10/29 — Reseach: Hackable City Workshop

To seek out more possibility on our project topic, our team visited Construction Junction and attended Hackable City Workshop hosted by Urban Design Build Studio. Two consecutive sessions was be utilized to explore 1) Economic Resiliency by Design, and 2) Creating Agency by Design.

Two groups of experts had discussions on 1) adapting the tools and themes of resiliency to economics and entrepreneurship and 2) rethinking the processes of design and development to empower grass roots and individual actions to reshape cities. They especially have interests in East Liberty and Homewood, where known to as communities in need.

It was very interesting stories for us to hear about urban design experiments that two professors conducted in Homewood. Adam, the professor of Tepper School of Business, put his efforts on encouraging grass root entrepreneurship experience in Homewood area by activating empty buildings at Dallas street. He provided a space for artists and local business owners to open their street stores. Once a certain space was designated as commercial zone, the whole area was activated as a center of local economy.

One another attempt of improving economic resilience of Homewood was John’s Everyday Cafe. Born and grown up in Homewood, John realized that there is no space to have coffee and enjoy free wifi at his hometown. He decided to take an initiative and opened a cafe. He believes that his place will stimulate the surrounding area and helps these communities improve the living environment.