Flying pig wayfinders and pop-up restaurant patios. Communal dining and a Mt. Adams vineyard. Design professionals, students and creative thinkers joined the fun for the first annual
DIY Urbanism competition
, a collaborative project of the Niehoff Urban Studio at the University of Cincinnati and the Architecture Foundation of Cincinnat
The challenge, to solve a local urban problem using simple tools and methods, inspired plenty of creativity, with entrants transforming forgotten overlooks with home-made telescopes and using helium balloons to reinvigorate Old St. George Church in Clifton.
The top student project, submitted by Gael Perichon, envisioned storefront murals to beautify the now-blank spaces of the Tower Place Parking Garage. Her inventive and practical design drew praise from ArtWorks
founder and judge Tamara Harkavy.
Top honors in the professional category went to High Light OTR: An Interactive Wayfinding Beacon, a proposed set of light boxes placed throughout the neighborhood to draw attention to specific streets or spaces with events. Eric Lindsay of Connective Conscious submitted a mesmerizing illustration of how the resulting beams of light could appear not only at the ground level, but from space.
Judges also praised Luke Field’s “When Pigs Fly” entry, a porcine twist on the idea of giant spotlights in the sky as “Most Whimsical” entry; Leila Loezer’s “Bike Co-op Day,” which garnered the “Most Eco-Groovy” title; “The Big Dinner,” a communal event created by Catherine Richards, Ahn Tran and Brook Brandewie that was dubbed “Most Likely to Happen” and “Most Artistic;” and “DIY Vineyards” by Luke Robinson, which earned the title, “Most Poetic.” “Goetz Alley Update,” a colorful and easy-to-assemble concept submitted by Jenny Kessler, Sarah Sololoski and Justin Hoffman, was awarded “Most Architectural.”
Finally, the exhibit’s People’s Choice Award went to “Tucker’s Restaurant Parklet,” submitted by Michelle Anderson, Mike Uhlenhake and Becky Schneider. The concept expanded the restaurant’s dining area into adjacent parking spaces that were transformed, temporarily, into deck-like seating spaces ideal for eating the popular neighborhood fare al fresco.
There’s still a chance to see the winners, plus all other entrants, on display through June 14 at the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati
, 811 Race Street.
By Elissa Yancey
Follow Elissa on Twitter.