Kent State University (Jacob)



Aug '08 - Dec '09

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    Look at downtown Cleveland, and what are we missing?

    By jacob
    Feb 2, '09 6:01 PM EST

    Our project this semester at the CUDC is investigating options for the Cleveland Port. The Port of Cleveland is moving to a new site (over the next 20 years, as the Army Corps of Engineers dredges and fills some new land). The site has been a hot topic for development, (as has the whole lakefront), and there have been numerous designs, suggestions, and potential development but not much done. (And many of the existing designs seem shortsighted, misinformed, or intentionally contradictory).

    The port announced an RFQ for designs a while back, and have received many entries from firms all over. We’re essentially working from the RFQ, trying to push some conceptual thought through before the big guns submit (This is what we’re told).

    The site is pretty big…around 100 acres and generally empty (with the exception of piles of bulk shipments and parking for the Browns Stadium). It’s a lot of land to have a blank slate.

    The really cool thing (I think) is that we’re teaming with a class from the photojournalism department at Kent Main Campus, who are individually paired with our teams. The idea is that the photo-class will document our working process (for their own project), and aid us in developing emotionally and experientially responsive methods of conveying our ideas…through photo, audio, and video.

    I’m pretty excited to see how this all turns out. It’ll be interesting to see how the trained eye operates, compared to the typical architecture quick-and-dirty we-can-do-everything method.

    Studio so far is somewhat frustrating.

    It feels immediately like there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen from the get-go, and everybody on the CUDC staff is pretty involved in the teaching process….which isn’t in itself a bad thing (in fact, it’s pretty nice to have checks and balances). I am, however, apprehensive that everybody’s opinion is biased by what we’ve heard before we start. It’s pretty impossible to have a completely unbiased look at anything, but it could be nice to get a close-to-fresh look at a problem.

    And another issue is the spinoff of this. As students, I feel that we’re generally stumbling when getting our site analysis and research together. There is a lot of misinformation going around and, a lot is glaringly wrong and presented as fact. There’s probably some of this in any project, but some of it is pretty disappointing and I feel that it cheapens our studio. At the end of the semester all it could take to derail an entire scheme is a statement reinforcing something we already should have known.

    • 1 Comment

    • blah

      It looks like Chicago 40 or 50 years ago with a lot industry remaining downtown.

      I like the row of old warehouses that has the organic restaurant in it. It was a bit pricey but good. I think it was called Crop and it was on 6th Street. It's a good start!

      Feb 2, 09 10:14 pm  · 

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