Moving from Individual to Small Group

In many previous semesters students have been working with a new site which means that the first few weeks are spent on site research. This semester, because we are working at the same general site as last semester, we were able to expedite the research process. This has resulted in a full ten days of individual design work; a luxury for community build students. In these ten days each student started to form ideas and opinions about overall site design as well as the pavilion itself. As mentioned in the last couple posts, each student then presented their design to members of the Parks Conservancy, the City Parks Department, and the rest of the class.

At the end of these 14 presentations, with the help of our class partners, we identified some major themes and questions to be resolved as we move forward. In groups of three or four we will work together to explore questions such as:

  • Should the pavilion be connected to the path? How does that change the experience for people using the space?
  • How can we design for safety in a location with both a stormwater pond and a playground?
  • Can we integrate some environmental design elements, such as a green roof? Could that be used as a teaching moment similar to the rainwater harvesting systems at previous projects?
  • Can a single pavilion support a playground, a quiet viewing area, and an event space? Do we need to choose or can the space be flexible enough to support a wide range of activities?
  • Should there be integrated seating or tables? How much seating is enough?
  • How far should a seating area be from a playground? How far is too far for a watchful parent?

If you happen to see a group of people with measuring tapes at your neighborhood park/playground this weekend, it’s just your local community build students doing some research trying to answer some of these questions (and seeing who can jump the farthest off the swings).

Leave a Reply