Monday, September 28, 2009

Proposals for Project Farrago: Renovation

R – And for my restoration project, I was thinking of restoring the Union Storage Building into a Musical Meet Market. A place where younger people are able to socialize, listen and buy music, and even go to concerts. I chose to do this space because I felt there was a need for more social spaces to hang out in the Downtown area during the daytime.

Proposals for Project Farrago: New

N – Where the old Taco Bell fast food place used to be there is some great area for maybe a chain of restaurants (similar to the 12th Ave chain of food places to eat. I was thinking these restaurants could probably be more aimed to the ethnic backgrounds because of the diverse neighborhood in this area.

Proposals for Project Farrago: Infill

I – There is a neighborhood around current Taco John’s property and with the possibility of that restaurant leaving there is the spaces around it that has the potential of a good “infill” project. Maybe a Mixed Housing Project or Design Build firm, or a Student Union?. . .I need to research the context of the site a little more.

Proposals for Project Farrago: Transportation

T – I live on campus and ride the either 13 or 33 bus every day to class downtown campus. I also own a bike and think it would be a great idea if there could be some kind of a bike path or walking path for students that connected the two campuses. As far as circulation between the two downtown campuses I believe that should be addressed as well as there are many students that migrate between Klai Hall and Renaissance Hall. Especially in Fargo’s winters, perhaps the MAT bus station could work out a route between the two campuses.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Power of Design Thought

"Ruminations" - Grandmother's Inspiration

Last week on Wednesday I attended a talk by Marvin Malecha FAIA (2009 AIA President).

He spoke about traditions, creativity and how to challenge what you do. I enjoyed his talk very much, because he talked about how his grandmother was his inspiration and how she used a method called "Rumathy" when she would begin planting. It was a way of he testing the soil by her tasting it - meaning you can't rush or test creativity...

Another interesting point he made was the fact that even people - blind from birth - could draw in perspective by just touching an object. The reason is because they block all the 'noise' around them and are able to focus better on the shape itself.

-Know how to see (collect and give)
-Application of knowledge (test your knowledge)
-Expression -never be afraid to express your knowledge in studio because that is how you learn

He let us know that there is no right answer to a design problem. Remember to balance logic and Imagination. And always keep in mind the health, safety and welfare of the people. Embrace Ambiguity. There's the making of the clock and then there's the concept of time.

Out of the 3 human needs: Physical, Aesthetic and Intellectual - the Aesthetic is usually the one taken for granted.

When choosing a path, instead of getting lost in the Maze, go for the Labyrinth which is more of a (step/meditate , step/meditate type rhythm)

The last major subject Marvin touched on was a series of Domains and defining them. here are some of them:
  • marks a place
  • passes a way
  • innovation from a precedent
  • seeking the essence of an idea
  • experience
  • gateways
  • facilitates understanding
  • nurtures learning
  • story behind a story (connection between known and unknown)
  • each foot of progress (new sketch) reveals a new effect, a new purpose - if men have faith - a new thing comes
We are not human beings on a spiritual path, rather we a are spiritual beings on a human path

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice and in practice there is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Laying it out on the Table. .

Top Ten Propositions for Downtown Fargo:
  1. International Market
  2. Walkway Expressway from NDSU to Downtown Fargo
  3. Circulation Routes in Downtown (walkways, bike paths, buses and cars routed appropriately for convenient and efficient transfer from point A to point B)
  4. Affordable Student Housing (studio apartments, dormitories, or smaller housing units)
  5. Downtown Student Union
  6. Farmer's Market or Chain of Local Merchants in vacant train Spaces
  7. Similar IACC/technology building for downtown students
  8. Library/Research building similar to one in Skills and Tech building for downtown students
  9. Parking Issues addressed
  10. Issues of Industrial buildings moved to their appropriate districts

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tour of the Renaissance Zone...

After our tour around the Renaissance Zone, and taking a few pictures, I realize that there are many opportunities for development that cater to the college population (student and faculty).

I am interested in doing a Kevin Lynch study of nodes, paths, and edges of our site. I also have a few international friends that are interested in proposal for the International Market.

Another exciting suggestion for downtown Fargo is the possibility that the Great Northern Railroad might be replaced with a bike trail. There are storage area spaces next to the tracks that have a lot of potential for a possible chain of small shops or a local farmer’s market type.

An important point that Professor Yergens made in class today was the fact that when a new town comes about there is a lot of disdain for the old towns. One wonders what will happen to former paths such as railroad tracks. Some have been revealed under roads. .while there are proposals to tear old tracks out for a newer (perhaps greener) form of transporting oneself.

Case Study for Flowood, MS

A few interesting points were made by the committee of the city of Flowood, Mississippi in their ordinance. I agreed with them in protecting and promoting the general welfare and preventing the deterioration of the appearance of their city while encouraging the construction of attractive buildings.
Many ideas are out there for Fargo and here is an example of how another city is dealing with their people and suggestions.

Here is an example of their Zoning Issues:

If you guys want to check out the committee's proposal to the city here is their URL: