In the last two decades, some of the most comprehensive redevelopment projects in North America were initiated by economic anchor institutions. The accomplishments of these initiatives have been mixed and subject of wide-ranging debates. Furthermore, as a sign of the increased presence of medical institutions in redevelopment, environmental determinants of health and wellness concepts increasingly factor into urban design discussions. The studio will operate at the confluence of these topics and explore the gaps between anchors through speculative projects at various scales.
Fourth in the series of graduate studios focused on East Buffalo (Rethinking Resettlement, Articulating the Edge, and “Unoriginal Things”), the studio will consist of three overlapping phases. In the first phase we will analyze a broad range of anchor-led development approaches and formal articulations of wellness concepts. In the second phase, we will focus on East Buffalo to get a sense of the ongoing initiatives driving the transformation of the area. In the third phase, the students will produce projective architectural scenarios—“storylines”—that contribute to the collective envisioning of futures for the area. We will pay particular attention to the notions of urban stewardship and empowerment. The studio will feature a short road trip to view several comparative cases in the region. The students will work in small teams.