A “Development” of Thoughts

A “Development” of Thoughts

The latest charette in the Design Lab focused on Development on Aurora Ave., posing the question, “How can we best develop the western half of Aurora between 93rd and 95th street?”

With an empty parking lot as their site, the group more than any other that came before, tried their best to bring all their ideas together into a final product. With a more whimsical and open thought process, the group was willing to throw out “crazy ideas” not limiting themselves with budget and the reality of the actual development process. Everyone brought their own unique take on Aurora Ave.—the lichen study was a great way to look at the site. This led to a much more upbeat, positive conversation—quite the opposite of last week.

IMG_6279 photo (1) photo (2)  It was clear they listened to class discussions and learned from the previous weeks on the best practices. Early on, they were able to reach consensus on a few key decisions (while they may not have realized it):

  1. Make the development a destination with a visible positive change
  2. Create a space that is versatile and somewhat temporary, since the entire neighborhood is in flux and very diverse
  3. Include Art
  4. Support Businesses
  5. Connect parcel to the nearby park

The group defined their goal and started designing early on in the evening, making time less of a factor in their production.

IMG_6271However, the consensus and very inclusive approach may not have led to the best result. Their final proposal was an amalgamation, rather than a synthesis, and they somehow kept almost every idea that was put on the table rather than make clear-cut decisions. Ian did a great job at taking on the leadership role of the group but there were times when the group’s progress was cut short by his own thoughts and agenda. Hopefully next time, Pamanee and Angela can step up and keep the conversation and work moving forward.


Overall, this week’s charette was inclusive and energetic. Everyone pitched in and the end product was a great representation of their positive conversation and ideas.

-Catherine, Nikky, Kate


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