The Power of Designing with Pedestrians in Mind

Providing more public space for pedestrians is one of the main goals of urban renewal projects taking place in cities around the world. 

By planting more trees, implementing more sidewalks and bike paths and establishing new seating areas, it is possible to design more welcoming places with less traffic congestion and that promote sustainable methods of transportation, such as walking or biking.

With the aim of publicizing urban renewal projects that have made cities more pedestrian friendly, Brazilian group Urb-I launched the “Before/After” project, which compiles before and after photos that show how cities have redistributed their public space.

The project is collaborative so that anyone can use Google Street View, or another similar tool, to raise awareness of the changes taking place in their cities.

Read on to see the transformed spaces.

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Regnbuepladsen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Image Courtesy of Urb-I

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Padre Alonso de Ovalle, Santiago, Chile. Image Courtesy of Urb-I

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Griffith Park Boulevard, Los Angeles, United States. Image Courtesy of Urb-I

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Teaching Kids How to Build Smart Cities

SMARTstudents2_920_609_80 (1)Some New York middle-schoolers spent their summer vacation building models of smart cities, complete with futuristic cars and clean energy infrastructure. The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering Science of Smart Cities program held its fourth annual expo, where the children showed off their designs. During their four-week training with NYU engineering students, participants learned about engineering aspects of sustainable and resilient cities.

Read full article here.

Scores with Interior Design at IMG

The elevator lobby has basketball texture on the floor, turf on the walls along with a scoreboard. Employees and clients congregate to meet and relax in the Half Time area. Larger meetings are held on bleachers that rise above a grass turf. The open office area with custom workstations is the gridiron with yard markers on the floor. The door handles are wrapped in pigskin with stitching used for footballs.

From the second you step off the elevator it’s obvious that at IMG College of Atlanta, it’s all about sports. Perkins + Will’s interior group focused on the sports theme when redesigning the office, down to the last detail. “Everything in the space has the textures of college sports,” said Meena Krenek, a designer at Perkins + Will.

The interior design creates a profound connection to IMG, which represents the multi-media rights of more than 70 collegiate properties, with the use of iconic materials, textures, and graphics found in the collegiate sports world, allowing employees to feel comfortable in the office environment, while maintaining a professional and unique atmosphere for visitors.

“When you walk off the elevator, you immediately know what type of business we are in, and what caliber we are. We feel like we are a better company and I think it shows in the environment that’s been created for our employees, and also for our clients when they come to visit us. They are absolutely amazed,” said Cory Moss, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of The Collegiate Licensing Company, an affiliate unit of IMG College. “It has dramatically improved our communication and our capabilities.”

Read original article here.

Archive of Architecture and Other Design Documents and Objects

The Architecture and Design Center Teams up with AIA Georgia, AIA Atlanta and Georgia Tech to Form the Archive Project

The Atlanta based Architecture and Design Centerimages (1) (ADC) has teamed up with the Georgia and Atlanta chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Georgia Institute of Technology to initiate the Regional Archive Program.  This comprehensive effort will be supported by the ADC / AIA and managed by the Georgia Tech Archives.  All of these groups have realized the pressing need to create an expanded archive of significant architecture and other design documents and objects in order to record the culture and history of architecture and related fields in Georgia.  The archive will afford opportunity for research and for the organization of exhibits, lectures and other activities centered around the collection.  The ADC/AIA/ Georgia Tech Archives first exhibit will focus on the historic Peachtree Corridor and premiere at the 2015 National AIA Convention taking place in Atlanta in May.  More detail on this exhibit will be released soon.

The Architecture and Design Center is the only Atlanta organization dedicated expressly to bringing architecture knowledge to the public with the goal of promoting a better designed and planned built environment.

For additional information regarding the archive project please contact Nathan Koskovich, ADC Board President at- nathan@koskovicharchitecture.com

Design in Small Increments, Even When Building Big Projects

Designing in small increments, even when building in big chunks is not easy, but these ideas help: Subdivide First, Design Streets, Make Places, Design Boundaries. They can also guide the design of many different projects in Georgia: shopping malls, hospitals, university campuses and much more.

Until about 50 years ago, building towns and cities in Georgia and across America followed a common pattern. Most everyone agreed, even if tacitly, how a city was built and how it appeared. A clear and orderly framework of lots and blocks and streets came first. This framework was filled in, incrementally, either quickly or gradually, with many different buildings, activities and people. General James Oglethorpe’s Savannah is a great example, but the downtowns in Georgia were built the same way.

Now, we often build towns and cities by building “projects,” as Jane Jacobs would call them:  ballparks, big box stores, hospitals, justice centers and even schools. A challenge to architects is how to design these big projects in small increments.

Sport stadiums are good examples to learn from. Take Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. It has the four characteristics of most big projects:

Single purpose – only about baseball and game day activities.
Inwardly focused – turns its back to the adjacent neighborhood; everything happens on the inside.
Barriers and buffers – separated from, not joined to the adjacent neighborhood.
Isolated – surrounded by surface parking lots with more than 3000 spaces.

turner field

Read full article here.