Activating Potential in Urban Space

Spring 2015
Sat Apr 4, 9:00a-5:00p (Gensler or Google HQ)
Tue. Apr 7, 6:00p-9:00p (Studio 2)

Disasters are sometimes revelations that unveil new, unique and transformational ways to build on the blank canvas they leave behind. And sometimes, disasters occur over long periods of time in our own backyards, creating spaces of transience that lack the significance of being called “places”.  A French anthropologist, Marc Auge, refers to these as non-places.

In this day and a half intensive, we want to inspire you to design significance in an abandoned or under-utilized space. Our goal is to uncover the potential that  occurs when we activate a place that previously was unseen. We’ll experience how this activation might yield more mindful insights and deeper empathy for a place.  It will be grounded in the specific community it neighbors, will be semi-permanent and interactive, and will build on the premise that by doing, we create meaningful encounters that reveal the hidden values of place. Our activation will help us understand ways to turn non-spaces into places that are sacred, worshiped, loved and cared for.

In this pop-up intensive, we expect that you will build upon your current design thinking skills by conducting field ethnography, applying insights to an urban environment, diving courageously into public prototyping as a way of thinking, and seeing possibilities where others see problems.

Accepting 10 graduate students. Application deadline is Wednesday, March 18th at 11:59pm. Apply here.

Teaching Team
Meg Lee Weir, Citrix
Ashley Marsh, Gensler
Emily Ma, Google


Activating Potential in Urban Space