Monday, March 25, 2013

Cornell Team Receives Honorable Mention in Urban Design Competition

A multidisciplinary team of Cornell students has received honorable mention in the 2013 ULI Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Competition. The juried competition selected the team’s project from among 149 entries representing 70 universities in the U.S. and Canada.

The annual competition is an urban design and development project for teams comprised of five students representing at least three disciplines. This year’s challenge focused on transforming an undeveloped expanse at the edge Minneapolis’s downtown near the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

The team describes their project, LOOPolis, as being about “completion, connectivity, and community.” Their goal was to plan a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood. “It’s about honoring past visions for a complete downtown, for a continuous greenway circling the city, and for new centers of opportunity for families, businesses, and college graduates, while envisioning anew and closing the loop on what downtown Minneapolis could become,” states the team in their project summary.

The team included: Man Su (B.Arch. ’13), Jia Li (M.R.P. ’14), Qianqian Ye ’14 and Yang Chen ’14 both graduate students in the landscape architecture program, and Bret Molan Colazzi ’13 who is a graduate student at the Johnson School. H. Pike Oliver, CRP, and Marc Miller, landscape architecture, advised this team as well as six other Cornell teams. This was the first year that B.Arch. students were able to participate in the competition, which had previously been reserved for graduate students.

Related Links:
ULI/Hines Student Urban Design Competition

Team’s presentation board and narrative

Friday, March 15, 2013

In Memoriam: Joseph Quandt

Nov. 28, 1992–Feb. 27, 2013
URS 2015

“He was a gentle soul — bright and considerate, observant and gifted, an insightful friend of many in our program. A life of unlimited possibilities lay ahead of him.” -- Prof. John Forester

"[As a student, he was] outstanding amongst an outstanding group. He had a great enthusiasm and regard for what he was doing. He was from the Cleveland area; he was very concerned about doing something for Cleveland in the future. Cleveland lost a part of its future.I am just disappointed that I’m not going to get to read about him in 10 years in the newspaper when he is governor of Ohio.” -- Prof. Hans Pike Oliver

“You know, some people have a kind of two-facedness. He was very even keel[ed]. He was the same way to everyone: funny and cynical, but progressive. It’s a shame for the world and us. It’s a shame not just for the Cornell-centric world. We are really losing someone who was going to stand up for the people.” -- Levi Schoenfeld

“He was one of those people that [was] always ready for everything that [was] happening –– always ready to help you, always ready to learn something new.” -- Zoloo Brown

The following are some notes posted in the 1st floor of Sibley Hall to remember Joe. 
"I only met you fall semester but by December you treated me like a true friend. If anything I hope that my song and dance put a smile on your face." 

"I wish I had gotten to know you better. You always seemed so hip, so at ease. Everyone misses you here. I hope you're still as at ease as you were."

"We will miss you so much. Your loving smile, quiet watchfulness, patient words. You had a perpetual brightness in your eyes, a hopefulness that couldn't be extinguished. You lived a life of abundance and promise. We will keep telling your story."

With you gone I feel the need to be a better planner. You had so much passion, I would hate to see a world where it went to waste. I take it upon myself to do a portion of the work you would have."

"You always had a smile on your face and a hearty laugh at the ready. You never let any situation get you down, and because of you, I want to live like you did—always smiling and optimistic. I know, and am comforted by, that wherever you are now, you've got a smile on."

"Joe had a peculiar way of communicating, but if  you dug just a little deeper you would know he was truly passionate about where he's from. He reminded me of why I'm in URS, and his mannerisms defined what URS'15 classes were like. I will truly miss all of that."

"Joe was a special young man. He was insightful, deeply interested in improving the world around him/us, and very smart. In his quiet, unassuming way, he had a gift for stepping forward and providing effective leadership for whatever task was at hand. His gentle smile welcomed everyone and encouraged all to play a constructive role in our common endeavors. We miss him now, and we will miss all the contributions he would have made for years to come. Let him rest in peace."

Joseph Quandt, who was 20 years old, died of natural causes. A memorial service will be held in Anabel Taylor Chapel on March 27 at 4 PM, followed by a reception in the One World Cafe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Design Connect Kicks Off Spring Projects

Design Connect, an multidisciplinary, student‐run, community design organization based at Cornell University, recently held two information sessions to kick-off recruiting for their Spring projects. After applications were compiled, four project teams emerged to advance projects around the region. 
Erin, NY - The Scotchtown Cemetery Restoration
The Scotchtown Cemetery was struck by a tornado in the April 2011.  The storm uprooted century old fir trees and damaged grave markers, radically changing the natural environment of the cemetery. Design Connect will help the trustees in the restoration of the cemetery by providing  research and preliminary landscape design work towards development of a final site plan. The goal of the trustees is to develop the cemetery as a natural area with green spaces and possible nature trails—using plants that encourage wildlife and contribute to the natural beauty of the space while minimizing long-term property maintenance and labor costs.

Oneonta, NY - Advancing the River Corporation Commerce Park
The Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council (GOEDC) is looking to develop a large parcel of land that was once the largest railroad roundhouse in the world and is now known as the River Corporation Commerce Park.  Due to the size and complexity of the project, GOEDC has engaged with Design Connect through a combined workshop class and volunteer group to provide key services in the creation of a site plan.  Some of the projects the GOEDC is interested in pursuing include a conceptual master design of the site, developing a green energy plan for the site and renderings of potential buildings, landscape designs and streetscapes.

Wayne, NY - Creating Conceptual Designs for Zoning and “Best Practices” Guidance
The project entails helping the Town of Wayne visually translate new land use regulations (developed by students in CRP 5072) into design guidelines for future subdivision of lands in the town.  Five to six key tracts of land within the proposed Agricultural and Hillside Conservation zoning districts would be used to illustrate land subdivision approaches that can preserve scenic views, rural character and working agricultural landscapes. 

Waterloo, NY - Working Towards a Revitalization Master Plan
The Village of Waterloo is a small community located between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. Waterloo has historical significance as the birthplace of Memorial Day and connection with the Women╩╝s Rights Movement over 150 years ago. The village recently completed a Downtown Assessment Study. The goal of Design Connect this semester is to help the Village to continue towards developing a master plan focusing on revitalizing the downtown area. 

Design Connect strives to empower students and citizens by advancing collaborative, democratic, and sustainable design and planning projects in local communities. These projects offer practical experience to students through cooperation with local municipalities and non‐profit organizations while providing design and planning services for these groups that may not have the resources to advance projects forward toward professional implementation.
Formed in the Spring of 2008 by students as an initiative of the Design & Planning Group, Design Connect became an independent student organization in 2010. Since its inception, over 300 students have participated working on more than 40 projects.  For more information visit