Posts Tagged ‘Economic Design

Team: Old Skool

Members: Chris Sovchen, Jason Leonard, and Kyle Jennings

Notes and Rationale: We would like to research the materials that have been used over the years only to be recalled due to either health concerns, availability, or ecological impact. The construction industry is moving towards greener engineering which includes reduction of waste by using recyclable resources with extended lifespans. Our hope is to discover what the up and coming materials are and how they will change the construction industry’s perspective on material cost and waste. Furthermore, this research can potentially help us illuminate the aspect of responsible design. In other words, design and development must consider what impact the final product will have and not just whether it is cheap and pretty or how much profit can be made. Does the design create more harm than good? Is it in fact destruction rather than innovation?

Ultimately, a GC may use a certain material because it is cheap, but if said material will need to be replaced due to fore mentioned issues then doesn’t the cost in fact go up. So, maybe a contractor spends more money on the front end but there is a long term savings available. Furthermore, the structure’s quality is improved which could bring repeat customers/ clients as well as a solid name in the industry.

Taxonometric Categories: Responsible Design, Socially Conscious, Environmentally Sustainable, Safe Standardization, Oversight Aware, Legally Abiding Design

Negotiations: Safe vs. Fiscally Desirable/ Aesthetics vs. Footprint/ Responsible vs. Profit/ Material Availability vs. Innovation/ Health vs. HomelessnessOrganized Oversight vs. Public Safety/ Money vs. Time vs. Money vs. Time vs.  Money/ General Contractors vs. Constraints/ Liability vs. Character/

Examples and Source Links:

Katrina Trailer Failure

Siding Recall

Drywall Recall


Why are we re-inventing the wheel? Here are a few examples of projects that are entirely off of the grid and incorporate sustainable materials and construction.

Take a Seat

10, نوفمبر 2010

Take a Seat

Jason Eppink’s Creative Triumphs

Rooted in New York City subway station, Take a Seat is an ongoing social design project focused on the issue of available seating. By supplying used but perfectly functional chairs from dumpsters and piles of trash, the members of this project were able to reassign chair locations in areas of the station at which subway goers would usually have to stand for extended periods of time. The success of this project dwells on the fact that it makes someones trash another persons useful asset just by the simple idea of reassigning locations of the chairs.

notes: This design project was unique in the fact that it was more of a service then a design. Similar to Eppink’s project that we studied previously in 1060 (the portable wooden bridge built over a messy sidewalk leak), this design is meant for the purpose of serving others without much cost to either side. Specifically, Take A Seat takes used and disposed of chairs and assigns them to a new location and purpose for which they will be adopted and loved which is an awesome alternative to letting it end up in the landfills or to rot as pollution. Putting these used chairs in subway stations is a social design from which all can benefit.


social design, community design, innovative design, environmental design


Usability of chairs vs Aesthetics of chairs, Effective increase of sitting spaces vs. Clutter/hazardous, Spontaneous chair bringing (temporal chairs) vs issue of stealing and crime arising from chair mobility, desire for more seating vs surplus of seating (is there a cap on the number of chairs? who will enforce it?)

REWORKED Negotiations:

Comfort vs. Clutter

Flow of traffic vs. increase of sitting spaces

Individual (introverted) experience vs. group (extroverted) experience

Timeliness vs. Friendliness

Comfort vs. Safety

Inner-City Arts and Grassroots

10, نوفمبر 2010
Group Members: Hilary Yeganegi, Andreas Nilsson, John Walker, Sarah Lashinsky

Inner-City Art    

Inner-City Arts    

Inner-City Arts describes itself on it’s website as “an oasis of learning, achievement and creativity for underserved children in the heart of Skid Row”.  The Los Angeles arts education program is a haven for local children and youth, and offers them with every amenity to submerge themselves in studio life.  Professional teaching artists provide hands-on instruction in well-equipped studios.  ICA’s campus is the ideal venue for creation.  Architect Michael Maltzan repurposed an abandoned garage, and outfitted it with simple, geometrical design.  The workspaces manage to accommodate lots of students, yet are still intimate. To kids who may have come to believe that “dreams are for other children”, ICA may be the perfect micro-city in a rough-and-tumble neightborhood.    




Architect and Students    

Architect and Business Owners    

Architect and Teachers    

Students and Teachers    

Why did we choose this?    

Inner-City Arts caught our eye when we were browsing around MoMA’s website for their Small Scale, Big Change project.  The campus is so beautiful we were intrigued to discover that it is actually in skid row.  In the end, we’re happy to give this project any exposure; it seems that Inner-City Arts does a lot of good.

Taxonomic Categories    

Charitable Design, Urban Design, Urban Integration, Community-Based Design




Notes is an organization that promotes social changes by endorsing other smaller organizations by offering them money to fulfill their goals. The organization offers an average of $10,000 a year for each organization. Basically the website is there to promote the creation of grassroots organizations and to get them started.    


Donors and the website    

Donors and Grassroots organizations    

The Website and Grassroots organizations    

Grassroots organizations and society    

Grassroots organizations and their cause    

Why did we choose this? provides money for grassroots organizations that are trying to start a social change, but might not have enough resources to become a fully started organization. Many grassroots organizations have trouble starting up because they are being funded by only a couple of people so usually there is a lack of resources and have trouble spreading their cause. So helps these grassroots organizations spread their cause by funding them.    

Taxonomic Categories    

Societal Design, Communal Design, Economic Design, Charitable Design