In this IDSA competition, teams were provided with an opportunity to develop and present unique design solutions that creatively integrate community learning and science into a park space. Concepts where presented to a jury of design professionals to be awarded based on each project’s feasibility to create a withstanding impact on the community. This winning design solution utilized the park space for a new Cultivation Center which focused on dietary choices, urban farming, and community outreach.
It was important to establish early on how we wanted the park to function as a public space so we could design the structures within the park. The park’s focus being raw food nutrition, culinary arts, urban farming, and community. These aspects working as an ecosystem of the park’s function was what we believed would allow the park to operate the best for the community.
The driving force for this concept was the interaction between a greenhouse, a cultivation center, and an auditorium. The ideal experience for someone utilizing this park would allow them to produce herbs and vegetables in the greenhouse to then be fully cooked or prepared in the cultivation center. Patrons would then share their experience in the amphitheater for new groups to repeat the process.
Working within a team based setting we found the simplest way to combine our park concepts was to work from a single SketchUp file of which we updated throughout. This allowed for each team member to make their park feature, save it into the file, and then upload it to our shared drive. Each feature was then combined to a master file. This process allowed the team to swiftly finalize the design.
Ideation included the production of physical models to create a sense of space and utility. Taking inspiration from architectural practices was in the best interest for the park.
Our design intent was to create a park which addressed the aforementioned functionality in a way that looked modern and attractive to park patrons. We strongly believe that the park’s aesthetics would drive to greater interest in the area. Additional phasing was an important aspect for this park. Allowing the space to function as a park without the structures was key for creating a space that established familiarity within the community to increase potential interest and funding for the facilities. It seemed ideal to create an amphitheater space ready for plays, lectures, and function as any other type of venue.
When it came to presenting our final project it was imperative that our deliverables were of the highest quality. We made our focus describing the function of the park, the park’s facilities, and how we believed our design would make a positive impact on the surrounding community. We described how the intended function of the park led to the final design decisions of and how we ultimately named it Raw Cultivation Center. The judges made apparent that the function, as well as form, were leading factors that granted us 1st place.