A conversation and installation about creating a new Common for the Town of Maynard.
In partnership: Zannah Noe, Cultural Planner, Artist and Programmer of The Cube
ArtSpace Inc., use of the 3D screen, The Cube
Grants from Mass Cultural Council & Mass Development placemaking grant
The award-winning design firm Studio InSitu Architects, Inc. will host an exhibition and discussion about Placemaking at their storefront Crit Room in Maynard’s Cultural District. While many of New England’s historic farm towns radiate outward from public commons, historic mill towns like Maynard developed around private factories, with little or no cohesive public space for civic pedestrian culture, commerce, and community. Over the course of the past decade, the effort of numerous governmental studies and private initiatives has created a consensus that one blighted parking lot known as The Basin at Maynard’s center possesses a unique and powerful potential to become such a cohesive central destination. Studio InSitu has developed a model to embody this idea in a single cohesive diagram of this common vision applied in context.
In addition to the talk, the artist and cultural planner Zannah Noe will create an installation using three projectors to cast InSitu’s fly-over and walk-through animations of the reimagined park onto three sides of a seven-foot cube, forming an immersive threshold for the viewer to walk into the experience as a form of demonstrative placemaking. The duration of the exhibit will be one evening, with the Architect and Artist giving a talk about the challenges of creating public space and the uses of public art, along with a surprise guest speaker. The evening will close with a Q & A from the audience. This first of many sessions aim to bring local stakeholders together to spark their imagination of what can be possible to create a more regenerative culture that activates community place downtown.
The design firm Studio InSitu Architects is headed by Maynard resident Tim Hess, and has a storefront called Crit Room on Maynard’s Main Street.
In academic settings, crit rooms host rigorous collaborative critique sessions, which form the backbone of a designers’ education. InSitu’s Crit Room will function as a hybrid space for the interactive multi-disciplined presentation of work – a kind of edutainment as it informs, entertains, and facilitates a discussion on public commons as placemaking.
These events seek to engage the growing interest of civic-minded individuals who care about the sustainable and innovative use of public spaces and new ideas about placemaking. The absence of polish and grooming at Maynard’s urban core makes it possible to get the act of grooming right with a new sensitivity to the social and ecological pressures that factor into creating a public Commons. The goal is to find a way to develop regenerative public spaces; that can flex, morph and be the community’s stage for the imaginations of generations to come.