Architecture Students Bring Public Housing Proposals to People of Brownsville
On Saturday, Sept. 10, students and faculty from the Syracuse Architecture NYC Summer 2016 program displayed their work on Livonia Avenue in Brownsville as part of the public festival Live! On Livonia and the HOPE Summit, organized by Brownsville Partnership/ Community Solutions.
Brownsville is a neighborhood in east Brooklyn, its streetscape marked by a total of 18 large public housing projects developed by the New York City Housing Authority, one of which is the Van Dyke housing project. The HOPE Summit offers Brownsville residents, and neighborhood partners and organizations an opportunity to gather community input and discuss community revitalization through facilitated dialogue and planning activities.
In summer 2016, Syracuse Architecture NYC partnered with Nadine Maleh, executive director of the Institute for Public Architecture and a senior advisor at Community Solutions, to teach an architectural studio in response to the recently released NextGeneration NYCHA Van Dyke Houses RFP. Students had eight weeks to develop coherent design strategy informed by field and archival research. Their research was further widened by the material taught in “NYC: Housing for the Public,” a professional elective taught by Quilian Riano, founder of DSGN AGNC. The results were nine unique proposals, each answering the RFP while exploring alternative affordable housing and community space solutions.
This body of work was invited to be exhibited as part of the HOPE Summit 2016, a community outreach event organized by Brownsville Partnership, joined by various workshops conducted by New Yorkers for Parks, Center for Urban Pedagogy, NYC Housing Preservation & Development and Community Solutions. The residents of Brownsville received the students’ work positively, engaging in conversations about housing, design and neighborhood development. The students could not have received better compliments than the heartfelt exclamation by one enthusiastic local, “This is what we want. This is what we need!”