SU, SUNY-ESF students collaborate with community members on design competition to bring key section of Connective Corridor to life
SU, SUNY-ESF students collaborate with community members on design competition to bring key section of Connective Corridor to lifeMarch 13, 2008Erica Blustesblust@syr.edu
A group of Syracuse University and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) students will spend three days working around the clock on design proposals for a competition that aims to bring a key section of the Connective Corridor to life.
Students will form teams and collaborate with community members March 18-20 to propose ways to liven and enrich the streetscape of the Corridor that runs on East Genesee Street from the intersection at Irving Avenue to Interstate 81. The competition, “Change Your View,” takes the form of a charrette, an intense period of time when students work together to solve a specific problem.
The winning design concept (or concepts) will be implemented this summer and will be exhibited to the public on Thursday, March 20, from 5-8 p.m. at the Syracuse Center for the Performing Arts, 728-730 E. Genesee St. The exhibition coincides with Th3: A City-Wide Art Open, which is held on the third Thursday of each month.
More than 40 students from SU and SUNY-ESF will participate in the charrette, including those from five schools and colleges at SU: the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), the School of Architecture, the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Law and the School of Education. The students will work under the supervision of Michael McAllister, director of VPA’s newly formed Center for Multidisciplinary Design, whose mission is to encourage students from various disciplines to find fresh solutions to real-world problems by working at the intersection of their diverse perspectives.
“This project is important because it offers students and community members a rare chance to collaborate in a concentrated effort to impact their own environment,” says McAllister. “The charrette is also a unique opportunity for students from many different disciplines to work side by side. This effort helps move Syracuse University to the forefront of multidisciplinary education and will help us learn the pros and cons of multidisciplinary education as we shape our new center.”
The first day of the charrette will begin with guest speakers from the community who will provide background information on the history of the area and give their professional perspectives on the project. They include Julia Czerniak, associate professor of architecture in SU’s School of Architecture and founder and principal of the transdisciplinary collaborative CLEAR; Jean Gleisner, cultural landscape researcher at the Research Foundation of SUNY and the National Park Service; and Dennis Connors, curator of history at the Onondaga Historical Association Museum and Research Center.
Other community participants on the first day include the East Genesee Regent Association, which will coordinate the attendance of business owners to consult with the students; Ruth Spitzner, an artist and designer, who will lead the students in “walk escapes” that will allow them to obtain fresh space impressions through physical movement; and Christine Merchant, a professor of practice at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, who will work with the students on teambuilding and conflict resolution.
After working with the guest speakers, the students will form teams and work through the night and into the following day, at which point their work will be critiqued by SU faculty members. Using this feedback, they will continue to work through the second night and into the third day, when their concepts will receive a final critique. The projects will be judged on social and cultural impact, including the nighttime and multi-seasonal experiences envisioned, and on technical and economic feasibility.
The Connective Corridor is a signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting the University Hill with downtown Syracuse. The Corridor will make investments in key locations to support historic landmarks, cultural institutions and private development in the city. These areas include the emerging arts districts along East Genesee Street and the Near Westside; Forman Park, the Fayette Firefighter’s Memorial Park and Columbus Circle; the nightlife of Armory Square; and the Civic Strip, where the Oncenter complex and the Everson Museum of Art tie into the center of downtown. The Corridor will showcase these assets and ignite a resurgence of economic development, tourism and residential growth.
For more information about the charrette and competition, contact McAllister at (215) 896-9217 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Connective Corridor, visit http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu.