Baltimore, MD (February 12, 2015) – The Experimental Design Competition (EXD) is a collaborative venture of Mahan Rykiel Associates (MRA), Parks & People Foundation, Earth Stewardship Initiative, Yale University’s Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory, Baltimore Ecosystem Study, Bozzuto Group, War Horse LLC, Solstice Partners, and Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School. The initiative will bring together ecologists and design students from universities around the region to participate in a competition on March 6th to develop a Design Experiment at the Francis Scott Key School. The competition challenges participants to transform an afforestation project into a living laboratory, exploring ideas about planting design (community composition, spatial arrangement, etc.), school greening (educational performance, social interaction, etc.), and landscape performance.
The afforestation project is part of the Anthem House redevelopment on the former GE factory site at 900 East Fort Avenue. The redevelopment required the removal of on-site vegetation to build a 275-unit mixed-use complex with almost an acre of elevated green space. With city approval, the design team arranged to provide replacement vegetation off-site at 1425 East Fort Avenue (Francis Scott Key School); allowing the trees and resources to stay within the immediate environment of the development. The collaborative effort presents a model for design practitioners to engage ecologists in enhancing the urban environment, while supporting economic growth and development. As a pilot project, it sets the stage for additional cross-disciplinary, multi-sector partnerships that can positively impact the built environment in Baltimore and beyond.
The EXD competition will be held on Friday, March 6th, 2015 at the Southeast Anchor Library in Baltimore, MD from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Morning presentations and breakout sessions will provide the framework for the afternoon charrette-style competition. During the competition, teams from participating universities will be paired with practitioners and ecologists to devise a hypothesis-driven design and data collection strategy for the Francis Scott Key School.
For more information about the Experimental Design Competition (EXD), visit the website at http://exdcompetition.weebly.com/ .
Release courtesy Cynthia Fraser, Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc.