Sustainable South Bronx
The Pratt Design Incubator (a division of CSDS) partnered with Sustainable South Bronx (SSBX), a community organization dedicated to Environmental Justice solutions, to design a series of street furniture for the South Bronx Lafayette Avenue Greenway project. This large-scale project aims to sustainably connect the waterfront with the communities of Hunts Point in the Bronx. A group of nine designers joined up to work on the project, six recent alumni from Pratt Industrial Design and three designers from Toronto who added architecture, urban planning, and environmental design to the mix.
In order to create functional and relevant objects for the community, the designers built relationships with community members at local events, including a community block party and a workshop with the local youth from SSBX and The Point Community Group. By participating in these events, designers became more aware of how locals envisioned their new streets.
For three weeks in July, the design team researched ideas and developed concepts and “soft prototypes.” Throughout this design process, the designers were filmed, which will allow others to follow and to understand the design process. The team presented a series of different concepts to SSBX, The Point Community Group, and various community members. Thanks to the feedback, the design team is currently redefining and solidifying their concepts.
An exhibit was held at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery from September 25th through November 7th, 2009 of the design documents related to this project, including the film, drawings, photographs, and prototypes.