07 May 2011

Half Empty or Half Full?

The built environment interacts with people everyday. A designer is capable of enabling experience - a powerful tool that shapes attitudes and culture.

A year has past since presenting my thesis. There is room for improvement. Although the project calls for low-tech applications to combat blight, additional exploration into other lamp choices could strengthen the intervention. With that, closer examination of scrims on each vacant property and their material interaction with light may create further enlivenment with these spaces. Despite their evening transformation, understanding how these interventions become visible in the day would enrich this with another level of detail.
    Aspects with design implementation need further exploration. Details with urban policy, providing outreach to vacant property owners on installation, and how these interventions receive power to have yet to be addressed. City codes and zoning from the departments of building and transportation may help guide the direction of the project. As a result, the design may be able to spark new policy which would address renewal within these blighted areas.

    In conclusion, the role of the inspire lighting designer re-examines the temporal permanence of vacant properties and initiates discussion on how they can work. To be sure, this is not a perfect job. Design strategies for places with a smaller ratio of vacancy in a spread out area would require a different approach. However, Franklin Avenue allows all three of these typologies to be explored. Light has the potential to allow the public to reconsider how a space can be reused, thus becoming an agent for change. The intervention creates a temporary spectacle that hopes to inspire the community, future policy makers, urban planners, and lighting designers to move towards providing a positive contribution to the neighborhood.

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