SHAPING THE SPLITNYIT School of Architecture & Design / Community Design Studio / Fall 2012
SHAPING THE SPLIT Reconciling Urban Systems in the Bronx Design V / Fall 2012INTRO. The Fourth Year Design Studios (Design V and VI) will consist of two separate semester long projects. In the fall semester students completeDesign V, the Community Design Studio. NYIT’s Community Design Studio has been a tradition for more than two decades. The aim of the Studio is tointroduce students of Architecture to broad planning, landscape and urban design strategies that are demonstrable at a human scale. At the same time,we offer our collective efforts to communities and public planning agencies, who seek bold ideas and creative vision. The Community Design Studio is runas a competition of ideas among teams of students.The focus of our efforts will be the ‘Sheridan Split’, a large swath of urban terrain adjacent to the Sheridan Expressway in the South Bronx. Students willbe tasked with engaging this unique urban landscape and articulating a vision for it’s inevitable transformation.MAKING CITIES. Throughout history, architects and planners have dreamed of “better” and different cities-more flexible, more controllable, moredefensible, more efficient, more monumental, more organic, taller denser, sparser, greener. With every plan, radical visions were proposed, ones thatembodied not only the desires, but also the fears and anxieties of their time.1 With alarming predictions of global warming, rapid urbanization, post-peak-oil energy crisis, and a growing disparity between rich and poor we find ourselves once again in need for radical visions for the way we live in cities in the21st century. In this studio we want to explore our role as designers to envision architecture and landscape as transformative agents in the city, to developa sustainable future and design relationships between space and form and social, cultural, political and financial conditions.Likewise we wish to use the studio as a vehicle to explore emerging trends in urban design practice. For example, the rapid ascention of sustainabilityand the increasingly ambiguous line between ‘natural’ and ‘man-made’ environments has led to the emergence of ‘Landscape Urbanism’, a field whosecontours and mandate are as yet undefined, but whose work has profoundly shifted the locus of conventional practice.NEW YORK CITY . Due to prohibitive costs of assembling private land and constructing buildings, and a complex, multi-layered approvals process,conventional ‘Urban Design’ is rarely practiced by single parties (public or private) in New York City.Instead, the form of the city is determined through a complex ‘partnership’ between city government and private real estate interests, where the formercreates the legal conditions and incentives under which the later may realize a positive return-on-investment (ROI). As such, city government establishesa broad design vision and private developers work incrementally (based on market conditions and available capital) to build the individual pieces thatconform to it. 1 Andraos, Amale “Introduction” in WORKac, 49 cities, (Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, 2010)
The design vision is set by the Department of City Planning (DCP) in the Zoning Resolution, which provides a legal and spatial framework within which realestate developers may construct buildings for profit. The Resolution is a ‘living’ document, which means that it is under perpetual review and revision,always seeking to balance the interests of the general public with the incentives necessary to attract and retain development capital from othermetropolitan markets. We shall use the studio as an opportunity to engage the Zoning Resolution in a manner that is viable, critical and constructive.STRUCTURE & DESIGN PROCESSLarge-scale design requires teamwork. Practicing how to communicate in teams, how to negotiate different interests, challenges and strengths, bothvisually and verbally is an important aspect of Design V. In the Community Design Studio, students are required to work in teams and collaborate on theirdesign. The teams may consist of 3 students. As a team, you will be responsible for the entire project including midterm and final presentations.STUDIO LOGISTICSAttendance and ParticipationAttendance is mandatory for all studio events. Studio participation is necessary to developing an independent, self-critical means of working, both inpreparation for the Thesis year as well as your entry into the profession. In compliance with NYIT policy, two unexcused absences will result in a warningletter from the Dept. chairperson. A third absence will result in a grade of F, or a mandatory withdrawal from the course. If you know in advance that youmust be absent, or you have other problems that may affect your grade, speak to the instructor.Online ParticipationYou are expected to follow and contribute to the Studio Blog atwww.nyitcommunitydesignstudio.orgYou will receive a username and password and will be required to upload your team’s progress to the site weekly. Make sure to downsave images to jpgat 72 dpi to upload them.GradingThe work of the team is evaluated in class, during desk crits, pin-ups, and interim and final reviews, as a whole; however students are graded individuallyon their design product, process and progress, and their contribution to the group effort.Two main components contribute to your grade: Product: The final design solution and complete final presentation. The quality of your drawings and models is extremely important. The timely completion of all assigned projects is the minimum requirement for a passing grade. The portfolio as well as every interim presentation contribute to this evaluation. Process: The development of ideas. The intensity of your effort, your motivation, and the consistency of your involvement with the project and
your team’s effort. Your ability to understand and analyze a given problem or issue. Your ability to respond, architecturally, to the issues that you have discovered.Work in the ‘A’ range is “superior” and exhibits thoroughness, invention, design excellence, and intellectual rigor.Work in the ‘B’ range is “very good”. Design work that receives a grade in the ‘B’ range exhibits increasing mastery of both technical and intellectual skills.Work in the ‘C’ range is “average”. Design work that receives a grade in the ‘C’ range exhibits average competency, adequate to meet minimum courserequirements.Citing Work and IdeasIn producing a professional body of research, you are required to acknowledge and cite sources for ALL material referenced in your graphic as well astextual work.NAABThe National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) defines criteria for accreditation in three “Realms.” Each represents a distinct component ofprofessional education. The Realms include Critical Thinking and Representation, Integrated Building Practices and Leadership and Practice. Noted beloware the specific criteria that are to be addressed in Arch 401, Design V.Realm A: Critical Thinking and RepresentationA.5 Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, apply and comparatively evaluate relevant information within the architectural coursework anddesign processes.Realm C: Leadership and PracticeC.1 Collaboration: Ability to work in collaboration with others and in multidisciplinary teams to successfully complete design projects.C.3 Client Role in Architecture: Understanding of the responsibility of the architect to elicit, understand and reconcile the needs of the client, owner, usergroups, and the public and community domains.