Identifying Topics & Places

Making a list.

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IntersectionDiagram · Identifying Topics & Places
Scott Demel
15 Nov 2018 Research, All

In mid-summer, a group of us had an afternoon conversation about the work of placemaking and ways project success could be measured.  We wanted to develop a larger research project with information and learning used to better guide our current approach to architecture.  Our ideas for ten starting topics and cities included:

Potential Topics:


  1. Transforming Brooklyn
  2. What makes a place
  3. Resilient Power for Puerto Rico
  4. Creating an urban arts center
  5. Dynamic recreation
  6. Building a neighborhood
  7. Learning and Working in the 21st century
  8. (open topic)
  9. (open topic)
  10. (open topic)


Potential Cities:


  1. Detroit
  2. Pittsburgh
  3. Baltimore
  4. Oakland
  5. Orlando
  6. Cincinnati
  7. Syracuse
  8. Westchester
  9. Denver
  10. Houston

This initial topics list was rooted in the projects and ideas that Marvel Architects is currently pursuing or recently completed. Before wholly committing to the topics, we wanted to stretch and challenge the list a bit beyond our present comfort range to challenge what areas we were hitting correctly, and what might be getting overlooked completely.

The cities list identified places we, offhand, thought possessed unique opportunities or challenges that could inform the larger dialogue.  Taking the top, unique issues being addressed by particular places would inform the composite topics list.  We also wanted to look more critically at metrics for various regions, cities and metro areas to learn how overall health of a geographic area.  Increases, decreases or flat conditions in various aspects could inform overall trends and topics, such as:

  • Population changes
  • Employment changes
  • Education achievement
  • Health Services
  • Overall Economic Activity (local, import and export)

Combined, these could begin to identify an intersection between trends we were suspecting the in the direction of design for architecture and cities.


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