Placemaking Seminar Series 2010
The Actors’ Shakespeare Project at Midway Theater
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Moderators: Thomas McGraw, Senior Consultant, Acentech, and Christina Lanzl, Project Manager, Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Shakespeare's plays have been at the pinnacle of English literature for 400 years, but not because of their pomp, nor their brilliant language, nor even their great themes. Their extraordinary understanding of human nature and appeal to people from all walks of live makes them eternal. On Thursday, May 27th the BSA Placemaking Network in partnership with the BSA Performing Arts Design Committee and The Actors’ Shakespeare Project hosted a session out of the ordinary at the Midway Theater, 15 Channel Center Street in Boston’s Fort Point with a moderated discussion on space, place and theater, followed by a performance of ASP’s new play, Timon of Athens.
Worcester, the Creative City: a Case Study of Cultural Urban Development Monday, April 26, 2010
Speakers: Erin Williams, Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester and Executive Director of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, and Adele Fleet Bacow, President of Community Partners Consultants, Inc.
Adele Fleet Bacow, author of Designing the City: A Guide for Advocates and Public Officials, spoke about her firm's work in creating the Worcester Arts District Master Plan and Economic Development Strategy. This award-winning project represents a most unusual and productive partnership among 24 public and private agencies and organizations in the city. Erin Williams, discussed Lessons in Creative City Making. The Worcester Cultural Coalition’s philosophy is to cultivate, nurture and reward creativity anytime, anywhere. Through creative thinking and problem solving a partnership between the city of Worcester and sixty eight cultural organizations has resulted in an old industrial city transforming itself into one that encourages innovation.
Defining Memory and Place in California
Monday, March 22, 2010
Speaker: Donna Graves, Loeb Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Donna Graves is a social historian, cultural planner and writer based in Berkeley, California. Her areas of expertise encompass strategies for using historic preservation, art, urban design and community engagement to explore local histories and the significance of place. She served as project director for the Rosie the Riveter Memorial: Honoring American Women's Labor During WWII in Richmond, California where she oversaw the development of the first national monument to women's contribution to the home front. Graves was a key collaborator with National Park Service and City of Richmond in conceiving Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park and has continued to conduct significant research on Richmond’s history and develop public projects that involve the community in telling the City’s history and connecting it to current issues. In 2008, the National Park Service and Richmond’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee awarded her their inaugural “Home Front Award”. Graves is currently project director of Preserving California’s Japantowns, a statewide research project funded by the California State Library that documents pre-WWII Japanese American communities across California. The project’s efforts to catalyze local awareness and stewardship of these often forgotten landmarks were recognized by the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s inaugural Advocacy Award in 2008.
The Metrics of Place vs. Space – What I (re)learned on vacation Monday, February 22, 2010
Speaker: Robert Tullis, Vice President - Director of Design, GID Urban Development Group
The Metrics of Place vs. Space - Presentation 1 (PDF)
The Metrics of Place vs. Space - Presentation 2 (PDF)
Urban planning / Placemaking / Town Squares - Bibliography (DOC)
Rob Tullis, architect and developer, has been on vacation to some interesting cities lately. In October 2009 he made his first pilgrimage to Rome; and he’s visited London, Edinburgh, Paris, Venice, Florence, Los Angeles, Savannah, and Charleston in the last few years. He’s also been reading some of the great thinkers on urban placemaking. Somewhere between sipping an espresso in Piazza Navona and re-reading Kevin Lynch’s “The Image of the City,” he’s gained new insight on what he’s been practicing in years of creating mixed-use developments. Equal parts travelogue and lecture, Rob presented the urban spaces he’d seen, offered houghts about what makes them distinctive places for people, and discussed how we might measure our efforts as designers of such places.
More Than Just a Pretty Place: Re-imagining historic preservation in Boston
Monday, January 25, 2010
Speaker: Sarah Kelly, Executive Director, Boston Preservation Alliance
The values and approach of the historic preservation movement are shifting in Boston and throughout the nation. Sarah D. Kelly, executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, discussed how the organization embraces new ways of thinking about our city’s built heritage, engaging new demographic groups that have traditionally been overlooked, addressing new building types that were once viewed as “anti-historic”, and confronting new challenges from climate change to social equity. This session highlighted the Alliance’s novel approaches to bringing people and resources together to influence the future of Boston’s buildings, landscapes and communities.
Using Retail Streetscapes to Create a Sense of Place
Monday, October 25, 2010
Speakers: Chris Milne, Elkus Manfredi Architects and Robin Mosle, Samuels Associates
Chris Milne and Robin Mosle presented a program on the methodologies and techniques associated with the design of successful retail-based places.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Speaker: John Seeley, Principal, Selbert Perkins Design
Why do certain places attract people? What creates a meaningful place? What makes a place intelligent? What makes a place memorable? How do we create sense of place that responds to its inhabitants? Architects and landscape architecture have traditionally worked toward these goals. However, increased importance of information and technology in our complex urban environments has expanded the creative opportunities to a broader range of design disciplines including graphic, industrial, and environmental design.
November 17, 2010 at Build Boston
Life In The Square: The Role of the Public Plaza in Urban Placemaking
Speakers: Christina Lanzl, UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design; Kathy Madden, Project for Public Spaces; Joshua Simoneau, Bertaux + Iwerks Architects; Robert Tullis, GID Urban Development Group
Drawing from the Greek agora and acropolis, from the Roman forum and campus, and from the medieval walled city and twisting street; western urban designers from the Renaissance through the Industrial Revolution and the City Beautiful movement have used the basic forms of the street, block, and square to build up the town and city. Modern free plan precepts and a dominant focus on high-speed movement threatened this tradition in the mid twentieth century, but by the close of the 1970’s there was a shift back to these traditional forms; combining them with studies of human perception, behavior, and active use to focus on the making of “place.” This program will focus the elemental social urban space, the square or plaza, as the vessel for vibrant urban life and will attempt to remind us of the concerns that we should have for the space between buildings, the tools that we should employ there, and the metrics for evaluating our success in place-making.