Current Charrette:

In order to actually keep this thing moving along the fine folks at LAUNCH Cleveland have joined w/ |re|decle to celebrate the community based idea of taking back the streets. With this in mind a whole new series of charrettes is being offered at LAUNCH based upon the premise of studying existing street conditions and questioning what would make them better. Now that LAUNCH (with its much smoother running web presence) is offering hosting space this site will begin to dwindle towards nothingness as the new location takes over. Do not fret, the events here are being archived and saved for posterities sake. In the mean time jump on over to the new website and take a look at the new charrettes.


Updates appear below in chronological order. You may organize posts by specific charrettes (to the right) or browse through them in order of posting.

Charrette 2007.10.01

reDesign Cleveland Charrette 2007.10.01

Alright, this month I am tacking on the charrette to an event happening in town this week sponsored by a group of designers who are basically attempting to do the same thing I am doing right here but with markedly more success. You know how I determined that? Because there is more then one person paying attention.

It is called LAUN-CHair

location: Buckeye Beer Engine.
intent: Temporal exploraration of temporary exterior furniture. Cardboard furniture to be designed and constructed on the patio of a location to be revealed closer to the event date. Pieces will be critiqued according to a surprise sety of criteria to be revealed to the particpants at the beginning of the event. This could be a theme, an overall idea or a surprise material.

overall timeline:
2007.10.03 - Charrette release
2007.10.07 - LAUN-CHair event

.pdf Flyer

Lets see what happens and how it affects what is going on here.

Charrette 2007.08.01 Solution 'A'

While most business studies would proponent large scale entertainment facilities next to or upon the river this plan calls for a smaller, ‘intimate’ venue to be placed within the river, submerging the floor in a ‘bathtub’ below the water line offering a rare and hopefully interesting way to interact with the Cuyahoga. -Dru McKeown

Charrette 2007.09.01

reDesign Cleveland Charrette 2007.09.01

location: Cleveland - basically all around the city.
intent: In order to bring the people greater choice in television viewing or internet capability or some such, SBC or ATT or whomever is placing gigantic above ground panels. Now, only some neighborhoods are getting this 'special treatment' and are lucky enough to have these gigantic humming metal boxes on their street corners.

Some may argue that these humungous boxes are eyesores, blocking views and interupting sightlines. Some may even argue that they block traffic views to crosswalks and could endanger pedestrians. I am sure most of these arguments pale in comparison to being able to watch all 42 channels of ESPN.

I also think that there is a great opprotunity here to do something with this canvas that has been handed to us. I understand the arguments about why these things should haven't been put in above ground and why they should have been placed in vaults however since it has become apparent that 'utilities' (how is cable television a utility? I always figured a utility was a necessity of sorts) can take over any city owned land they want in order to make their lives easier I think that the people of the city can take them back.

With this as a premise I suggest that this month's charrette center on what could be done to properly hide/decorate/show off these utility boxes. Think of this as a city beautification project.

submission form: Maximum of 2 800x600 pix) electronic images (jpg preferred) and 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.09.30
registration fee: 2 calzones from Cleveland's Central Calzone District
prizes: all the fun bucks collected from last month's registration
judging: everyone is a winner
overall timeline:
2007.09.03 - Charrette release
2007.09.30 - Submission deadline
2007.10.07 - Submission posted online

Charrette 2007.07.01 Solution 'A'

While not at all configured within the 'project parameters' I couldn't resist re-'fungineering' the Euclid Corridor project and harnessing our massive dirigible knowledge to serve the public.

-Dru McKeown

-I know this submission was uploaded late. I took pity on it since TOIstudio flooded. (ed)

Charrette 2007.08.01

reDesign Cleveland Charrette 2007.08.01

location: Cleveland - Scranton Peninsula
intent: The Cuyahoga River plays a vital part in the history and image of the city of Cleveland and presents the potential for so many interesting interventions that usually are skipped over due to logistics/cost or taste. None of which are boundaries here.

With this in mind the August Charrette is for a small structure that shall interact with the river. Program can be a restaurant or bar or some other entertainment venue not to be enormous (like similar structures on the river) but with a scale that fits the site and the breadth of the Cuyahoga at the given location. The main problem to be explored is how to interact with the river in an interesting way and be mindful of the riparian rules and the need to maintain the river as a waterway for container vessels and personal craft.

submission form: Maximum of 2 (800x600 dpi) electronic images (jpeg preferred), 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.07.31
registration fee: 1,000 fun bucks
prizes: Shotgun seat on the next road trip.
judging: Reserved for the Bratwurst festival in Bucyrus, Ohio

overall timeline:
2007 08.01 - Charrette release
2007 08.31 - Submission deadline
2007 09.07 - Submissions posted online

Charrette 2007.07.01

reDesign Cleveland Charrette 2007.07.01

location: Cleveland
intent: Summer rewards the urban traveler with a rather limited assortment of street stands. A far cry from the urban street markets of china which create exterior parks and street communities which foster interaction and greatly increase street vitality. This charrette will ignore the legal and licensing ramifications of creating a street stand for the city however you must play by a certain set of rules.

The stand can only take up 5'x5' when in use (but can utilize existing structures such as lamp posts etc to open up) and must be able to close up itself (for security) and provide a public amenity in it's 'stored' position while ideally taking up half the space as when open. You must also decide what your stall should sell. Pay no attention to market trends or logistics, just create something to fill your heart with joy.

submission form: Maximum of 2 (800x600 dpi) electronic images (jpeg preferred), 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.07.31
registration fee: Free to a good home
prizes: The joy of creation
judging: My mom says you are all pretty

overall timeline:
2007 07.02 - Charrette release
2007 07.31 - Submission deadline
2007 08.07 - Submissions posted online

Charrette 2007.05.01 Solution 'C'

Nothing really site specific, I just wanted to hover a couple of waste receptacles over a planting bed in order to protect the groundspace to grow a nice tree. Incorporated into the trash stand is parking for bicycles which I would love to see more of downtown. Not a super sexy solution but it offers a place for garbage, recyclables, creates some shade and greenery and parking for cyclists (pedestrian level traffic).

-Dru McKeown

Charrette 2007.05.01 Solution 'B'

I think I know who the chucklehead* is that wanted the trees along E12th removed and I even think I am aware of his "fantastic" reasoning. While I totally disagree that angled parking will be more convenient especially with all the bus traffic along the street blocking in the cars, I will admit that it does take a special sort of person to destroy one of the few decent boulevards downtown. I call this piece "Fantastic Trash" or "a blight upon the city".

-Dru McKeown

*language altered ~ed

Charrette 2007.05.01 Solution 'A'

What better way to fit into all the demolition and construction along Euclid then with the violated hulk of an automobile's remains? Placed within are 4 containers so that the conscious passerby can sort their waste for speedy and efficient handling.

-Dru McKeown

Charrette 2007.06.01

|re|Design Cleveland Charrette 2007.06.01

location: Cleveland's Public Square
intent: With the square being under construction, now is the best time to re-imagine the possibilities. Please use one of the provided images as a base for at least one of your submission images. Feel free to use whatever you want for the second image(if you use a second image, not many people have) to best convey whatever you want to convey.
submission form: Maximum of 2 (800x600 dpi) electronic images (jpeg preferred), 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.06.30
registration fee: None
prizes: Things to hang up on your refrigerator
judging: You probably get judged enough each day, no need to add to the emotional carnage.

overall timeline:
2007 06.01 - Charrette release
2007 06.30 - Submission deadline

2007 07.07 - Submissions posted online

Charrette 2007.04.01 Solution 'A'

Existing bridge towers are relocated on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River flanking a new folding 'drawbridge' auto and pedestrian deck. In addition to reusing the most recognizable elements of the Columbus Road bridge, the consolidation of infrastructure on the east bank promotes a continuous natural riverfront between Irishtown Bend and the Scranton Road peninsula on the west bank. The new placement of relocated bridge towers emphasizes gateway onto the Columbus Road peninsula where several other early-century industrial relics remain today.

-Bradley Fink

Charrette 2007.05.01

|re|Design Cleveland Charrette 3

location: Cleveland's District of Design
intent: Possible solutions for iconographic waste receptacles for the district. Submissions could be site specific (please locate site with information and place image of submission on site) to mark a specific area or could be generic for the entire district. Solutions could implement signage, be active, sort waste materials, whatever you can dream up.
submission form: Maximum of 2 (800x600 dpi) electronic images (jpeg preferred), 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.05.31
registration fee: None
prizes: A creative outlet no doubt stifled at your day job.
judging: Alright, I want to be honest. Until we get enough submissions to start being selective then we are just going to post everything. If we eventually get to the point where clear winners can be selected, etc, then we may start getting choosy and then even, possible, start working on prizes of some sort.

overall timeline:
2007 05.01 - Charrette release (I know it was late, sorry)
2007 05.31 - Submission deadline

2007 06.07 - Submissions posted online

2007 06.14 - Collection of favorite subm
issions will receive additional attention

These images are of generic trash cans and in no way indicative of suggested design, in fact, they are up because we found them silly.

Charrette 2007.02.26 Solution 'C'

Ivy walls cover the southern and eastern facade masking the horizontal banding of the majority of the building. Naturally occurring penetrations in the vegetation allow for air movement and light through the existing structure. Water runoff from the building is collected and run through the ivy fenestration watering the planting primarily though a trough at the base (which also holds the root structure). The eastern face and south-eastern corner have some lightweight fabric structures which are internally lit at night giving the normal dormant structure a sense of life and place-making.

-Dru McKeown

Charrette 2007.02.26 Solution 'B'

Not an attempt to simply mask the structure, the signage pays homage to the few moments of connection our solitary vehicular society allows. The placement of such large imposing structures juxtaposed with the vast wasteland of surface lots in the city speaks volumes about our current direction and values. Not meant to solely comment on America’s addiction to automobiles but also on the terrible cost affixed with such a past-time to ourselves, community and environment. If only there could be something more exciting there then a parking lot.


Charrette 2007.02.26 Solution 'A'

The redesign proposal uses the concrete structure of the garage as a

scaffolding for a vertical garden landscape. The southern facade
features ornamental planters suspended in rows with vegetation of
increasing height, from native grasses to flowering shrubs to hardy
urban trees, while the western exposure is shaded by columns of
climbing vines. When available, rainwater would be recovered in a
cistern at the upper garage level and channeled down to irrigate the
plants. The daily and weekly parking cycles become re-framed in the
new context of the natural seasons of the garden.

-Scott Snyder

Charrette 2007.04.01

|re|Design Cleveland Charrette 2

location: Columbus Road Bridge
intent: Possible solutions for bridge replacement. Will have to function as an auto/pedestrian bridge over the Cuyahoga River that will still allow boat traffic (including freighter) to pass through/under.
submission form: Maximum of 2 (800x600 dpi) electronic images (jpeg preferred), 100 word max description.
deadline: 2007.04.30
registration fee: None
prizes: Internet immortality and bragging rights.
judging: To be determined. Everyone's work will displayed, similar to the first charrette. If we get a lot of submissions then I will bother some people to judge otherwise you can use the comments space for your remarks. Possible internet voting if I can get blogger to employ it.

overall timeline:
2007 04.01 - Charrette release
2007 04.30 - Submission deadline

2007 05.07 - Submissions posted online

2007 05.14 - Collection of favorite subm
issions will receive additional attention

Special Thanks

To those that entered the first |re|Design Cleveland Charrette. Submissions will be posted by the end of the week. I would like everyone to take a moment and clear the palette before the next Charrette goes live by this afternoon but I think it will be a good one. Something everyone can play with.

Until then, I just want all the contributors to bask in the glow of my heartfelt thanks. I haven't pulled the emails from the account so I am not sure exactly how many responses we got, but we got at least one and that if a fine place to start.

Charrette 2007.02.26

|re|Design Cleveland Charrette 1

location: NE corner of Prospect and Ontario, Cleveland, Oh
intent: Reskin existing structure while maintaining primary function as a parking deck above retail.
submission form: Two electronic images (600x800 max resolution), 100 word max description. Submit via email to this site.
deadline: 2007.03.31
registration fee: None
prizes: Satisfaction and the admiration of others
judging: To be determined. We would like to do a mix of online vote and have some local designers critique. We will have to see who returns our calls.

overall timeline:
2007 02.26 - Charrette release
2007 03.31 - Submission deadline

2007 04.06 - Submissions posted online

2007 04.15 - Collection of favorite submissions will receive additional attention

What this is

Conversations with others around the great town of Cleveland have shown us one thing. There is too much bad architecture, bad design, and bad development caused by bad politics. Not one single person is really to blame, just a collection that allows this mess to go on unchallenged.

It isn't like it would be hard to fix. There is a vast collection of great artists, designers and generally smart, honest folks around here that are either too meek or too busy to scream loud enough to be heard.

And isn't that what we really need? A place to scream from?

We offer this to you then, a beginning of a platform. This isn't for your politics to shine or your affiliations, what we want is your ideas. Over the next couple of weeks we hope to create an anonymous home for your vision of what the city of Cleveland should be. Free from repercussions (we will allow comments but not arguments) this is nothing more then an open place for you to let your dreams rest a moment and develop.

The format is to be simple. Send a picture of what the site, wall, whatever looks like currently and then send in an image, sketch, photoshop, whatever, of what you think should be there and of course the location so that we can put it on our map. Ideas can range from pure capitalist development to socially conscious projects, from traffic re-organization to bike rack locations and shapes. You can even include descriptions if you want to further your idea.

These images and ideas will be posted anonymously by the administrators. You can send your info with your idea and if you want us to, we will post it right alongside so that you can get the credit you want.

We will also do our best to listen if you think the format needs some tweaking so please don't be shy.

Our goal is to create a dialogue with the city through design, to allow a place to communicate ideas of what the image of Cleveland should be. We expect some really good, scary and ridiculous stuff from you people and we will do our best to contribute our own.

We love this city. We want to show it how much we love it.