Parke County Visitors Center Progress

Since the groundbreaking last fall, the new Parke County Visitors Center and Depot Trailhead has made significant progress as the 2016 Covered Bridge Festival and Indiana's Bicentennial Celebration approaches. During this time, major site elements have been constructed. This includes a new parking facility, an event plaza made from reclaimed pavers on site, and a segment of the planned Covered Bridge Gateway Trail. The remaining elements of the project include informational signage, and final landform creation. The iconic Rockville Depot also received a fresh coat of paint and structural improvements to ensure it's future stability.

As plants are installed and construction wraps up in the next few months, the sites transformation into a park-like setting will be the inviting entrance that local enthusiasts and visiting tourists needed to begin their adventure in Parke County.

LA 480: Closing Remarks

The advanced graphics class has been a tremendous asset to my senior project. It allowed me time to focus on the communication of my graphics and improve from the constructive feedback of my peers and professors. Below are a few photomontage drawings I produced as a result of the class.


LA 480: Constructed Ecology

This study looks at the progression of water and soil through time. Naturally occurring wetlands form complex hydrologic relationships between water and soil. Through the lens of time, we can begin to understand the change in soil composition and structure as a result of constant saturation. Hydric soils form gradually, so it is difficult as humans to watch the progression of this phenomenon. This study attempts to speed up the process and incorporate human scale elements to bring us closer to the natural cleansing and filtering system of constructed wetlands. A progression through the hydrologic landscape  brings the viewer from a point of complete immersion, interacting and harmonizing within the ecosystem.

The One Wabash District: Terre Haute, Indiana

An amazing week of collaboration!  During the course of the past three days, ArtSpaces, Inc. hosted an intensive design charrette to think about a cultural amenity along the Wabash River in Terre Haute, IN. The location, known as "One Wabash" is where a single bridge historically crossed the river (later torn down). A team of design professionals (John JacksonStacy Levy, and myself) worked with the local community to envision an amazing new reuse of this land.

The outcome was a pedestrian promenade which relinks Wabash Avenue to the river. By restructuring circulation through municipal parking lots, the design was able to blend seamlessly and safely through. The future identity of One Wabash is characterized by public markets and flexible event spaces. Ending with a grand view extending over the Wabash River, one can imagine the thrill of being above the Indiana's state river.  

LA 480 Unit 2a

[0.0 introduction]

Design thinking is a series of processes. It is the ability to articulate complex systems and solutions through a series of visual representations in a concise and simply understood format.  This practice drives discovery and is typically subject to interpretation. Context and process are the foundation upon which a design emerges. Recently Stoss Landscape Urbanism completed a project in Detroit identifying a strategic framework plan to improve the socioeconomic future of the city, “Detroit Future City”.


[1.1 site]

In a broad sense the site is the entire city of Detroit. But the purpose of a framework plan is to identify site-specific design strategies that are informed by the context.  Stoss identifies fragmented land vacancies as a site typology. A larger site then emerges within a neighborhood. This site is informed by the context of surrounding neighborhoods. The process is repeated throughout the city forming a new network of social, economic, and ecologic growth.

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

[1.2 scale]

The scalar nature of  “Detroit Future City” allows growth to be flexible. The design intent is communicated at multiple scales. As touched on earlier, it begins with micro-scale residential land vacancies that grow into a neighborhood scale, a community scale, and then is realized at a macro city scale.

[1.3 terrain]

143 square miles, of those 28 square miles of vacant areas perforate the cities vast landscape. As a shrinking city, managing lands of this scale and varied terrain is extensive and costly. Letting the terrain inform design decisions is key to understanding which natural systems can be capitalized on as new urban infrastructure. Hydrology and pedology form the roadmap for Detroit’s future land-use.

 [1.4 ecology]

Ecological landscapes are one of five design programs driving the concept of “Detroit Future City”. These opportunity landscapes are identified within residual industrial land and vacancies to specifically target habitat creation relating to urban forests and meadows. Rapid succession and reforestation will form a complete ecologic framework within the city.

 [1.5 culture]

Social and productive landscapes allow residences to reclaim the landscape as their own. Facilitating urban agriculture and programming recreational centers reinstates identity and pride within a community setting. By identifying strategic locations for implementation, the impact of these design programs will act as a ripple that permeates all layers of culture in the city.


[2.1 analysis]

At a project of this scale, enormous amounts of data must be collected and synthesized into objectives. Mapping this data creates a visual inventory from which analytic conclusions are drawn. The analysis surfaces from related studies of current land uses, ecologic systems, cultural regions, connective corridors, etc.

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

[2.2 discovery]

This is the moment in the analytical process when discovery happens. Through the process new relationships form to identify design issues and solutions. Specifically designing hybrid infrastructure networks, ecologic networks, open space networks, and food networks in Detroit has the potential to frame future identity.

[2.3 tools]

From the beginning Stoss identified what resources were available within the city to successfully create this conceptual framework plan. The typologies/ prototypical landscapes were very helpful in seeing the application of these tools. Each define unique elements of the site and project, combined they work as a system of infrastructures and solutions to the issue of Detroit’s growing vacancies.

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Image: Stoss Landscape Urbanism

[2.4 systems]

Input/output and process diagrams are extremely helpful in terms of communicating and defending the design intent. They give direction to the project and serve as guidelines as it develops.

 [2.5 performance]

From a representation standpoint the communication of ideas and design intent is clear. The types of drawings are simple and diagrammatic. For a large-scale project like this I believe representation has to be conceptual and graphic, rather than photoreal. The quality of work and the output level was high.

 [0.0 conclusion]

Through the process of design thinking, complex solutions can be graphically represented in understandable formats. Stoss Landscape Urbanism is very successful at this process and “Detroit Future City” exemplifies this practice.

Depot In The News!

The Rockville Depot and CBGTA Trailhead is starting to gain attention from surrounding communities. Terre Haute's newspaper the Tribune Star published a great article after a very successful day of volunteer work removing bricks to be re-purposed elsewhere on site. To view the full article click LINK 1    and to see the news video click LINK 2

Tribune Star Front Page.jpg

LA403 Urban Design: Red Line South

Great session yesterday meeting with professionals and talking about the proposed Shelby Street BRT line in Indianapolis. (Sorry for the blurriness- better images coming soon)



Fall Homeschool Jamboree

Here's a preview of the nature journals SLA students are currently constructing for this Friday's nature journaling workshop at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.


Back to School Grind

I'm back. Back in Indiana, ready to start the final year of my undergrad. It's going to be a great year. After being on an amazing journey in South Florida, gearing up for one last round sparks many new thoughts. The EDSA internship experience was truly enlightening. It broadened my understanding of what is within the realm of possibility as a designer and as a landscape architect.

One takeaway I gained from the internship is the idea of thinking big, like really big. The "designer" world tends to buy into the idea of creating small, detail oriented things, which is important, but after working on large scale planning projects at EDSA I believe it is equally, if not more important to zoom out and think about the entire network of those detailed relationships. For example, there could be a combination of economical, cultural, environmental factors which influence a region. Without vision for each of those factors at a "maco" level, the detailed interaction can never reach its full potential.  Check out this TED talk, it does a better job articulating the idea that I'm trying to. Tim Brown TED Talk

Charrette Week Video

This video served as the introduction to the spring 2014 Intern Charrette at EDSA. The project was to look at D.C. Alexander Park on the water front as well as its relationship to the Los Olas-A1A redevelopment project.

EDSA Intern Charrette Week

Quick design master plan iterations looking at a beachfront park in Ft. Lauderdale. Branding the park, programmatic designs, multi-use facilities, flexible spaces.
"Flow Fort Lauderdale"


Buck Creek Stream Restoration

At the confluence of the White River and Buck Creek in Yorktown, IN, FLR has been reconstructing, and redirecting the channel of Buck Creek. After thorough analysis from the design build company's stream restoration engineer, the high quantity of sediment being deposited in the stream bed was due to erosion of the channel itself.

To solve this problem and prevent continued erosion, FLR used engineered techniques to  reduce sedimentation, in-turn improving the water quality, and health of the stream.

In the images below you can see coir mats and rolls being staked in place, reintroduction native riparian ground vegetation, live willow and dogwood staking, and annual rye cover crop seeding to hold soil in place until root structure develops.


Learning Pavilion Installation

The green roof at Craddock Wetlands was shipped to the site and installed this week! The two types of trays consisting of a sedum mix and a grass mix.

During my summer internship we calculated the amount of live load the roof could sustain. Based on those calculations the structure could support the plant trays.

The purpose is not only functional, but educational; allowing school groups and pedestrians to learn the importance of natural systems as they walk through the nature preserve.