The live project is defined here as a type of design project that is distinct from a typical studio project in it’s engagement of real clients or users, in real-time settings. Students are taken out of the studio setting, and re-positioned in the ‘real-world’. This external involvement tends to result in students producing something that is of value to the client/user group, which might range from ideas, feasibility reports, or research, to a completed design scheme, a construction or other intervention”.
McPherson Square is the key anchor of the Kensington neighbourhood in North Philadelphia. It is the beloved site of community festivals, neighbourhood cleanups, play space for children and a very active library. It is also a space where local Community Development Corporations, residents, civic institutions, city agencies and services providers rally their resources to support the neighbourhood and its residents.
The Kensington neighbourhood has been hit particularly hard by the opioid drug epidemic, causing the entire neighbourhood to suffer it’s side effects: streets and other public spaces made unsafe for residents and children due to use needle litter, drug related violence and abandoned properties. Kensington has also become a somewhat famous destination for ‘Drug Tourists’ seeking opioids. This brings people who are suffering addiction from as far away as Florida and Oregon, saddling the community with semi-permanent and transient residents who have no permanent homes.
This situation understandably causes streets for the community and poses significant challenges for long-time residents.
I see the Revamp project as an immersive urban environment for the exchange of ideas feeding the culture of the country.