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Master of Architecture Students Plan Dreamscape Project for Detroit School

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Master of Architecture Students Plan Dreamscape Project for Detroit School

Taubman College Master of Architecture candidates Salam Rida and Ryan Goold are collaborating with the James & Grace Lee Boggs School on the east side of Detroit to design and construct a Dreamscape playground for young students. Rida and Goold started this initiative as an independent study with faculty advisor Mick Kennedy. Starting the project in January 2015, Rida and Goold aim to bring their Dreamscape to life by June 2016 and have plans for an extended, multiphase project once the initial playground structure is completed.

The mission of the Boggs School is to nurture creative, critical thinkers who contribute to the well-being of their communities. Rida and Goold hope to encompass that vision in their Dreamscape playground. The project focuses on creating a playscape integrated with an existing fence around the Boggs School property. The 12 ft. tall fence as it currently stands creates a barrier between the school and the community, which Rida and Goold aim to “push, pull, and open up” to create a fluid environment. “Redefining what a fence means is really important to us,” said Rida, “How do you keep the children safe while still including the school in its environment, and have this playscape be a fluid piece versus its own private chunk in a plot? This is the challenge that we’re taking on."

Rida and Goold are currently working in collaboration with students in the Material Science program through the College of Engineering, and Landscape Architecture through the School of Natural Resources. “What we’re trying to do is create an interdisciplinary team here at the university, at a global level,” said Goold.

They hope to push this project forward as a Design / Build seminar available to students in Architecture, Engineering, Landscape, and Urban Planning, among others. This initiative stems from the student Architectural Representative Committee. If added into the sequential curriculum, Rida and Goold hope to get more students involved with the Dreamscape through design charettes and volunteer opportunities for the spring 2016 construction of the Dreamscape. “We want to get students involved in a long-term project, which is something that isn’t  available right now,” said Goold, in reference to their multi-phase master plan for the Boggs School.

Rida and Goold are working in collaboration with Maurice Cox, the city of Detroit’s Urban Planning Director, who is interested in expanding their project to an empty plot across the street from the Boggs School. Rida and Goold created a CrowdRise fundraiser and are asking for donations, with an initial goal of $5,000-$10,000 toward the rehabilitation and creative re-use of the existing playground. A larger goal of $25,000 would provide funds to build out the space across the street into a public park, playground, or pavilion.

To learn more about the Dreamscape initiative and donate to their efforts, visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/detroitdesignbuilddr/

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