Bringing passion and empathy to every project with an emphasis on equity, inclusion, and design excellence.
Uptown Cincinnati Innovation Corridor Plan
| CINCINNATI UPTOWN CONSORTIUM
A shared vision for Uptown Cincinnati with University and Medical Institutions, community developers, and municipal partners.
Uptown Cincinnati is home to many of the city’s major educational, health, and cultural institutions and is the second largest employment center in the city. Although the district is bustling with activity, Martin Luther King Drive (MLK)—the spine of Uptown—is an auto-dominated strip with little street life or pedestrian amenity. A new highway interchange at Interstate 71 is underway, which will greatly improve access but also induce a one-third increase in traffic on MLK.
The MLK/Reading Road Corridor Study points toward MLK’s transformation from a functional-but-drab arterial into a great street that displays Uptown’s diversity, vitality, and sophistication. Inspired urban design, practical and progressive traffic operations analysis, insightful economic research, and energetic community engagement all combine in a plan for a new MLK that enhances vehicular access while anchoring a walkable urban district. The study provides a strategy and tools to guide land use, infrastructure, and institutional investment. More than a transportation plan, the MLK/Reading Road Corridor Study voices the community’s ambition to unite Uptown and give it a unique identity.
Work completed while at Sasaki as Project Manager, Engagement Lead, and Project Urban Designer, in collaboration with Cincinnati architects GBBN and economists RCLCO. Grayscale continues to provide urban design and public realm consultation to the Uptown Consortium.
Building relationships between institutions and their host communities; economic growth and community vitality; and, the street as both transportation infrastructure and public realm.
Global Design Initiative for Refugee Children
| BSA, BSLA, Harvard University, MassArt, Northeastern University, MIT
A new model of transnational, cross-sectoral collaboration to address the needs of Syria’s most vulnerable refugees: children.
The diaspora caused by the Syrian Civil War has heightened an urgency to develop new tools, processes, and methods to support positive interactions, social cohesion, and healing at the nexus of humanitarian response and design. In response, an ad-hoc group of Boston designers set out to answer the following questions:
(1) Can US-based designers effectively contribute during international humanitarian crises?
(2) Would the design of public spaces in refugee settlements address a real need?
(3) What would a model for trans-national design/build collaboration look like?
The Global Design Initiative for Refugee Children began as an initiative to build playgrounds, but it has evolved as an adaptable process that introduces child-focused spaces into refugee contexts. With equal emphasis on social equity and design excellence, this initiative is a framework for local and international design and humanitarian networks to work together in impacted parts of the world. It provides an accessible and adaptable road map for designers who want to apply their skills to issues of global importance.
What began as a collaboration between members of the Boston Society of Architects and Boston Society of Landscape Architects, became a two-year process involving international NGOs, international architects and craftspeople, US-based design faculty and students, multiple institutes, firms, and companies, and over 75 members of the Boston design community. Since completing the first project in summer 2018, the collaborative DNA has adapted to support a second project in Lebanon as well as one in the United States. The process includes:
PARTNERING with an international network of designers, builders, NGO’s, fiscal agents, funders, architects, academics.
FUNDRAISING to support spaces for social interactions through play.
FACILITATING a collaborative design process.
IMPLEMENTING with local partners to support design, management, and construction capacities.
DOCUMENTING interviews, site surveys, construction progress, and outcomes.
REFLECTING on successes and failures, and apply those lessons to the next project.
In response to a military radius expansion, the camp initially designated as the project site had to be cleared. It was relocated to a nearby site.
Children in a SDA managed refugee camp, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2017.
Children enjoy the swings even as the architects continue to detail the play space.
Construction detail designed for easy assembly and disassembly and mocked up by a local millworker.
The Global Design Initiative provides a road map for designers to apply their skills to issues of global importance. For purposes of dissemination, a graphic “how to” pamphlet and poster was created, describing key considerations for transnational, cross-disciplinary collaborative process.
Transnational, Cross-sectoral Partnering, building on and integrating the knowledge and expertise of planners, designers, international NGOs, academic institutions, and industry partners.
Downtown Raleigh Development Plan
| CITY OF RALEIGH & DOWNTOWN RALEIGH ALLIANCE
A strategic public realm framework, identifying sites and programs for improved connections and key catalytic projects.
Raleigh’s Downtown Plan will help the city capitalize on its recent and projected growth to remain competitive regionally and nationally through improvements to the city’s “downtown experience” for residences, workers, students, and visitors. The Plan focuses future investment to incest and direct growth; creates a balance of residential and office development downtown; protects historic and district character; and creates an authentic sense of place. The Downtown Plan identifies and analyzes public realm, infrastructure, connectivity improvements, and future development. A top priority is to establish clear, achievable, and community- supported action items that can catalyze the continued transformation of Raleigh’s city center over the next 10 years.
The plan includes a series of five catalytic projects that will help bridge downtown’s districts; bring new street life, retail, and anchor developments; renew and expand green space; and add new cultural and community uses. At the same time, this plan also seeks to create the “glue” that will bind these exciting projects together and yield a richer downtown experience. Four big themes—Breathe, Move, Stay, and Link—knit it all together, showing how to bring nature to the city, provide transportation choices, create places to linger and savor, and cultivate the partnerships necessary to make it all happen. Together, these recommendations will shape the next phase of Downtown Raleigh’s evolution into a nationally competitive downtown that fosters innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship while remaining authentic.
Work completed while at Sasaki as Engagement Lead and Project Urban Designer
Wichita Convention District and Library Site Plan
| CITY OF WICHITA & DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Public charrette and strategic redevelopment plan for downtown convention district and new public library.
The Wichita City Council was at an impasse. Half of the members wanted to move the public library across the river to a large vacant City-owned site and re-imagine the area around the convention center with an improved public realm design, and the other half didn’t. After a week-long intensive public charrette and months of concept development for both projects, the design team proposed two generous and flexibly programmable public spaces, one on either side of the Arkansas River. Many of the programming ideas came from an engagement process with business owners and community members who described open space needs that were not being met. The design response accommodated both parking requirements and outdoor events of various sizes and formats. The “flex spaces” supported a wide variety of seasonal (and daily) programming possibilities, convincing the holdouts on City Council to vote unanimously in support of both projects.
Work completed while at Sasaki as Project Manager, Engagement Lead, and Project Urban Designer
The Convention Center District plan emphasized the need to a large civic outdoor space to support downtown and the Convention Center. Three options explore renovation, addition, and full replacement with various public realm opportunities for each.
The library parking is designed to be used as “flex space” for large, medium, and small events throughout the year.
Go Boston 2030 Mobility Plan
| BOSTON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Collaborated with IISC, Sasaki Strategies, Utile, and Boston DOT to design a digital engagement platform for the Question Campaign.
America is changing. With each census we are discovering the cultural, social, economic and religious diversity of the country is expanding, and nowhere is this demographic complexity more evident than in the urban centers of America, especially Boston. Not only are many of these urban centers expanding demographically but they are also shifting physically. For a democracy these changes in cities raise two important questions. What role does the design process have in connecting and building trust among the increasingly diverse public? Can broad based engagement make for better design and a more inclusive city?
Aimed at equity in representation, traditional open houses and town hall meetings have become standard planning practice for public engagement. These methods, although well-intentioned, are becoming less effective as cities grow, as they tend to attract a narrowing community subset at the expense of other groups including immigrants, young professionals, and children. The Go Boston 2030 Question Campaign represents a massive step in the right direction for Boston. This unique and far-reaching digital engagement project was launched in mid-January, and for the first time Boston area residents are being offered an easy and convenient point of entry into an important city-wide conversation about the future of transportation—all by simply asking a question.
Our greatest challenge as stewards of the public realm will be to identify and proactively build upon the values of increasingly diverse communities. The GoBoston2030 Question Campaign takes an important step towards empowering Bostonians by taking a values-based approach to generating, analyzing, and learning from Big Data—and by moving swiftly and deliberately towards Big Democracy.
Work completed while at Sasaki as Project Manager for Digital Engagement.
A combined analog, text messaging, and digital campaign was designed to engage and connect communities across Boston and the region.