AIA PARK(ing) Day Design Competition

Based on the popular idea of PARK(ing) Day, emerging professionals in the Florida/Caribbean region submit design proposals for up to three parklets.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.  www.rebargroup.org



(takes honorable mention in competition)

It is a simple, undeniable, and unavoidable fact of life: no matter how hard we try, or how much we plan, we will be a disruption to our environment. As our search for comfort increases, our impact on the environment expands exponentially. Transportation is but one element of disruption, and while it facilitates connection, it demands valuable space and infrastructure regardless of its frequency of use, or whether it is being used at all. So the question left to ponder is not whether or not we will leave an imprint on our environment, but rather what kind of imprint it will be.

At first, that question suggests a quantitative response, such as how large, how small, how thin or how wide. Although this relates to our practical thinking, it does very little to engage our emotions into a deeper investigation such as: should our imprint be subtle, or loud and bold? Would it be irreversible or productive? When we ask these sorts of questions about our connection with the environment, we begin to understand that our imprint does not have to be a burden, but instead has the potential to become our positive signature on earth.   — © zak noyle

Project Imprint for Parking Day examines this new realm of inquiry. The installation encourages users to move beyond a simple knowledge of the quantitative effect they have on their surroundings (i.e. the popular “carbon footprint”), and instead entices them to tap into a deeper awareness of the qualitative effect of their imprint (do they tread lightly, or stomp aggressively?). The design consists of a ground plane made of wood slats, with a small sliver that allows a transparent box to reach towards the sky. Although it is not immediately evident, these two are directly and intimately connected. That connection will become apparent once users step on the slats. As a user makes her way walking, running, skipping, or stomping through the ground plane, an immediate dynamic response becomes visible within the transparent box. Hidden below the wood plane are pumps that push air into the transparent box, which is filled with water.

The result is that with every step, different-sized bubbles begin to make their way up through the “bubble box.” Users begin to correlate a physical movement with a visible effect. They can work with rhythm, pressure, volume, density, or whatever they feel necessary to create the pattern they desire. A direct cause-and-effect is experienced and, ultimately, participants leave the installation with a heightened awareness of their individual and collective imprints on their immediate environment. In an effort to extend the life of Project Imprint beyond a single Parking Day, a temporary installation may take place in the Coral Gables Museum Courtyard, with a multi-day re-emergence during Art Basel in December.