Sunday, February 12, 2012


This week for the studio began with late nights spent feverish polishing our mid-review presentations, and ended with another site visit to bucolic San Juan Island.  While I believe we all preferred the latter, our mid-reviews came off grandly nonetheless. 

We further distilled our working themes to four groups:  Community + Stakeholders, Site + Program, Heritage + Program, and Setting + Environment.  These groups were, as our professors tasked us, an effort to "move into a more directed apprach for developing strategies to apply the design guidelines to our site and examine their applicability to the larger NPS system."  While moving forward in examining their individual theme, the groups also worked together, sharing ideas and information to devise a framework for decision-making in our design thinking.

Here are a few examples of our work (please note, more examples will be posted in the coming days):

We were fortunate to have as our reviewers both SJI-NHP core staff and high level decision-makers with the Designing the Parks competition.  After a short introduction to our work and process, the four groups presented their boards detailing thoughts and proposals.  A final synthesis presentation discussed overall conclusions, and clued the reviewers in to our direction moving forward.

A fertile discussion followed, with the reviewers urging us to continue pushing and scrutinizing the boundaries of the Park, both physical and metaphorical.  They appreciated all of the data and analysis that was presented, and all - reviewers, students, and professors - agreed that it is now time to bring focus to form. 

After the buzz of mid-review dissipated for a day, we had a second chance to present our work - this time on the Island.  We invited community stakeholders to a public meeting as a way to see what we have been working on, and more importantly to get input from those who have the Park as their local park.  We were all very excited, after working with GIS, historical research, maps, et al. for weeks, to have a chance to have tangible encounters with island residents. 
Steve, Acting Superintendent of SJI-NHP introducing the group

There was a short presentation, and we then broke out into small groups to discuss our work and the residents' thoughts.

At the end of the long week, we blew off some steam in Friday Habor at the Rumor Mill, a live music venue and restaurant.  As the band was backed by a large mural of the windswept prairie at American Camp, we considered our dancing and revelry as research related to the studio.
At the Rumor Mill - with American Camp prairie mural backdrop

The next day, we further explored the Island and the two park sites.  With fresh ideas from our presentations and conversations, the group homed in on how to bring these concepts to spatial reality.  A subset was able to examine the old military road in further detail, and more specifically toured the island with the San Juan Island Trails Committee.
English Camp
English Camp
English Camp

American Camp

American Camp
American Camp

Jakle's Lagoon - American Camp

American Camp

With the quarter a bit more than halfway over, we look forward to focusing more on specific proposals and interventions built upon the base of thorough site analysis and data.

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