Event Title

Mobile Design Box: Spaces that Supersede Property Boundaries & Indulge Permanence

Mentor 1

Arijit Sen

Mentor 2

Alexander Timmer

Mentor 3

Mo Zell

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

The objective of this project was to examine how community-engaged action-research and design methods could transform vacant lots and empty buildings into productive spaces. We worked with community members to identify unique entrepreneurial needs of Milwaukee’s Mitchell Street. We studied the neighborhood’s physical and social contexts, interviewed community members, sent out surveys, and set up an online, public website. We also conducted site analysis in order to map building vacancies, green spaces, traffic volume, demographics, and crime. Our collaborators raised concerns such as a decline in the sense of community in the neighborhood, a lack of public space, a lack of entertainment venues and performance spaces following the closing of the Modjeska Theatre, and a need for a more diverse set of social activities that take place throughout the day. Ethnographic and archival research also revealed a strong sense of pride in the neighborhood’s history and cultural diversity. Then, using this information and in collaboration with community partners, we designed innovative social, economic and cultural uses in existing vacant storefronts. A team of architecture students, myself included, crafted a proposal for a community-based design installation and a publicly accessible website that documents stories of experiences, emotions, issues, architecture, businesses and diversity of the neighborhood. Overall efforts lead to the immense social impact of design and responsibility for architects to design in a way that alleviates social distress and promotes sustainable community engagement. Our action-research study indicates that addressing and supporting individual needs, cultural values, and social benefits would work in the built environment to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. We are convinced that the implementation of our physical design will indulge permanence and support in the community through reaching out beyond the physical walls of a single, vacant storefront.

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Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

Mobile Design Box: Spaces that Supersede Property Boundaries & Indulge Permanence

The objective of this project was to examine how community-engaged action-research and design methods could transform vacant lots and empty buildings into productive spaces. We worked with community members to identify unique entrepreneurial needs of Milwaukee’s Mitchell Street. We studied the neighborhood’s physical and social contexts, interviewed community members, sent out surveys, and set up an online, public website. We also conducted site analysis in order to map building vacancies, green spaces, traffic volume, demographics, and crime. Our collaborators raised concerns such as a decline in the sense of community in the neighborhood, a lack of public space, a lack of entertainment venues and performance spaces following the closing of the Modjeska Theatre, and a need for a more diverse set of social activities that take place throughout the day. Ethnographic and archival research also revealed a strong sense of pride in the neighborhood’s history and cultural diversity. Then, using this information and in collaboration with community partners, we designed innovative social, economic and cultural uses in existing vacant storefronts. A team of architecture students, myself included, crafted a proposal for a community-based design installation and a publicly accessible website that documents stories of experiences, emotions, issues, architecture, businesses and diversity of the neighborhood. Overall efforts lead to the immense social impact of design and responsibility for architects to design in a way that alleviates social distress and promotes sustainable community engagement. Our action-research study indicates that addressing and supporting individual needs, cultural values, and social benefits would work in the built environment to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. We are convinced that the implementation of our physical design will indulge permanence and support in the community through reaching out beyond the physical walls of a single, vacant storefront.