Project 3. Hornbake Landscape Theater
One of the things that was emphasized in Project 1 and 2 was the development of your own design vocabulary. In this project, we will move to a community level. The goal of this project is to understand how design vocabularies form the identities of public places, and how different design vocabularies interact with peoples’ movements, behaviors, and activities in a public place. How can we design a public place that is not only functional but also full of imagination?
A public place is like a stage in a theater for its surrounding communities. It embodies the imagination of the possibilities of what might happen in the next moment, while it carries on the sentiments of the stories that just passed by a second ago. It provides actors various ways to explore themselves, while it offers audiences unique moments to observe and to contemplate. A successful public space not only facilitates different functions of users’ needs, but also assists everyone in identifying their own path and helps to shape a collective identity for the communities who use the place daily.
Designing a public space is quite a challenge. From functional aspects, designers have to be sensitive about how the design vocabularies that we create (i.e., seating areas, plant canopies, water features, topography changes, etc.) interact with peoples’ movements, behaviors, and activities. Every moment, there are new activities happening at every corner of the stage. People walk or run through it. They sit underneath a tree and watch others. They lean against a light pole when they chat. They jump up and down on stairs to have fun.
In addition to a functional aspect, designers have to be sensitive about the forms of the vocabularies that they introduced. The repetitions of applying unified tables, benches, or planters, makes every place looks just like other places. However, if designers introduced a series of unique design vocabularies into a public place, the distinctive patterns shaped by the design vocabularies would foster the particular characteristics of the place. More importantly, designers always have to remember that the place that we design is for everyone who uses it, not just for our own creativity. Therefore, how one shapes the sense of community through design is always critical.
In this project, we will use Hornbake Plaza as the stage of our landscape theater.
You will work with a group of two or three for the entire project.
Phase One (5%): Pattern Language and Site Analysis (10/8, 10/9 – 10/13, 10/14)
You need to read the following patterns in the book, A Pattern Language:
Intro: Using the book:
P. ix - xvii
30, 33, 36, 43, 53 – 64, 69, 88, 92, 94, 100, 105, 106, 110, 111-115, 119-121, 160-178, 203-207, 211, 242, 243, 247, 248, 250, 251
Site Analysis: (on tracing paper)
Your group needs to visit Hornbake Plaza at least twice – one on a weekday and one on a weekend. Each visit should be about an hour. During your visit, you should work on the following mapping and observations – Natural Factors, Social Factors, and Existing Conditions. Please refer to Site Analysis Steps and Products for instructions.
(Performance: 10/15, 10/16)
Your team has to create two stories and perform them at Hornbake Plaza. Assume that you can remove anything from the existing site. Your stories will focus on how people “move and sit” at Hornbake Plaza. Each story should be no longer than 3 to 5 minutes. Your stories have to include different characters, for example: you can create 3 to 5 characters that have the following attributes:
1) a twenty-something student
2) a returning student
3) an international student
4) a minority student
For example, one story could be about how people use Hornbake during an ordinary day, and the other about how people would use Hornbake for a Pumpkin Party.
Presentation of the Two Story Scripts: You have to perform the stories that you create at Hornbake (See example story performance).
* If you are in a two-person team, you can work with another team for the story performance phase. However, you have to only work with your own team for the other portion of the project.
Phase Three (15%): Designing the Stage of Hornbake (10/15, 10/16 – 10/29, 10/30) (Gallery Presentation 10/29, 10/30)
After your site analysis and the “move-and-sit” story performance, your team has about 2 weeks to brainstorm a design that is both functional and imaginative for the Hornbake landscape theater. Your design should follow the “move-and-sit” stories that you already create at Phase Two, and focus on the re-design of overall circulations and sitting areas. You can apply the patterns that you read from A Pattern Language, i.e., 69 public outdoor room, 88 street coffee, 94 sleeping in public, 120 path and goal, 121 path shape, 125, stair seats, 251 difference chairs, and so on.
One critical requirement of your new design is that the seating areas that your team creates has to represent the identities of the surrounding communities – various students, staffs, and faculty members from Plant Sciences, Bio-Sciences, Landscape Architecture and Management, and so on. Remember, you CANNOT have any ordinary forms of chairs or benches. You have to create distinctive forms of seating vocabularies for your new design scheme. For example, you can imagine that the form of a parallel bar, or laboratory tubes can be twisted into the form of seats or stairs to lean on (See example tube imagination). In other words, when people pass by Hornbake Plaza, they can easily identify the primary communities surrounding the plaza.
The schedule and requirement of the design project are:
1. 10/15, 10/16 - brain storm for design idea/Story Performance
2. 10/20, 10/21 – on-site modeling (schedule may change, depending on weather)
3. 10/22, 10/23 – 10/27, 10/28 group crits, graphic workshop for image collage
4. 10/29, 10/30 – gallery presentation
1. on-site modeling – Each team has to chose a portion of your design and use recycle materials to do a real scale modeling on site.
2. Image Collage Gallery Presentation (See example on Shenglin’s door)
Each team has to produce collage-style graphic representations for your design. Each team has to present two or three sheets (depends on how many members your team has). The presentations include: (1) design process: Patterns, Site analysis, Story performances, (2) design collage: overall images, different portions of the plaza, and innovative seating designs.
Creativity – 30%
Depth of analysis – 30%
Quality of Graphic Representation – 30%
Team Work Attitude and Progress – 10%