Carl Sergio and I recently had a chance to compete in a small design competition called the “1×20 Competition.” The goal of the competition was to come up with 20 different design solutions for the same urban lot located in downtown Indianapolis.
The competition was conducted by AIA Home Tour and involved a lot in the historic St. Joseph’s neighborhood downtown. The concept of the competition was to address a common problem of abandoned lots in urban settings. There were no other constraints for the competition other than the specific site.
Each entry had to contain the below site perspective as the overriding site image. We were able to alter the image however we saw fit. But this particular image had to make up the background of the project.
We took this design opportunity to address the problem of individual neighborhood identities within a larger urban fabric. Our proposal focused not on recreating the past, like what is typically done in historic neighborhoods, but rather on taking cues from the past, both social and built. Our proposal featured historical images and information, presented on a modular panel system. This panel system was meant to echo materials and makeup of local building methods.
These installations could then be placed throughout the city, in specific neighborhoods, creating a network of neighborhood identities within the larger urban fabric. The chosen neighborhood vignettes offer a snapshot of the character of each individual neighborhood.
Carl and I really enjoyed the opportunity to stretch our creative thinking on a small local project and we were fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the 20 entries to be put on display at the Harrison Center for the Arts during the month of September.