Designing Urban Gardens: Youth Voices

On a sunny spring Saturday morning, while the rest of the world people was busy either caucusing or getting ready for Easter,  a bunch of bright-eyed youth, including those from the Seattle Art Museum Design Your 'Hood program, grouped together at the CfAD space.  They were challenged to rethink and build models of their ideas of what gardens in a dense residential environment meant for them for the Seattle Architecture Foundation Teen Workshop on "Urban Gardens".

Mira and Will who have been long time volunteers for the Seattle Architecture Foundation, helped organize and host this workshop on Urban Gardens.  Grace presented a short slideshow with examples of different types of gardens, including urban farms to spark some ideas and the students broke up into 4 teams.   Using CHUC as their blank canvas, elaborate designs came to life during this 4-hour workshop.

Here's a round-up of the designs:

A fish bridge completes this design featuring windy, organic gravel walkways that create distinct gardening zones for the different types of plants, and play areas.

A fish bridge completes this design featuring windy, organic gravel walkways that create distinct gardening zones for the different types of plants, and play areas.

Plenty of hanging vines and plant shelves brighten up the south blank walls.  The roof is divided into two parts: a growing area and a relaxation area.  The growing area features apple trees, planters, and benches.  The relaxation area features tall grasses and a cupcake paper parasol.

Plenty of hanging vines and plant shelves brighten up the south blank walls.  The roof is divided into two parts: a growing area and a relaxation area.  The growing area features apple trees, planters, and benches.  The relaxation area features tall grasses and a cupcake paper parasol.

This design was all about what each group member loved to do outdoors!  One teen wanted to see active play spaces so created a rock climbing wall and small pool to address the compact constraints.  Another teen wanted a place for her and her dog to roam free in the city.  A shady relaxation spot was thought up from a student who wanted to have a place to browse her phone. Lastly, a dining area amidst a food garden was important for another team member.

This design was all about what each group member loved to do outdoors!  One teen wanted to see active play spaces so created a rock climbing wall and small pool to address the compact constraints.  Another teen wanted a place for her and her dog to roam free in the city.  A shady relaxation spot was thought up from a student who wanted to have a place to browse her phone. Lastly, a dining area amidst a food garden was important for another team member.

This team dubbed their project "The Emerald Roof" for all the greenery they featured in their design:  urban farm and garden, outside dining area, vines to brighten up the blank wall and alley, a shed to store equipment, and of course, the world's LARGEST cabbages.  Kuddos to their quick thinking by changing their sidewalk benches to "art installations" when they realized they were way out of scale!

This team dubbed their project "The Emerald Roof" for all the greenery they featured in their design:  urban farm and garden, outside dining area, vines to brighten up the blank wall and alley, a shed to store equipment, and of course, the world's LARGEST cabbages.  Kuddos to their quick thinking by changing their sidewalk benches to "art installations" when they realized they were way out of scale!

A bunch of tuckered out teens after the workshop, thinking, "Not another photo!"

A bunch of tuckered out teens after the workshop, thinking, "Not another photo!"

Rayna, from Design Your 'Hood also wrote a post about the workshop.   Click here to read about her perspective of the workshop, and find out more about their incredible work with these teens!

 

Cheers!

-The Froggers


A special thanks to:

Minh, youth program coordinator at SAF, for helping with the organization.

Davira and Kavita, SAF volunteers, for the extra helping hands.

Gwen and Rayna, Design Your 'Hood leaders, for bringing these fantastic teens to the workshop!