“[New York State’s] energy plan’s goals for 2030 are a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector compared with 1990 levels, a 50 percent share of electric power from renewable sources and a 23 percent reduction in energy use by buildings.”
– from “Power projects fire up N.Y.’s ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’” http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060030769

The need to address climate change and national security by transitioning to clean energy is central to current efforts at the international, national, and state levels. Our main project this semester engages with NYS’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and energy community collaborators to identify opportunities to meet REV’s goals within central Syracuse, developing a research-based framework for selection of appropriate sites for the implementation of these opportunities. Each student will then refine one of his/her concepts to a design development level, on a site selected using the framework.
Plans like REV are often composed of goals that are too large, too abstract, or too vague to direct individual projects, while the clean energy industry is dominated by technical detail, frequently at the scale of electrical circuits. In this project, we explore the middle ground, uniting broad goals with practicalities through urban design. In this era of great reluctance to invest in large public projects, tying small, implementable designs to overarching goals becomes an essential skill to enable change, one step at a time. In the process we will apply design thinking to one of the most urgent issues of our time.
How can design in urban environments capitalize on the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy to improve life for all residents?

This project will proceed in two phases: the development of a logic for selecting sites and application of that logic to the city of Syracuse, followed by designs for selected sites within the city.
Products for Phase I should:

  • As a class: Determine what’s most relevant to Syracuse from designated REV resources.
  • Spatially represent (eg: map of the city and keyed points) land use type or parts of the city for which these goals are most relevant or best suited.
  • Illustrate connections or ideas and connection between goals and city parts using sketches and diagrams.
  • Identify highest priority goals/city parts – what’s the most urgent? What’s an ideal pilot project? What parts will be easier after other parts have paved the way or focused public support?
  • Provide selection criteria for sites for most urgent goals/city parts.
  • Represent all sites within city of Syracuse (not metro area) selected with your criteria
  • Select three of these sites for your own design, and represent initial ideas for the design (sketches, precedents, etc.)…continued in Phase II.

Project schedule:
Tu 3.1              Guest lecture in CoE 508: Micah Kotch, NYSERDA. Class discussion and directed group work at CoE.
Tu 3.8              1:00-2:00 Guest lecture in CoE 203: Richard Yancy (BEEx) (short class meeting)
                        6:00-7:00 “Disruption and Design Thinking” lecture by Susan, Slocum Auditorium
3.14/3.16       Spring Break – no class meetings.
Tu 3.29            1:00-2:00 Guest lecture in CoE 203: Aseem Inam (TRUlab) (short class meeting)           
Th 4.1              No formal class meeting – no studio deadlines week.
Tu 4.5              NY Power Dialog: Digital sketchbook discussion of work in progress (details TBA)
Th 4.6              Upload pdf of sketchbook work to class folder
…to be continued on Part II brief…

Digital sketchbook representation of your work to date for discussion on 4.5. “Digital sketchbook” means:

  • Images are intended to be viewed on laptop screen, tablet, or other device as native format (not as hard-to-see reductions)
  • Images are viewed individually, not as a unified composition (eg: on a board)
  • In-progress work is *encouraged* over final presentation drawings.

Audience will be primarily professionals from other fields and students from outside Architecture.
Your digital sketchbook images must support discussion of your work-in-progress with this audience.
Digital sketchbook images must *also* be suitable for sharing via web or social media (eg: be able to stand alone with limited additional text narrative).

Evaluation Criteria:

  • All elements listed above under “Deliverables” present.
  • All elements listed above under “Products for Phase I should” present.
  • Deliverables exhibit a clear logical connection between components and steps.
  • Deliverables communicate well and at an appropriate level of detail to a professional but non-design audience.
  • Deliverables demonstrate good graphic representation and craft.
  • Online posts made as directed and final pdfs uploaded to course folder.

Copyright © 2016  Susan Dieterlen