BJG 01 - 16 - 2010

The goal of the hometown project is to address current needs and enhance our local community through design interventions. Avon, Indiana is the first suburb west of Indianapolis and is home to about 11,000 residents. In terms of community planning and design, the town is very typical to other contemporary sprawling, Wal*Mart-centric suburban developments. Commercial activity takes place along one main highway (US 36) and the rest of the town's 6 square miles follow a pattern of farmland converting to neighborhoods, churches, or public school facilities. Sustainable design interventions are few and far between and many residents would agree that Avon lacks a unique sense of community outside of the school corporation. My project will address these two faces in hopes of accomplishing these objectives: using building practices and uniquely designed spaces and built environs to spur an interest in sustainable living and a sense of community whose focus reaches toward a lasting future. Avon does not currently have a community-wide recycling program. The town would benefit greatly from one and as the community comes to use this service, current cradle-to-grave thinking would transform to a focus on sustainable reuse and limited consumption. My hometown project will house an advanced recycling facility with a public face for the community: spaces for public use and informative dialogue concerning sustainable practices. So far on the World Tour trip, I have been very impressed with the amount of street-located recycling bins. I would guess that about 60% of the public trash receptacles that I have seen in Cordoba, Seville, and Granada have places for recycling plastics and paper. Implementing this idea into my hometown project would be as easy as designing small recycling bins to be placed at the entrances to Avon's neighborhoods. These locations would be convenient for suburbanites on their way to work and would increase public awareness and the depth to which the recycling plant would foster a movement toward sustainable living at a community and individual level. [The image below is an early idea for a unique (and light-hearted) recycling bin to be placed at neighborhood entrances]. Also in terms of conceptual design, I have began diagraming how prominent spaces such as the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhumbra in Granada handle entranceways and the transitioning from exterior to interior from an inhabitant's viewpoint. The image to the right is an early diagram of how I will consider varying degrees of enclosure and address the pathway leading up to the public face of the recycling/community center.

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