CONTEXTUAL URBAN DESIGN STUDIO
While I frequently work in the context of large urban centers, it is important to consider the role of urban design and placemaking in smaller centers, given that a significant proportion of the population still resides in this type of community. My Contextual Urban Design course at Pratt Institute provided me with an opportunity to study a small town in Long Island called Farmingdale. Through a number of visits to the site as well as extensive site analysis and contextual research, I was able to propose a design that reflected the existing community but also held promise for the future communities. I wanted to ensure that the space was still flexible enough to embrace changes over time, adapting to new needs and desires of residents. However, the bones of a successful space have been proposed. A key water feature attracts users into the space without detracting from the commercial usage and active frontages along Main Street. Ample space to sit, relax, observe, eat and socialize has been provided, all which is free of cost, equalizing access and encouraging a diverse user group for the plaza. The physical design of the plaza originated from a series of hand drawings inspired by circular, flowing forms. Through a number of iterations of applying abstract drawings to the site plan and surrounding context, the final layout was achieved.