After four weeks of work, four sections of second year architecture students successfully designed, built and installed their work for the PARK(ing) Day in downtown Lincoln along P Street. The event had strong turn out by the public for the entire day. There was a steady stream of visitors who were able to engage with the work, students and AIA Lincoln to utilize the thirteen reclaimed parking stalls.
While we hope that taking part in this global event promotes better urban environments that are uncritically given over to cars, the role design can plays is also foregrounded. Because it is a project within the architecture curriculum, it additionally offers numerous benefits to the students. Due to all of these factors, PARK(ing) Day is not an easy project. This is the first assignment the students face in their first architecture studio at UNL. To be successful, students must collaborate, address multiple parameters (safety, logistics and tectonics), and develop clear intentions while attempting to work through ideation, design development, prototyping, construction and finally installation. Not only does this complexity challenge their skills, it tests their ability to do all of this quickly and within a modest budget. This year there were teams in each studio section that were able to work through this process to a successful resolution.
As a final note, the group has a number of people to thank. This event would not have been possible without the continued support and involvement of AIA Lincoln. The faculty, teaching assistant and students would like to thank everyone that came to design reviews, helped trouble shoot the projects and came out to support their efforts.
- Peter Olshavsky