In partnership with Mobile Studio and local civic leaders, the Auburn University Master of Community Planning students have developed a strategic action plan for the revitalization of the City of Tuskegee and greater Macon County. http://tuskmac.businesscatalyst.com
The Tusk-Mac plan researches, analyses and generates a projection of sustainable futures for the involved community. From small business eminence and the implementation of reliable public transportation, agritourism to green industry sector growth, affordable housing to historic preservation incentives, the project advances pathways towards prosperity. Urban design proposals and policy recommendations are aimed at improving overall community health, food security and economic growth, overturning a legacy of systemic disenfranchisement. The 2030 plan is regionally interconnected, organically grown, resourceful and strategic. We the people of east Alabama, are planning for success and hold every intention of creating a beautiful, progressive future for Macon County, Alabama.
MOBILE STUDIO has replicated itself: model and methodology, and taken up residency at University of Richmond, Downtown in collaboration with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement! Last February, early spring 2015, Daniel and Jocelyn traveled to Richmond, Virginia, and with the young activists and artists in the American Studies course, “Public Art and Social Change in the River City,” led by Drs. Sylvia Gale and Alexandra Byrum and the awesome Grace Leonard; built this unique version of the 10 x 10 drawing box and investigated the terrain together.
Over the course of a week, we set the studio up in three different river city neighborhoods to take the pulse of this relationship: river to city, heron/ child/ storm water/ grandmother/ native fishery/ freeway/ kayak… Over the course of the semester, we designed a block-long mural for the Cary Street neighborhood to evoke these complex intertwined stories of the James River and its people, the living river city.
The mural was painted in March by many hands, a co-creative process led by local artist, Heide Trepanier. It speaks of risk, of love, of shad and eagles, of the physical, systemic ways we make our world and the tenuous flow of lifeblood, of water throughout. The lovely wooden studio, designed to convene public gatherings for thinking together, through drawings and mappings and storytelling, now lives downtown, ready to sail again.
And most excitingly, a call has just gone out, an open call for next generation of MOBILE STUDIO community engaged projects this spring 2016… we can’t wait to see whats next!
Mobile Studio and Auburn University’s Master of Landscape Architecture Studio 2 are working with the City of Montgomery Public Art Commission to explore 14 sites across the city as opportunities for investments in creative placemaking and public art. These sites, situated in the downtown core and adjacent historic neighborhoods of Centennial Hill to the East and Five Points to the West become catalysts, not only for neighborhood revitalization, but a new network of civic infrastructure.
In partnership with Birmingham Made Me and the Birmingham City University Institute of Art and Design, Mobile Studio hosted a brilliant design dialogue between Birmingham Alabama (BA) and Birmingham Britian (BB) on the topic of sustainable cities and the role of creative industry in the 21st century.
Happening concurrently at historic Sloss Furnace in BA and Millennium Point BB, the live design exchange was attended by a dynamic mix of parliamentarians, city council members, manufacturing CEO’s, academics, design advocates, and public historians.
In the midst of stimulating conversations on the challenges of building smart city infrastructure for low carbon futures, Wiliam McGrath- CEO of AGA Rangemaster, threw down the gauntlet and challenged his city’s namesake to the Iron Bowl of Design!!!
Lifting an original cast iron bowl to the screen, McGrath reminded us of the original inventor/designer of the iron pot, Abraham Darby, who in 1707, invented the coke-fired, green sand-cast method for producing light weight, low-cost, durable cast iron cookware. He suggested that Alabama’s most important sports tournament, named for this significant moment/innovation in industrial history be used symbolically to inaugurate and inspire a new era of international collaboration: the Iron Bowl of Design. Mobile Studio is honored to make this happen!
As part of Mobile Studio’s multivalent investigation into large historic land systems, this video is the first of the UK Mobile Studio study of the future of high speed rail, urban place-making, and urban watersheds in England. This project is a partnership with MADE, a center for urban place-making in Birmingham, Kathryn Moore’s Institute for Art and Design at Birmingham City University and a team of public artists, landscape architects, and citizens. This particular film explores the landscape of rail connecting two of Europe’s largest cities. The curious musical score is intended to provoke new thinking about these seemingly mundane landscape experiences.
Kathryn Moore, professor of landscape architecture at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom, will present the final lecture in School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture spring lecture series on Monday, April 8. Moore’s lecture, “Design: Philosophy and Theory into Practice,” is at 3:30 p.m. in Dudley Commons B6. Moore is the immediate past president of the Landscape Institute and the UK representative to the International Federation of Landscape Architects. Her lecture is free and open to the public. The public is also invited to join Moore and civic leaders from Macon County for a Mobile Studio workshop at the new CSX Select Site in Notasulga at exit 38 off I-85 South on Sunday, April 7th, 1-5 p.m. The Auburn Special Lecture’s Committee Fund provided support for Moore’s lecture, and the APLA lecture series is supported by practicing architects, planners, and landscape architects in the State of Alabama. For more information about Moore visit: CADC website info.
This plan identifies key features of the site: the Baptism Pool, the Woodland Path, the future community garden, the swing yard, the new sign and terrace walls and more. We will be working together towards this vision that has been reviewed by the board in several sessions with students and community members.
Mobile Studio pop-up installation “Re-born from the soil: Historic Macon County Clays” on was on display at “This Goodly Earth, Auburn University Symposium as a part of “Becoming Alabama” [description: hand made wooden bench, photo collage of abandoned South Macon Junior ROTC High School, slip pour of historic Macon County Clay in honor of and dedicated to Auburn University Graduate and pioneering clay artist Margaret Boozer]
Check out Margaret’s work that inspired this piece:
In the spring of 2012, a number of Macon County students participated in a mentoring program with the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission. As a response to the National Conference on Citizenship’s Civic Data Challenge and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life’s Alabama Civic Health Index, students worked with Mobile Studio artist, Dan Neil, and AU landscape architect, Jocelyn Zanzot, to create posters with messages related to statistics that held special meaning to them. These original posters are printed on paper made by students during a day-long workshop at Notasulga High School, and a framed set of posters is on permanent, public display at the Macon County Courthouse.
The students won an Honorable Mention for their submission to the first-ever National Civic Data Challenge of the National Conference on Citizenship. Attendees at the conference in Philadelphia, PA had a chance to view their work. The chairman of NCOC would like to have a complete set of posters and congratulates the students.
Dr. Mark Wilson, Director of Civic Learning Initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts, accepts the award on behalf of landscape architecture professor Jocelyn Zanzot, artist Daniel Neil, and most importantly, the civic-minded high school students of Macon County, Alabama.