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Entries in Calgary (3)


Really, Really Long Dinner Tables

Really, Really Long Table Dinner, Calgary
Last century's general attempt to tidy up cities unintentionally removed many of the ways that we celebrate outdoor places, the fruits of our collective labor and the joy of living in neighborhoods. Thankfully, that is all starting to change. A rediscovered demand for sharing a meal together in both known and undervalued spaces has people clamoring to pop-up dining tables in cities around the world. It is proof positive of a shift from conventional mixed-use thinking to a more experience-based model as the core driver in building vibrant places and creating real value. Farm-to-table has reached a new level.

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Designing in the Commons

Build a Better Block in Norfolk, Virginia (image: Virginian-Pilot)

The design charrette as part of implementation

The contemporary incarnation of the design charrette has attempted to take design, architecture, and planning out of the studios and academies and into the vernacular lives of the places in which we work. It has taken great strides to break down the silos between professional specialties and to reconnect the "expert" to the lay person, whose previous role had only been to deal with the expert's professionally built results for about thirty years. These intense, collaborative design sessions have lead to quick testing and decision making for long-ranger visions. At the end of a four-to-six day charrette, you typically have a plan to further refine and advance. It has proven to be a highly effective approach. 

But the charrette is evolving into another dimension and taking on a much bigger role. No longer a one-and-done flash in the pan, the model for a charrette, like great neighborhoods, is becoming a succession of ideas, events, 3-dimensional testing, and discoveries.

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Calgarians Go Outside!

An afternoon on Stephen Avenue in Calgary, Alberta

Lunchtime on Stephen Avenue, Calgary, Alberta.Contrary to common belief, Calgarians go outside. Since the first settlements took hold here in the late 1800s, Calgarians have been developing their own unique relationship to the outdoors and to the use of their public spaces, joining a league of northern cities that enjoy a great public realm.

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