Parks For The People


by Student on March 30, 2012

March 23rd 2012: The symposium for Parks for the People was held at Ralph Appelbaum Associates.  The team presented the project mission and design concept to the Van Alen Institute and members of the National Park Service.

Project Mission: Our mission for the Hopewell National Site is to preserve the existing landscape while integrating an experience relevant to today’s visitor. We call this the park of the future.

Design Principles:

1 Envision a better environment through understanding its history.

2 Inspire a conscious connection between culture and landscape.

3 Utilize existing assets to encourage sustainability

4 Employ a flexible interpretive infrastructure, to remain relevant and encourage visitors to return for new experiences.

5 Fuse the natural experience with the emotional, through activities that inspire and engage the mind.

6 Engage the visitor by stimulating the five senses

7 Integrate artistic components to encourage creative connections between the landscape and the arts.

8 Encourage innovation and idea exchange by sitting new ventures and organizations in the park.

Our presentation was followed by a round table discussion, where we further discussed our project. Olympia Kazi, the executive director of Van Alen Institute and other guests evaluated our proposal according to overall strength and innovation, knowledge of the historic industrial site, and our understanding of the National Park Service design principles. We, the EDI team and the panel engaged in a dialogue where we further clarified our mission and process. We also received highly constructive input and advice. Overall, the presentation was well received.

This was followed by presentations by the keynote speakers where they showcased insightful precedents related to sound production, urban design, and landscape art/design which inspired us to integrate other disciplines into our concept.

The Panel:

Olympia Kazi, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute

Shaun Eyring, Chief, Division of Resource Planning and Compliance, Northeast Region, NPS

Edie Shean-Hammon, Superintendent, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Jane Clark Chermayeff, Principal, Jane Clark Chermayeff & Associates

Susannah Drake, Principal, dlandstudio

Bill Morrish, Dean, Parsons School of Constructed Environments

Justin Moore, Senior Urban Designer, NYC Dept of Planning and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University GSAPP

Steven Tupu, Landscape Architect/Ecologist, Principal of Terrain-NYC

Charles Mary Kubricht, Artist, Site/Landscape Art

Steven Laise, Historian and Chief of Cultural Resources, National Parks of New York Harbor

Charles Morrow, Sound Artist/President, Charles Morrow Productions

Rick Little, Vice President, Administrative and Strategic Projects, Friends of the Highline




Spring Site Visit

by Student on March 30, 2012

During Spring break, we went to the park to dive deeper into the trails and get a better understanding of the layout of the park. Our goal was to capture imagery and sound components in the park to incorporate into our presentation. The weather permitted us to explore the park further and we were able to compile a great collection of scenic snapshots. We got more out of this trip than we had hoped for.


March 30, 2012

Our research and site visits led us to formulate a concept for the new park. We began by thinking from the visitor’s perspective and making comparisons to the existing park experiences. Our concern starts from the moment the visitors arrive at the park to when they depart. We divided the entire park experience into four […]

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Winter Site Visit

March 30, 2012

February 11th 2012: This was our second visit and we got to see the park and its surroundings in the winter season. We sat down with the park rangers and talked about their vision for the park. This trip gave us a better idea of the premise of the project. The rangers guided us around the park showing […]

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Studio Dynamics within the EDI

March 5, 2012

The EDI Studio is a dynamic one, which brings together people from various disciplines and allows for exchange of ideas through inividual and group work. This centralized design studio operates mainly from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Campus and uses RAA’s Culture and Media Lab as an extended facility. The studio allows for collaborative exchange with professionals […]

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Questions for ‘Bigger Ideas’

March 5, 2012

Following the research stage of the competition, Parks for the People posed provocative questions that could be applied to both the National Park Services and our specific site, Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Our design studio used these questions as a framework to step back and investigate our big ideas for the Parks and how these could be applied across other […]

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Parks for the People: Stage 1

March 3, 2012

Parks for the People is a collaborative initiative of the U.S. National Park Service, Van Alen Institute, and the National Parks Conservation Association, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. In the first stage of the competition the EDI Studio produced a research-based, content-driven design for park experiences. We started our exploration by understanding […]

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