NewSchool of Architecture + Design

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, CA


NewSchool of Architecture and Design Students Present Ideas for Redeveloping Sections of the Rural Community of Ramona

By NewSchoolSanDiego
Feb 21, '12 12:16 PM EST


San Diego—February 21, 2012—NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) students created redevelopment concepts for Ramona, a rural community of 40,000, located about 35 miles northeast of San Diego. The project is part of a design studio class taught by adjunct faculty member Howard Blackson. Blackson arranged for the students to present their ideas to the Ramona Village Design Group, a community advisory panel, in December.

Blackson, principal and director of planning with PlaceMakers, a design and architecture firm, had been working with the community’s design group to revise Ramona’s 30-year-old architectural design guidelines. His involvement with the project provided the opportunity for 12 NSAD students to be part of the creative process. “We made use of the studio to understand the architectural elements of both public and private buildings in Ramona to code and regulate for their unique community character,” said Blackson.

Students used architectural elements to develop a new identity for Ramona that would make it stand out from other nearby rural communities. After visiting several sections of Ramona, the students focused their designs on particular buildings or on certain parts of the town. The NSAD students involved in the project are in the third-year of their master’s program at NSAD. The student design ideas included:

Pedestrian Bridge. NSAD student Cody Osborne suggested building a pedestrian bridge over Main Street for safer access to the Ramona Library. The design, which includes arches and a monument, takes into account the development of the future Ramona Intergenerational Community Campus. The bridge would connect with a planned two-story center and outdoor amphitheater that is to be built next to the library. (see featured image above)

Wine tasting rooms and outdoor dining. NSAD student Trish Gibbons took inspiration from the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo and other wineries in Santa Barbara to come up with a concept that includes renovating a building in the Old Town area to hold wine tastings. An adjacent newly constructed building would include a restaurant and sustainable garden.




“Old West” architectural details. NSAD student Linda Welliver concentrated on the Old Town area to show how architectural details that evoke “Old West” character could be integrated into a mixed-use, commercial-residential building. She based some of her suggestions on how “Old West” details are used in other communities, such as Paso Robles and Sonoma.



The project was one of several studied as part of the design studio class. The class gives students a chance to work on a topic-based project and focus on a particular building type, design problem, program or methodology as defined by the instructor. Last quarter’s options included the Ramona project as well as an opportunity to create an “iconic” tall building design for the downtown San Diego post office.


About the NewSchool of Architecture and Design

NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD), founded in 1980, is located in San Diego, California. NSAD is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. NSAD’s Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture and Executive Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NSAD also offers a pre-professional Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Landscape Architecture, a Master of Construction Management and a Master of Science in Architecture. For more information, visit


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