Bringing it all together

Welcome back once more to our blog!

It has been a very stressful week for our group due to unfortunate turn of events. As we have announced in our last few blogs, we are at the final steps of completing the rough work before starting construction on our exhibition area. During our last meeting with our urban designer Erin, we shared our ideas of what the transformation of the selected alley would look like. Since she currently resides in Toronto, we emailed her several photos of the section of the alleyway we chose to focus on and agreed that she will implement these ideas using her expertise onto a hard copy. We are hoping Erin can send this hard copy by this weekend so we can move forward in our legacy report of the project.

After meeting with Sandy’s father, a construction worker, he agreed to lend us a hand in building the brick wall that sits in the center of our station. But to make matters worse, his schedule does not give him enough free time to assist in the construction but he is willing to bring the materials needed to finish the job for us to use. With time running short before the exhibition reception opens, extreme measures will be taken to complete this task and the help of friends and family will be necessary. Also, the draft design of our exhibition station will be adjusted to accommodate this change.

Our goal for this weekend is to finish the design we have in mind and immediately begin construction on our station using the materials Sandy’s father will have ready for us. In the meantime, we are hoping Erin would come through with our agreement and send us her finalized projection of our ideas so they could be prepared for printing next week. We have high hopes in reaching our goals for this project before the deadline and we are looking forward for the opening day next week!

Also, a reminder for next week, our Exhibition opening day is on November 27th, 2012. It is open for the public so anyone is welcome. We hope to see you there. Thank you!

 

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Making it Reality

 

Deciding which section of the alleyway is ideal for our project.

It’s been a long week and our team is excited to begin on the hands on aspect of the project. After meeting with our urban designer Erin, we felt that our group managed to get a good grasp of our resourcing problems. Although Erin works in Toronto, she agreed to help us however she could with the time-frame given. We will work together through email, phone and through video chat in order to express our ideas of the planning we agree upon.

Since the days of the exhibition are counting down quickly, it was also time to start thinking of the Exhibition grand opening which will be in place on November 27th, 2012. Our team brainstormed how it would be best to illustrate what our new design in comparison with its original copy. One idea brought up with the miniature model concept is how to present these ideas. After giving it some thought and with the help of Rod and Patricia who are guides and exhibition experts We’ve come to realization that having a small model would not portray the right feel and perspective we want our guests to see. The best concept would be to build a human scale model inside our exhibition room. This model would present our transformation from the original alley to the new design.

Deciding which section of the alleyway is ideal for our project. (Pictured above)

For the coming up week, there is a lot to consider when thinking of  concept building. We considered the materials involved and the time it would take to complete the building process. As we previously reported, we spoke we two of the store owners recently and we will be meeting with them this week with visuals of our designs to inform them of where our imagination took us. We will collect more information about the alleyway in the rear of their shops and how they feel about this change, so don’t forget to check back with us next week!

Thank you!

 

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The Overview

This week proved to be the toughest but most important week yet. It was our midterm presentation week where we had to present our project to the rest of the class. Also, we had to give a brief idea of what our project is about and provide a future outlook on what is to be expected . While we presented we received much feedback, some good, however others questioned a few of the ideas we presented. But out of all the feedback and advice we received it was obvious that one issue was brought up several times. The aesthetics of the actual design was our key issue. So our next objective is to begin designing. We had already accomplished and researched ideas that would help begin the first stage of process.

There are a few things that have to be updated before we get our hands dirty. The group will update its task schedule and proposal update in order to keep the project in check after certain setbacks. The proposal update covers a small but significant portion to redirect the changes we have set. These need to be done by the beginning of next week.

Looking ahead, our team has a lot to accomplish if we wish to complete this project by the end of the semester. We feel this project has  huge potential in reviving our alleyways.  We hope to share more next week on what has been completed. See you next time!

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Outsourcing for Improvement

This week started our with a lot of brand new ideas being thrown to the table. Now that our final vision is in mind, the requirement for tools and resources to reach this goal became our top priority. In order to achieve our goal  is to reach beyond our limitations by involve the community and the experts on the project we have set forth. From architects to engineers, to creative art specialists and urban designers, we look to integrate a combination of selected skill sets and ideas to create  improvements to  urbanize alleyways within this city.

During the first half of this week, Sandy came across valuable information about a high school  that also unearthed the issue of alley abandonment. A class at Vincent Massey High School decided that it was necessary to end neglecting alleyways in their city and it was time to speak up. This was a perfect opportunity for our team to collaborate with these eager students who are also looking for a change in their community. We decided it was necessary to contact the civics teacher and pool our ideas!

With our eyes set on a ideal location, and a nifty design in mind, the team kept its foot on the gas and is concurrently preparing for the visual construction of the final product. The team is using a computer program to render a 3D visual of how the final design would look like. We are hoping this will be finalized by the end of this week due to time-constraints.

The images above were taken of sites our project will be focused on. The first two images depict the location within the alley that we would like to transform. The third image provides an insight to what we are currently working on and in the hopes of getting it done before project presentations.

Don’t forget to check back next week for new updates as well as feedback from our class presentation! Thank you!

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The Alley Prison Wall

(Above) This is one image of the selected alleyway for our project in process.

With project presentations approaching quickly, the team had set out in searching of an alleyway that needed dire transformation. We have searched and found an ally on 39 Park Street, Windsor Ontario. This particular alleyway was one of the worst alleys in the downtown area. The pavements are cracked and uneven, as was well as, other issues such as: dangling cable wires, filthy garbage, rusted medal, and molds going on the sides of stores. This poses health issues and potential rodent infestations.

However, there is potential in transforming this alley into a beautiful walk and drive way for pedestrians and store owners. In addition, the accommodation of better ways to keep trash secured, clean and off the street ground. The lighting in that particular alley is decent for safety wise. Only issue is that it is unappealing. The lighting used in this alleyway look the same as the ones found in prison movies. The comparison is quite frighting and not the kind of idea we want people to perceive as they walk into this alley. But we don’t blame them. The pale gray walls, bared windows and urine stained walls cry’s for an urban transformation. Our hopes at the end of this project is to transform this particular alley into a flourishing walkway that would attract the attention of pedestrians and offer a positive perspective that these neglected streets can be saved.

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A Neglected Corridor

Welcome back to our weekly blogs, we have new updates we would like to share with you and we hope you enjoy it!

(Above) This picture taken by Sandy Chehade, provides insight on some of the alleyways located in Downtown Windsor.

While still keeping our original plan to light up the night with new designs of street lights, we made a slight change as to where our focus should be directed towards for this project. In the early stages we introduced the idea of recreating and improving Windsor’s downtown lighting with the intention of increasing the safety of the pedestrians particularly in areas where lighting is not available. After further analyzing and exploring this idea in depth, it was obvious that the streetlights in alley ways and abandoned parking lots were only a small portion of the bigger issue Windsor faces in its solution for safety.

When you take a look at Windsor’s downtown, many of us notice all the effort made to enhance the city’s appearance and bringing it to life, but the full credits should never go to the actors on a theatrical stage, it is the behind the scenes team that is often forgotten about.  In this case, it is the alleyways of our city that is often overlooked and discarded. Whenever the image of an “alley” is brought up, almost immediately a”negative” reflection follows, hence why our team is diligently working hard to transform that image into a pleasant one.

(Above) This photo, also taken by Sandy Chehade, of a randomly selected location in Downtown Windsor provides us with a night-shot look of several neglected alleys.

As scheduled in our timeline, the team visited several locations this week to gather photos (above) along with information regarding the city’s policy and regulations for alleyways. We have realized that this project will not only depend communicating with the city councils but also with the community and business owners whose shops often lead to the alleys. We are anxious to start transforming and implementing our idea to the world, and we can`t succeed without your help! So stay tuned for more updates from our team through our rapid progress. Thank you.

 

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