January 31-May 6, 2011
In the Autodesk IDEA Studio, researchers from the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design integrated geospatial and parametric tools to craft a new kind of urban design.
Since Fall 2009, Nicholas de Monchaux and his team have been using digital tools to identify abandoned urban sites and transform them into community spaces that positively impact cities. Initially inspired by Gordon Matta-Clark, who created art out of vacant city lots, de Monchaux envisioned the conversion of thousands of unmaintained urban parcels into a collective green network that enhances air quality and the community experience.
In order to extend this concept into a method of practice for urban designers, de Monchaux and research assistant Ben Golder created a repeatable workflow with Autodesk software. Using open source database tools to store sites in a single operating system, the team created a streamlined method for visualizing, analyzing, and proposing designs. This video describes their workflow:
As a case study, de Monchaux and Golder used GIS (geographic information systems) analysis in AutoCAD Map 3D software to discover more than 4,000 abandoned sites in New York City. Collectively, these sites are approximately the size of Central Park and represent a vast opportunity to improve the urban landscape. De Monchaux and team will continue to refine and apply this workflow to provide urban designers around the world with a framework for transforming unused spaces into community assets.
Nicolas de Monchaux, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Benjamin Golder, Research Assistant