March 20, 2009 — Urban Oasis, the 2009 Design Charrette, takes place this upcoming weekend after teams and projects are announced at the ARFAA lecture presented by Maurice Cox, Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts, on April 2nd. During this year's Charrette, over 70 students from the College of Engineering, the School of Biomedical Engineering, the College of Information, Science and Technology, the LeBow College of Business, the School of Public Health, and the Westphal College's Architecture, Interior Design, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Digital Media and Entertainment & Arts Management programs will work together. Their task is to design solutions for existing Philadelphia public spaces to create affordable and innovative solutions for communities in today's economic times when services at schools, parks and libraries are being reduced.
Students will research and evolve their design proposals with the benefit of input from noted design and government experts. On April 3rd, a panel including Alan Greenberger, Executive Director of Philadelphia City Planning Commission and Co-Founder of Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia; Jane Golden, Executive Director of the Mural Arts Program; Beth Miller, Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative; Howard B. Steinberg, AIA, Principal of Onion Flats, LLC; and Max Zahniser, CEO of Praxis Building Solutions, LLC and Board member of Green Village Philadelphia and Green Wizard will speak to the students participating in the Charrette. For a full schedule of Urban Oasis events, click here.
Last year the Department of Architecture and Interiors organized a Charrette around the visit of Cameron Sinclair, the head of Architecture for Humanity. It was a tremendous success bringing together close to 100 students from Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Management, Digital Media, Engineering, Fashion, Graphic Design, Information Science, Anthropology and Law to work together on an interdisciplinary and pro-social collaboration. Students grappled with design solutions for a sports complex in an impoverished area of Sao Paolo and portable classrooms for hurricane devastated Louisiana.