envisioned the Lakeshore Coal Plant as a regional destination for industrial arts preservation and production, located in close proximity to Cleveland’s University Circle arts and culture district.
Students met with a range of design professionals and local experts while in Havana. These insights and direct observations gathered during the five day travel formed the basis of urban design proposals shown in the report. At the conclusion of the studio, students received feedback on their proposals from Cuban architects Ernesto Jimenez and Sofia Marquez Aguiar during the architects’ visit to Cleveland. The students’ design work will be exhibited in Havana, at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, in Spring 2017.
The INDEX Studio is part of the curriculum for the Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design programs in Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED). Kent State is committed to global education and expanding the cultural literacy of our students. Cuba offers a remarkably complex and locally relevant range of design opportunities. This initial studio is a first step toward establishing relationships with colleagues and collaborators in Cuba.
View and download the full report below:
Support for the travelling studio was generously provided by The Cleveland Foundation.
This summer’s graduate studio at the CUDC focused on issues of housing in the city of Cleveland. Eleven graduate students in architecture and urban design selected sites across the city to develop a strategy for housing various ages, incomes, and forms of collective living. Titled “Home Economics: The State of Housing in Cleveland,” the studio used interdisciplinary methods for making site determinations and strategies—combining urban planning, community development, and design thinking to aspects of their project. Students studied the recent Vacant Property survey released by the CUDC with Thriving Communities Institute and other studies to suggest alternative forms of development in neighborhoods across the city. Strategies ranged from urban systems questions relating to lead contamination in housing, to dispersed housing strategies that attempt to introduce affordability as a stabilizing factor both in gentrifying neighborhoods and in under-invested neighborhoods.
The studio marks the culmination for Master’s of Architecture students at the CUDC, while students in the Urban Design program will continue into capstone research.
Below are examples of some of the student’s work featured in the report.
We are excited to kick off our Fall Lecture Series with Sara Zewde, Designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Sara’s talk, “Design at the Margins of the Urban Renaissance”, will be at the CUDC on Tuesday, September 6th, from 12 -1 PM.
Urbanism is in the midst of a renaissance. Many cities are witnessing large investments in urban infrastructure, development, and civic institutions — even those whose populations are not increasing. Yet still, the design associated with this renaissance provokes tension. Design projects by Zewde located in Houston and Rio de Janeiro will be presented as a departure point for a dialogue on resolving this tension, and pushing design towards a more robust, and culturally relevant, practice.
Sara Zewde is a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a Master of City Planning from MIT, and a BA in Sociology and Statistics from Boston University. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a 2016 artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Sara writes and lectures in the discourses of landscape architecture and urbanism and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Silberberg Memorial Award for Urban Design and the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.
Concurrent to working at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Sara continues independent design work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Houston, Texas; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Sara finds that in considering the relationship between ecology, culture, and craft, there are often many powerful departure points for design. Her work is currently on display at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale’s Brazilian pavilion.
Sara will also be speaking at Kent State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) on September 6th, starting at 5:30 PM in the Cerne Lecture Hall. Her talk at the CAED is titled, “Ecologies of Memory”. Both events are free and open to the public. RSVP is not required but requested, please click here.
If you can not make the lecture we will be live streaming the talk on our Facebook page starting 12 PM.
Thursday, June 9th the CUDC will welcome Ernesto Jiménez and Sofía Márquez Aguiar, architects at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) in Havana, Cuba. Ernesto and Sofia will present their architecture projects built in both Havana, Cuba and in Oporto, Portugal. Based on their experience as professional architects inside and outside Cuba, Ernesto and Sofia will share insights on potential collaboration between designers in Cleveland and Havana. The first half of the talk is titled, “Fabrica de Arte Cubano – A Never Ending Project”. They will discuss the history of the building that now serves as the headquarter of the cultural Fabrica de Arte Cubano (Cuban Art Factory) project. This path is indispensable to understand the logic of intervention from conceptualization to its ever-unfinished realization. Unfinished because the project has the idea of mutation embedded since its genesis. The mutation generated by the fusion of all the arts.
FAC is an artistic project driven by the need to rescue, support and promote the work of artists from all branches of art such as film, music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, photography, fashion, graphic design and architecture; that through their integration art / artist promote exchanges and direct approach between the public and the creator a massive scale.
The second half of the talk is titled, “Belomonte Studio, some projects”. This discussion contains part of the work done by Belomonte Studio during its ten years of existence, oriented to the development of various projects related to art, architecture and design, from a cross-sectional view; The studio was founded in 2004 by architects Ernesto Jimenez (Cuba) and Sofia Marques de Aguiar (Portugal), in the city of Porto, where they resided until 2013, then was established in Havana.
Ernesto Jiménez (La Habana, 1974)
Architect from Architecture Faculty, ISPJAE, (1996). Member of UNAIC and the Order of the Architects of Portugal (2009).
1996 – 1998> Department of Rehabilitation and Architectural Restoration of the National Center for Conservation, Restoration and Museology (CENCREM).
1999 – 2005> Company Filipe Oliveira Dias, architect.
2004> Foundation Belomonte Studio.
2007> Enterprise Vitrocsa and Jofebar.
2013> EICTV, San Antonio de los Baños. School of Cinema.
2013 – 2014> FAC, Cuban Art Factory.
Other works > Publications Grafic Design, Furniture Design and Architecture Photography.
Sofia Marques de Aguiar (Porto, 1973)
Architect> Art School of Porto (ESAP), (1998). Member of the Order of
Architects of Portugal (1998).
1993 – 2001> Atelier of architecture and urbanism, architect Manuel Marques de Aguiar.
1996 – 2005> CRUARB (urban rehabilitation of Porto as World Heritage city).
2004> Foundation of Belomonte Studio.
2013> EICTV San Antonio de los Baños, School of Cinema
2013 – 2014> FAC, Cuban Art Factory.
Other works> Painting, sculpture, illustration, jewelry, scenery and costume Design for Cinema
Ernesto Jiménez and Sofía Márquez Aguiar
June 9, 2016
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, 1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115
Twenty five students from the CUDC, Case Western (CWRU) and Cleveland State University (CSU) recently participated in a two week urban design competition. The students worked cooperatively across disciplines and schools in the fields of design, finance and urban planning to neighborhood scale development proposals. This year, five teams formed at the CUDC.
Sponsored by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition asks graduate students to design and finance a hypothetical solution for a site in an American city. Students compete for a grand prize of $50,000 for their schemes. In recent years, the Cleveland teams have won multiple honorable mention accolades in a very competitive field.
This year’s competition asked students to determine solutions for Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood near the Georgia Institute of Technology. Student schemes included solutions focused around multi-modal transit, redevelopment of the 1.4 million SF Bank of America Plaza, green space strategies, and mixed-use development near Midtown’s Technology Square. Students were guided through the fast paced competition with assistance from faculty, staff, and numerous professionals from the Northeast Ohio region.
On behalf of The Center for Outdoor Living Design (COLD) and the esteemed competition jury, we are pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions selected for this year’s COLDSCAPES//Adapt Competition! The competition sought submissions that creatively respond to the challenges posed by volatile weather conditions in winter cities.
The three winning entries and six honorable mentions were selected by a panel of jurors from the United States and Canada, representing multiple disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning.
Climate Canopy | Thomas Hinterholzer – Innsbruck, Austria
This project operates within the notions of comfort and energy. It proposes individual energy autonomy and takes a speculative approach in order to link urban energy networks with cold-cliamte outdoor activity. The anticipated technological assets are hydrogen and graphene. Hydrogen is the most efficient lifting gas with a lifting capacity of 1.2kg/m³. Its energy content is 3 times higher than fuel oil or natural gas and it can be produced efficiently and stored safely with new graphene materials. One atom thick graphene sheets are 95% transparent and 200 times stronger than steel. Developed canopies harvest renewable electricity from hydrogen, which can be used for the existing buildings. Various configurations of the canopy are used not only to produce electricity, but to overcome local uncomfortable climatic conditions in order to attain more possibilities for outdoor activity. Because the canopy structures are integrated within the existing built environment they work on the scale of a parcel or a block. It will bring the energy generation into a dialogue with outdoor comfort. This ambitious endeavor has the potential to change the energy household and urban activity of a whole city.
Threshold | Catherine Joseph – Auburn, Maine
Click to view larger.
Freeze/Thaw cycles in the Northeast are inevitable. With these micro-scale processes come ideal conditions for the subgrade build-up of ice lenses that displace soil and fracture rock through a process called “ice heaving”. This process is notorious for demolishing roads and cracking building foundations. Portland, Maine serves as a representative of urban areas that endure widely variable winter conditions. The physics behind frost heaves is predictable. By leveraging the anticipation of the formation of ice lenses, THRESHOLD is a series of independent processes activated by the cyclic build-up of snow and ice that is comes with the freeze and thaw cycles of Maine winters. Facades expand and retract according to the snow build-up, increasing the volume of the air-gap insulation. Walkways warm as the frost heaves activate piezoelectric panels that power underground heating coils. The vertical forces caused by the ice lenses can also be tailored to artistic endeavors – underground organs play the sounds of friction and temperature. Water forced to the surface is directed to ice pools, where ice sculptures are created and encouraged by the upward thrust of the freeze/thaw cycles. In each instance, it is the threshold between frozen and unfrozen that triggers the adaptive urban features.
The Eddy | Tiffany Chen and Matthew Enos – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Click to view larger.
Winter is isolating. It severs links between individuals and communities. Minneapolis is accustomed to this. The Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis serves as a popular link between neighborhoods, and facilitates encounters. However these opportunities are lost during the extreme Minnesota winter, when few people regularly cross the bridge, due to brutal wind chills. The Eddy acts as respite from winter, not removal. The principal aspect of the design is a series of louvred railing systems. Louvres on the northern face of the bridge close or open, depending on season, to block the bittern winds from the Mississippi below. Thus, they create a calmer, more amenable environment for winter users. The illuminated bridge acts as a beacon in the darkest point of the year. Minimal structural supports modify the rhythm the louvres create, while ‘eddies’ punctuate the length of the bridge. Three minor eddies provide integrated semi-sheltered seating, while the large, main eddy provides a screened space with integrated seating and observation areas. The eddy establishes the bridge as a winter destination and experience just as much as it is during summer.
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
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.
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
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!
Miguel Coyula is an architect, urban planner, and professor at the University of Havana. He will give a comprehensive overview of Havana from its origins to the present, ending with an open question shared by many people these day: What kind of city will Havana be in the coming years?
The event will be held at:
Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative
Kent State University
Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Directions to the CUDC
Following Professor Coyula’s talk, there will be a light dinner catered by Earth Bistro Café featuring contemporary American cuisine with a Cuban flair. This event is free and made possible by KSU President Emeritus Lester Lefton, but REGISTRATION is required.
For any inquiries regarding the event, please contact the CUDC.
Where do the intersections of urban design, architecture and entrepreneurship merge? Find out Friday, March 13, 2015 as we welcome Jennifer Coleman to our Spring Lecture Series.
As an architect & entrepreneur Jennifer Coleman has over 24 years experience in the field of architecture and has managed the design, bidding and construction observation of a diverse array of building projects. Her company, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC, is dedicated to improving life in the city through smart design, combining a traditional architectural design and planning practice with community engagement and history gathering and website and graphic design. She is also the founder and CEO of CityProwl, a company producing urban walking-tours that can be downloaded from the Internet to digital media players for self-led tours. Jennifer received a $30,000 startup grant from the Cleveland Foundation’s Civic Innovation Lab.
Ms. Coleman is Chair of both the Cleveland Landmarks Commission and Downtown/Flats District Design Review Committee and was appointed to the Mayor’s 2010 Group Plan Commission. She is a past board member of the Ohio Board of Building Standards. An avid civic volunteer, she is past president of the Cleveland Chapter of Links, Inc. and has served as an officer on the boards of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. She is also a board member of LAND Studio, the Cleveland Arts Prize, Cleveland International Film Festival and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, March 13th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
The 2015 Rudy Bruner Award selection committee met last weekend in Cambridge to review applications from 40 communities in 26 states, and selected five finalist, among them was Cleveland’s Uptown District.
The Uptown District is the redevelopment of a corridor linking art, educational and health care institutions with surrounding neighborhoods, creating outdoor gathering spaces, retail shops and restaurants, student and market-rate housing, and public transit connections.
Congratulations on such a prestigious honor! Stay tuned to late May/early June when the medalists are announced.
Aerial rendering of a development proposal for Cleveland’s MidTown District created by CUDC graduate students Matthew Nykamp and Heather Flick. The concept, named “Deeply Rooted,” proposed a public green space network overlaid on broadband data infrastructure.
First year graduate students at the CUDC kicked-off their urban design studio experience this fall with a local design competition. Focused on a segment of Cleveland’s Health-Tech Corridor, the competition involved several local partners and offered a $1,000 cash prize provided by Geis Companies.
Stretching along three miles of Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue, the Health-Tech Corridor (HTC) served as the geographic scope for the studio. The HTC is a 1,600 acre swath of near east side neighborhoods, including healthcare institutions, business incubators, academic centers, and over 123 high-tech companies, all anchored by a bus rapid transit (BRT) line.
The competition’s primary focus sites lie within the broader Health-Tech Corridor, clustered between E. 55th Street and E. 70th Street in the MidTown neighborhood. Students were given a tour of the area by knowledgeable community partners, including: Jeff Epstein, Director of the Health-Tech Corridor; Maura Maresh, Development Director at Geis Companies; and Will Warren, Finance Analyst at the City of Cleveland’s Department Economic Development.
Five student teams competed in the studio’s design competition. Each project employed a unique perspective on the opportunities presented by the site. Although all teams produced strong proposals for the jury to consider, ultimately Team RED was selected as the prize winner.
Students will present their work again at an event organized by Heath-Tech Corridor at JumpStart on February 26, 2014. If you’re interested in learning more about the upcoming event or the student projects, please contact studio instructor David Jurca.
Final slide presentations from all teams are shown below:
From Grey to Green | Clarisse Gates, James Lennon
Graduate students Clarisse Gates and James Lennon envision a holistic development strategy focused on improving the health of MidTown employees and surrounding residents. From Grey to Green identifies measurable goals for green infrastructure, providing attractive and functional amenities to spur new development.
MidtownLink | Said Abiakl
Exploring the site’s potential to connect adjacent neighborhoods, MidtownLink weaves a multi-use trail through variously scaled public spaces. Said Abiakl conducted a rigorous analysis of climatic conditions, storm water strategies, and programmatic arrangements to arrive at an iconic circular form to anchor the mixed-use development.
Mi[xe]d Town | Tyler Middendorf
Through research on the district’s historic development patterns, Tyler Middendorf derived the insight that past developments were too focused on a single industry. Comprised of businesses primarily based on the automotive industry, the district fell victim to volatile global market forces, resulting in the vacancy we see today. In an effort to prevent similar collapses in the future, Mi[xe]d Town diversifies entertainment, mobility, and employment opportunities, creating a resilient community.
MidTown Beat | Brittany Ballish, Andrew Foster
Building on existing assets within MidTown, Brittany and Andrew aim to grow the various rhythms of activity in the neighborhood. A proposed music therapy facility leverages the area’s music identity, punctuated by the nearby Cleveland Agora. Public spaces create areas of respite while integrating multiple levels of entertainment. Transit-oriented design elements reconnect Midtown with Downtown Cleveland, universities, and healthcare campuses. Streetscape enhancements and public arcades respond to the need for north-south connections to enable future growth and neighbor relations.
Deeply Rooted | Heather Flick, Matthew Nykamp
“The Deeper the Network, The Greater the Community” is the tagline for Matthew Nykamp and Heather Flick’s proposal, which aims to grow rich digital and physical social spaces. Leveraging the area’s broadband fiber infrastructure, Deeply Rooted attracts both new technology businesses and current neighborhood residents to interact in a dynamic public realm.
RED | Turki Alosimi, Mykie Hrusovski, Katelyn Milius
* Competition Winning Project
RED‘s goal is to create a technology-focused environment that promotes healthy living, celebrates diversity, fosters collaboration, and provides opportunities for growth on site. The project team addressed this goal by creating a flexible design strategy, rather than rigid master plan, which empowers nearby residents to climb up the ladder of success.
Team RED also created a stop-motion animation, which portrays an engaging story of two people working in the neighborhood.
This week we welcome three landscape architects from the global, networked design firm, NBBJ. Brian Bernstein, Ed Mickelson, and Carmine Russo’s talk “What’s Your Awareness? The Power of Integrated Design” will focus on the perspective of landscape architects and urban designers, as they will be sharing thoughts about the design practice and why they believe awareness and engagement matter.
A little bit about our speakers:
Brian Bernstein is a Project Leader with NBBJ. Brian is accomplished in the development of complex, large-scale sites. Much of his experience has been in the realm of hospitality and resort design, with extensive involvement in residential resorts and mixed-use commercial development. His completed projects are located across the U.S. and Mexico. Working in multidisciplinary teams, Brian has established expertise in understanding site, environmental, and regulatory constraints that are critical in successfully shaping site solutions. He is also keenly interested in understanding the needs and desires of his clients to assure the projects reach their maximum potential within the financial and time constraints established.
Ed Michelson is a Design Leader for NBBJ’s Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Practice. Ed is regarded as a leading voice in the design of many of the firm’s most prestigious projects; his concepts are well-conceived, practical and provocative. He directs projects of national, international and cultural significance and builds consensus among disparate groups for the realization of clients’ specific goals. During his 35-year career he has won more than 30 design awards for his work in the planning and design of highly complex sites and campuses in the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait.
Carmine Russo is a Project Landscape Architect who brings a broad background of planning and design to NBBJ. Within the United States, he has led multiple projects for world-class leaders in healthcare institutions, and has worked on major urban transportation projects as well as corporate, commercial, and civic assignments. In addition to his domestic projects, Carmine has also engaged with accomplished multidisciplinary teams and influential international clients in the development of projects in Russia and China. He is a leader who works well in the team environment and builds strong relationships with his clients working toward projects that meet their highest standards and aspirations. Carmine is a strong advocate of innovation in design, as well as sustainability strategies that protect and enhance the natural environment.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, February 6th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
We are kicking off our Spring Lecture Series on Friday, January 16th, with urban design and city planner, Alex Pesta of City Architecture. Originally from Cincinnati, he will talk about his outsider perspective on the City of Cleveland, as well as, his career path that spans from a single family residential architect to now, urban designer and city planner.
Alex’s broad vision and understanding of “big picture” thinking and planning motivate him to constantly challenge himself and others in pursuit of maximizing a project’s impact and potential. He believes that intelligent, effective and meaningful investments in public spaces and infrastructure have the ability to celebrate place, redefine a street and establish new identities. His involvement leading the City of Huron’s master plan process led to the development of initiatives, that when considered together, can reshape this prime waterfront community. Alex’s approach begins with projects that are immediately realizable to gain momentum and community support. He believes that overall change can happen at the smallest scale, whether it is the construction of a median, the installation of landscaping or a signage package that helps define place.
Planning Process: Huron existing conditions.
His project experience ranges from small infill redevelopment sites to overall city master plans and has led him towards a widespread appreciation of design, successful project implementation, open and effective communication with consultants, city officials, and most importantly, clients. Alex studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati, has practiced at City Architecture for 12 years and recently became a partner at the firm. He leads the firm’s planning efforts and feels the firm’s combination of planning and architecture services provide a unique perspective for each project.
As always our lectures are free and open to the public. Join us from 12-1 PM on Friday, January 16th, at the CUDC, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.
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.