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Tuesday
Jul022013

Exploring the Future Campus: #summerstudio13 Kicks-off!

Image © Gensler

Future Campus—#summerstudio13 is a candidate to win a Place by Design award in at this year’s SxSW Eco conference, and we’re looking for your vote! Please click here to vote, and note that you can vote multiple times for a single entry.

What happens when you bring together anthropologists, philosophers, urbanists, architects, and designers to discuss the issues facing students today? Is there a way to improve accessibility to education? What defines a campus? How can students afford school? Can a community be more involved with its neighboring university? How can campuses reduce their environmental footprint?

These were the questions we asked ourselves as we developed the idea for #summerstudio13, a design intensive partnership with Barnard+Columbia Design for America (DFA). DFA is a nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. This summer, students from DFA and summer interns from Gensler’s New York office are collaborating to dream big, explore design issues, and propose ideas for the college campus of the future.

Four teams of six participants (five Gensler Interns plus one DFA Advisor) will propose positions and solutions to campus issues that are applicable to Barnard and Columbia. Each proposal will be within one of DFA’s four categories of focus: education, health, economy and environment. Gensler facilitators will mentor the teams as they develop their projects.

The program kicked off on June 13 and was followed by a design charrette on the Barnard and Columbia campuses on June 15. The team is already zeroing in on some strong themes, including connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood; healthy food for the campus; and a library for the outdoors. While these ideas are in the infant stages, we’re already excited by the initial sketches and collages, which have identified a range of interventions—all engaging and innovative. The program also demands that the solutions be scalable and translatable to campuses around the globe: if they can make it here, they can make it anywhere!

We’ll continue to keep you updated on progress via Gensleron.com, so watch out for future posts. Also, you can learn more at http://dfa-barnardcolumbia.com.

Follow us via Twitter over the next few weeks @GensleronCities, hashtag #summerstudio13.

Maddy Burke-Vigeland is an Architect and Principal who leads Gensler’s Education and Culture Practice Area. Maddy directs the strategic vision for Gensler’s education design network, engaging institutions in creating learning environments for the 21st century. Contact her at maddy_burke@gensler.com.
Rachel Ganin is a design analyst in Gensler’s consulting studio. She received her BA in Graphic Design from American University and has eight years experience in the design and engineering industry. Her background in graphics and marketing, business administration, and project management provides her with the foundation to bring innovative solutions to a variety of project types. She engages in an approach that includes research and analysis, seeking a depth of understanding of each organization’s complexity. Contact her at rachel_ganin@gensler.com.

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