Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Let's Figure this Out.

The collective observations made between peers, the knowledgeable, and I address the downtown area's lack of unified direction. Many different people inhabit these spaces for many different reasons creating a variety of views on how these spaces are/should be developed and used. It is necessary to identify the intentions of the area first and foremost.

After the walking tour Sept. 1st I realized who really represents downtown Fargo: high-end condo dwellers, business owners, the college, college students occupying student housing, apartment renters/owners, single-family housing dwellers, and the designers! These people all deserve an equal opportunity for input because they will be affected by the result. (Whatever that may be.) How can we involve them besides surveys? How can we involve other Fargo residents in their own Rennaissance Zone? 

How can we accommodate the downtown inhabitants? Particularly students? The current NDSU situation is a little goofy.  Recent expansion brought the Architecture, Art, Landscape Architecture, and Business Departments away from the main campus. Many people feel this destroys the strong campus community. I think we architecture students are extremely fortunate to be able to experience college immersed in downtown life.  Do these downtown students "miss out"? I don't know? I don't think I'm missing too much because I spent 4 years devoting time to a sorority which required me to stay involved with most campus activities. Student who don't join anything probably don't share my opinion. I think one solution for students to feel included is to get involved in more than one student organization.....it is possible to budget time appropriately. Other solutions could be design opportunities that reinforce the connection and create common ground between main campus and downtown campus students. HOW? Maybe are a disco, more coffee shops, a market, affordable student housing, a wellness facility, and student union. We need anything to create social interaction between students. 

To help identify our intentions, I found some Case Studies.

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