Cities are systems, systems within systems. Government, infrastructure, food, healthcare, education, taxes, ecosystems – these are just a few examples. We live in a time characterized by dysfunction and lack of investment (#neglect) in many of these systems. Some of these are spectacular – levee failure – to mundane – a crack in the sidewalk. As we’ve seen in #Flintwatercrisis, catastrophes happen when multiple system failures align in the same space.
Understanding the systems operating within cities lets us understand cities and how to accomplish tasks (change, built work, permit approval) within them far better. In this project the systems of the city become more visible to us through the places where they break down. We reframe these places as opportunities for design.

How can design utilize dysfunctional urban systems to create more just, healthy, and sustainable environments?

Project site: Chosen by individual student for his/her Part II design. Choose a site that:

  • Is within the city of Syracuse.
  • Includes one or more points of failure in your selected system from Part I
  • Is 0.25-1.0 acre in size (that’s about ¼ of Shaw Quad)
  • Demonstrates a clear rationale for your site choice (eg: the most influential, the most visible, the most typical…)
  • I approve.

What to do:

  • Choose any system from among those presented on 2.11.16 as part of System Restart Part I. You *do not have to use the same system for Part II that you used for Part I!*
  • Use the information from Part I as the foundation for your Part II design, and to inform your design process. Sharing of information and graphics from Part I between students is strongly encouraged! But all work you turn in must be your own (eg: do your own drawings).

Site functions (program): Part II designs must:

  • Include a clear connection to an existing urban system within Syracuse, as explored in Part I.
  • Include a clear rationale for site choice based on existing conditions.
  • Mitigate (lessen the impact of) the system’s dysfunction.
  • Improve the system’s function, at least in a minor way.
  • Improve the city or a part of it (even if small) as a place for all residents.
  • Be primarily sitework (not buildings). Designs may include one or more structures as well.
  • Provide a single cohesive design that includes sitework and any included structures (ie not a design solely for a structure or building).

Project schedule:
Th 2.11            Part I in-class presentation, posts to social media/your online portfolio, tagged with @samedelstein and @Andrew_Maxwell, #iteams (+other hashtags at your discretion)
Part II project brief posted via @susandieterlen and on City Wild (blog)
Tu 2.16 &        No formal class meeting-
Th 2.18            no studio deadlines week. Email me with questions or to meet by appointment.
Tu 2.23            80% complete; Regular studio meeting
Th 2.25            Poster Session with Syracuse I-Team (location and details TBA)
M 2.29            5:00 p.m.: Parts I and II due in pdf to class Google drive folder. Please submit your Part I work as completed for 2.11.16, even if you used a different system for Part II.
                        Post final boards to social media/your online portfolio, tagged with @samedelstein and @Andrew_Maxwell, #iteams.

Pdf of final boards uploaded to course website, AND
For poster session: 2 – 24”x 36” boards in hardcopy, unmounted, oriented horizontally (eg: 36” wide). Also include a separate paragraph explaining your design intent (300 words or less) – details about how to submit this paragraph will be forthcoming.
Boards should include:

  • Plan/perspective/section(s) presenting your design for your selected (and approved) site. Include at least one drawing showing *all* of your design, such as a plan or a bird’s eye perspective.
  • More detailed drawings (sections/perspectives/enlargement plans – your choice) to aid in communicating your design to a non-design audience.
  • Supporting infographics to communicate connection to existing conditions of your chosen system within Syracuse, and rationale for your choice of site within system.
  • Context map, aerial photo or other graphic locating your chosen site within your chosen urban system, and that system within the city of Syracuse.

Designs should be realistic in terms of scale and relationships of site elements, with materials specified for key elements.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • All elements listed above under “Deliverables” present.
  • Design provides elements listed under “Site Functions,” above.
  • Design safeguards public health, safety, and welfare.
  • Deliverables communicate well and at an appropriate level of detail to a professional but non-design audience (eg: the I-team).
  • Deliverables demonstrate good graphic representation and craft.
  • Online posts made as directed above and final pdfs uploaded to course folder.

Copyright © 2016  Susan Dieterlen