Monday, October 11, 2010

we like pie too.

and nice websites, like this one.

Read what pie has to do with community here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

iida perspective magazine cover

thanks to some mad drawing skills by suzanne, COMMUNITY BY DESIGN has appeared on the (inter)national scene. the five of us (and suzanne's hands) appear in the drawing above from the cover of the international interior design association PERSPECTIVE magazine...

on the inside cover, suzanne explains...

"i feel our design education is shifting towards a focus on community, both in terms of how we design and who we design for. As design professionals and educators, we recognize that good design exists not as a privilege reserved for the wealthiest among us, but rather for all people. This is a value we must instill in our students, encouraging young designers to engage in their local community while constructing design projects that have a meaningful impact on our neighbors. The illustration is directly inspired by COMMUNITY BY DESIGN, a local collaborative between design students, professionals, and educators."

nicely said...nicely drawn, suzanne...

see more of suzanne's work on her blog: an

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

19 thumb[nails]s up

Time flew by yesterday brainstorming illustration ideas with Patrick. Love this part of the process.cxd case study basic thumbnails
cxd chapter divider thumbnails

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

streamlining + storyboarding

suzanne and i continued to work on the profiles of the projects on which we've worked....and, golly, there sure are some great successes in those projects. when i reflect over my time thus far at uncg, some of the greatest memories happened in studios and classes where community-based work took place. and when i think of all the people who have been involved or touched by these projects, i realize the true value in building human relationships that stand the test of time...and sometimes the challenges and circumstances of a particular studio or design opportunity.

i've also learned that it takes much sustenance to sort through and write stories. today's site for our work: DELICIOUS bakery...and, yes, one cupcake is plenty of sugar intake for the day (but are they ever tasty!). the yellow cake with buttercream frosting = highly recommended.

watching suzanne storyboard our ideas is like observing a master baker at work! her drawings, filled with humor and articulate graphics, will bring a whole additional layer to the COMMUNITY BY DESIGN handbook. TOTAL fun! check out her blog... for all kinds of drawing inspiration, techniques, and generally good design thinking!

Friday, September 10, 2010

asheville design center

as we continue to work on the COMMUNITY BY DESIGN handbook, we have uncovered a whole network of like-minded individuals all across north carolina....and, indeed, the world. our latest find.... asheville design center. check out the important work they undertake in "building livable communities through planning and design."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

get the facts, jack!

suzanne and i continue to work on our book manuscript by the same title as this blog. we're profiling the various projects over the last five years...and we'd like to get some thoughts from you about whether the "fact sheet" we've developed makes sense. let us know what you think about the following.

PROJECT : close to home

LENGTH : 1 semester

TYPE : exhibit design

SCALES : complex/
academic credit/grant-funded/volunteer

SKILLS NEEDED : basic building techniques
material qualities and limitations
good knowledge of digital graphic design software

SKILLS LEARNED : professional communication approaches
confidence and competence in design

celebration of local design history
oral history approaches
writing for a specific audience

DELIVERABLES : 2 gallery installations
12 information kiosks throughout the community
1 website

KEY IDEAS : teamwork
space planning

informational graphics
interpretation of historical data
material culture
social networking

CORE PARTICIPANTS : 18 third and fourth year design students, 1 faculty
(working with other students and community partners)

TOTAL CONTRIBUTORS : 174 students in 6 classes
34 community members
972 exhibit attendees

2 industry partners
2 community foundations
1 non-profit organization
2 universities
3 departments
4 faculty
1 advisory board
1 design review team

COMMUNITY BENEFITS : appreciation for modern design
understanding the work of a local designer in context

the richness of university-community partnerships
sharing stories across generations

suzanne is so good at diagramming that she "converted" each project to a storyboard...she will scan that art and post it in a separate post. book writing is hard work!

our location for this community by design session: CARIBOU COFFEE, friendly center.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

transformation at work

Our collaborative met last night to continue working on a project we started earlier this summer: revamping the local office of the National Conference for Community and Justice. Our ultimate goal is to transform the space in such a way that it better reflects the group's noble work and mission: to build a community free of bias, bigotry and racism.nccj-1
These are a couple of the quick sketches we put together during the meeting to better share our collective vision with the client.

Friday, August 27, 2010

it's in the mail!

the prospectus has been sent to our potential book publisher. keep your fingers crossed for us!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

exploring the neighborhood

or more specifically, the birdhouses in the neighborhood in order to build a nest full of images for the book...
bird houses on dunleith
Today I'm definitely experiencing the sparks that occur when passion and 'work' intersect!

Monday, August 16, 2010

newcomer's update

victoria and i met briefly to talk about the newcomer's project. she's back from italy and FULL OF ENERGY. i'm really excited about this project because victoria's approach to teaching is about the reggio-emelia system of education. well, hey, it's italian, so that's a point in it's favor off the bat. the essential point of the approach is that the ENVIRONMENT IS THE THIRD TEACHER IN THE CLASSROOM. um....yeah!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

nccj process

edgar and matt toyed around with a new receptionist desk and display panel for the front lobby of nccj.

we're trying to wrap up our recommendations for nccj, including these great sketch drawings by edgar and matt. from our charrette, they further developed the notion of a spine down the central hallway of the space...a display system of sorts on which the organization could proudly display its important work. given that nccj is leasing their office space, we have been cautious about suggesting permanent changes that may not be acceptable to their landlord. as result, we like the notion of a hallway expression that sort of sews together the corridor space in the building, without a significant and lasting intervention on the building envelope.

Friday, July 2, 2010

it's finished, it's finished!! the prospectus, that is...

at long last, suzanne and i have rounded the bend and HAVE COMPLETED the prospectus for the COMMUNITY BY DESIGN HANDBOOK. we're going to let it "rest" a bit and come back to it with renewed eyes after july. but, we'd like to let you in on some of the contents...

... a manifesto (largely based on our iar201 manifesto where we took on the bus shelter project)

we value …

… healthy spaces, buildings, neighborhoods, and cities

… integrity, authenticity, innovation, fair exchange, and kindness

… simple responses, thoughtful actions, and grounded decisions

we believe …

… in the spirit of collaboration

… every design represents opportunities for connectivity

… that we embed stories as we do our work

we advocate …

… for good stewardship of earth’s precious resources

… celebration of deeds great and small

… that design can change the world

...the case for COMMUNITY BY DESIGN in a design program
...identifying projects + partners
...putting together the team
...seeking financial support
...managing university relations
...getting the work done


we'll be posting our process as we write on this blog...stay tuned....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the nccj charrette

ok, so hundreds of times as a teacher, i have assigned an impossible series of tasks en charrette. (if you've not heard of that term, read all about this timed design exercise in a paper i wrote with my colleague, robert charest, for the 24th national council on the beginning design student conference in georgia).

just like in school, the community by design team tackled the nccj project (after dinner, of course) in the casa cabrera "studio." after discussing the project for a while, we divided into three teams to address different aspects of the project. from the results of our efforts last evening, i'll draft a memo to nccj, reporting on our recommendations.

i'm excited about the ideas we generated because they all, if implemented, help give life and energy to the nccj offices....the goal of the organization in getting us to help them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

newcomer's site visit

edgar, debbie, suzanne, and i had a GREAT visit with victoria wreden-sadeq, the art teacher at newcomer's school. we looked around the forlorn late 1960s/1970s building that the school is reshaping into a viable learning environment. already, art has a major position in the school and the gorgeous weaving/installation in the library, as well as student projects throughout the school are testimony to victoria's steady hand and electric energy in bringing change to the environment.

we're in negotiations about how best cxd can assist in the project, fully realizing that there's a significant opportunity for students in iarc to be involved.

i should note here that victoria also has worked with faculty from uncg's department of theatre and department of i smell a multi-disciplinary opportunity? i hope so.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

nccj office visit

we visited nccj in two stages. edgar, matt, and i went on the first true reconnaissance of the space to think through design opportunities there. we asked alison to provide some additional information about working habits and needs. (actually, it was a proud moment as an educator, as i watched two terrific designers in their element, getting at the human dimension of the design challenges that lay before us).

nccj is located in the "office wing" of the former jewish temple on north greene street. the colonial revival building, to put it mildly, is a little tired, in terms of finishes, but the bones of the building are terrific and offer the opportunity for re-invigoration of the surfaces and finishes. as is the case with many non-profits, nccj is not in a position to be able to dedicate a lot of money to the updating of its offices. it's my hope, though, that they will see the need to use the building to help share an important mission about equality, community activism, and justice in our world.

about a week after our first visit, edgar and i measured up the nccj office while debbie took notes and chatted with alison about needs. i think i impressed edgar by hand-drawing a nearly scaled floor plan of the offices. and while i can draw a darned straight line without a straight edge... i'm no CAD expert, so edgar graciously agreed to put the drawing into form for our use.

that accomplished, our next task was to set a date to work as the community by design team on potential visions for the space.