Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cassie's First Blog Entry

Hi everyone, I’m Cassie and I’m going to be a senior at Riverdale Country School. I’m interning at Hester Street Collaborative for five weeks this summer. So far we’ve worked on a few projects. Last week the other interns, Megan and George, and I went to the P.S. 134 Community Garden with Dylan and helped clean it up and watered the plants. A few days later we went back to the garden with Sadie; we painted a clear top coat on wooden signs, made by the students at P.S. 134, so they could be hung up on the fences surrounding the garden.
There was also a summer school session last week at HSC. Students from New Design High School, who had to make up credits, were to create their idea of a boarding school. The project would be built on the SPURA (Seward Park Urban Renewal Area) parking lots across from their school. For years, a multitude of community members have been lobbying to build something on this land instead of just using it as a parking lot. The teachers and administrators at New Design High School thought that a boarding school would be a good use of the land, as many of the students who attend NDHS do not have stable home lives. Having a boarding school in the neighborhood would allow students to focus more on their schoolwork than on their living situations.
We helped the students by making examples for each step of their process in designing their buildings. The first step was making a model using cardboard, construction paper, wood figures, and clay. Once the models were done, the students picked an aspect of their design to focus on and then they drew detailed sketches of what the insides/outsides of parts of their schools would look like. They also sketched a plan (a bird’s eye view) of their schools, and a 3-D image as well. Megan, George and I scanned all of their sketches so the students were able to input them into an InDesign layout on the computer. Finally, each student presented his or her work, explaining why they chose to include certain features in their designs. The designs were all different; however there were many recurring features, such as study areas, gardens, basketball courts, and of course housing.

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