participatory design with people, places, and ideas
The project at 289 Derby was a multi-week effort to engage locals in the hands-on design of a new waterfront park. Studioful led the placemaking strategy with support from Creative North Shore (formerly Creative Salem) and CBA Landscape Architects.
We showcased the possible and stimulated people's imaginations with Community Design Events on the empty lot at 289 Derby Street: locals gathered and helped design a new public space - together. Over five weeks, events engaged the community to Dance & Design, Play & Plan, Eat & Imagine, and more leading to a unified choice for a new waterfront park scheme.
Location: 289 Derby St, Salem MA
Timeline: May - July, 2017
Project Type: CoDE - Community Design Events
Client: City of Salem
Collaborators: Creative North Shore, CBA Landscape Architects, City of Salem, and dozens of local organizations, businesses, nonprofits, artists, and people of all ages
Meet at 289 Derby!
photo credit for all 289 Derby photos: John Andrews, Creative North Shore
The on-site calendar showcases events to all living close to the future park.
For the Eat&Imagine event, local chef from Bambolina Restaurant across the street provided free, healthy, and delicious food while we collected people's input with "Placemaking Placemats." We collected aver 90 placemats, with the majority choosing the same design scheme - the design choice was almost unanimous during the fourth design event.
Connecting to the South River
Local stand-up paddle board and kayak tours and instructors, Coast-to-Coast Paddle joined our event "Play&Plan" to help us all imagine how the waterfront park could have a real connection to the water.
Retonica Event Lighting helped us imagine how the National Grid building across the river could be transformed. During the events, many residents highlighted the brick structure as a good opportunity for an intervention, especially as it is on visual axis with the future park.
The Community Table for People and Pollinators is a large scale table on Artists’ Row that encourages people to stop, sit, eat, learn about native plants, make friends, and discover art in public space. The table represents an imagined landscape of creativity with a collage of artful and natural materials form local artists and surrounding natural areas aimed to nourish local communities. The integration of native plant gardens for pollinators aims to expand the notion of community to that of the smallest endangered creatures in our ecosystem.
The treatment of the table is inspired by the Artists’ Row tenants' materials, natural materials found on the forest floor, and pollinators, creating a collage ecosystem where people can explore, learn, eat, enjoy, and converse.
The budget focused on providing small stipends for local artists and designers, rather than spending funding on materials. We therefore used free pallets and a mixed media tabletop mosaic with found and donated materials.
Native perennial plants for pollinators add green space in an imaginative way to the Community Table and attract butterflies and bees to catalyze curiosity and conversation on the subject of pollinators.
Initially, the Community Table would only be accessible during Artists’ Row hours for fear of damage and undesirable activities. In a later meeting with the Public Art Commission, it was determined that a more permanent fixture would better create a destination space, a stated project goal and worth the risk.
Location: Artists' Row, Salem MA
Timeline: July - September, 2017
Project Type: PAS - Public Art Salon, Artist in Residence Program
Client: City of Salem
Collaborators: City of Salem Arts&Culture Planner, Thrive Design, Beverly Bees, local artist interns
Public Art Salon
The purpose of The Public Art Salon is to create beautiful, participatory, resident-led projects on an ongoing basis to inspire local communities.
Practically, we make friends and create projects in public space that connect local people and places.
People come together to design and build community-driven projects, cultivate local talent, and build productive relationships.