Finalized Vision of place

The Domain Projection enhances the daily experience for students frequenting South Campus. The experience coming too and from class should be full of life and excitement not only on the interior of campus buildings, but on the exterior as well. With some shifts of awkward circulation on the sidewalk that connects to the domain on campus drive, a new found social area is revitalized. By pushing the dynamic movement to the street side and using that factor to insulate the coffee tables placed on the outside of the business fronts, a new location is born. This space will incorporate comfortable tables and seating for study work and lunch, as well as vegetation for a sustainable and visual enhancement. People will utilize this space after grabbing lunch at the local shops, to sit and eat or simply meet with a friend on a wonderful sunny day. The goal is to provide a great space for social interaction without any major changes. With some simple sustainable implementations of a vertical garden and solar powered a lamps, a sense of inspiration is achieved for those who pass by or spend time in this new local area on campus.

Incorporating my fellow peers advise into my blog lead me to address the visual experience throughout my blog post. It was a common theme in my comments and I now realize how essential a good layout is to the success of a project. The audience must be kept in mind and addressed in order for the project to gain necessary attention. The technique of marketing your ideas is just as prominent as the actual idea. This blog posts creates an inviting and clear visual layout for all audiences understanding.


This image accurately depicts how the relationship between a building and its sidewalk should be interactive. This sketch represents the same layout that my site has within its building shape, and wrapped sidewalk. As seen in the picture, the dynamic circulation flows with business front, to cafe tables to circulation to road. The Domain Projection achieves this same ritual of space, which will improve its current design of having the walkway circulation against the building and the hangout area directly next to the street.

Image result for architrue cafe exterior sketch

This upclose representative sketch informs the circulatory layout as well as hints at details that align for the vision of my space. Subtle small coffee tables grouped together in massing and some sort of overheard protection such as an umbrella will be socially inviting to its users. The details on the awning and the mintature balconies communicate to the aesthetic of the design as a whole.

Image result for sketch vertical garden architectural sketch

The design of a vertical garden allows the site to incorporate vegetation into a design with limited space. Towards the bottom right corner you will see people gathered around next to the vertical garden. This is how I envision the experience of The Domain Projection to be.

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When it comes to a successful design made for people to socialize in, the materiality of implemented objects is everything. It is the factor that creates the aesthetic appeal and vibe to a place that differentiates it from somewhere else more dreary. I envision the collision of stone brick wood and nature to come together in my site. With the building’s masonry materiality and the sidewalks brick and concrete use. The materials all work together constantly adding more vegetation will enhance it.
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Adding small solar panels and embedding them in natural looking places will not take away from the design. It will enhance the purpose of remaking the space into something socially usable. Using solar paneled lamps will encourage those who pass by to keep in mind living a green lifestyle.


Propose a plan to implement your vision



The Student Facility Fund will need to approve this project in order for construction to launch. Luckily this organization makes it feasible attainable to achieve our innovative goals. They cater to the student body of umd and have designed their site so that it is easily navigable, to figure out how the proposal process works .With their approval, they will produce sufficient funds to the project. The student advisory subcommittee is specifically responsible for recognizing your design proposal and approving it. People of this group will essentially vote to see if your idea is worthy or not of its creation and funding. A range of Undergraduate students that hold different positions in the organization as well as staff positions will make the decision. More information on the exact process can be found in the link below.



The Student Facility Fund aims for student supported projects that make improvements to UMD’s facilities come to life. With my presentation of a well thought out design concept for the Domain’s sidewalk intersection with campus drive, I will gain the needed approval from the SGA to make my project too, come to life. The Domain Projection will be proposed to the SGA here at The University of Maryland. Taking the necessary steps to essentially market the idea to the organization will earn its attention. Once approved, the Student Facilities Fund will cover the bulk of the funding for this community enhancement.

Along with the SGA student facilities fund help, other ways to attain funding will always be beneficial to the construction of this design. This includes simply handing out brochures at career fairs and more.



The construction of this site will be minimally invasive to its surroundings. With just a few adjustments to light, furniture and vegetation, a sustainable process will be persistent throughout. Lights installed for when daylight doesn’t reach the area will be solar powered with solar panels. Vertical gardens dispersed throughout the design will filter toxins out of the air coming directly off the street. Lastly, furniture installed will be 100% recycled from antique stores. An occasional upkeep by the businesses to either water or clean the necessary vertical gardens and cafe tables will really be the only long term maintenance. Every so often trained professional will need to adjust solar panels to meet proper codes for use.



Proposal brochures will be handed out, and posted around campus to plant the initial idea within the community. Positive feedback from this, along with a strong presentation of schematic and conceptual design will convince the SGA to make The Domain Projection come to life. See Brochure below.




Fair housing act correlates to my design scheme in many ways. The idea behind equity and fairness is to spread the good of a socially developed place to all. The more projects like this take place in and around college park, the more the area improves and people will want to move into the neighborhood. Sustainability within the existing environment is a key factor when discussing removing something that already exists. With the implementation of some design shifts, processes that keep what exists is vital to our environment as well as citizens pockets. Taking the flint incident with the lead water into consideration, it is clear that neighborhoods do not all get the same treatment not just socially but also within their health.


I’d like to discuss simple placemaking, which i touched on in part one briefly. It is evident that little placemaking projects can go a long way with drastically improving the city. Taking something like time square for a day can produce such great results and news feed for placemaking. Placemaking is sustainable and will eventually save and enhance our cities and more people should be educated on it!


The most successful way to insure fair sustainable living rights to everyone is for the local governments to get extremely involved. The federal government never has and probably will not pay attention anytime soon. It is up to the local governments to educate people on the matter and make a change!





Part 3 : Building Community Project

  1. I completed my observation at my site, sitting on a bench on the sidewalk that exists between the Domain complex, and Campus Drive. On October 24th I stayed here from 10:50, to 11:20 a.m. and took notes in my sketchbook on the various events that caught my eye.
  2. Because I did my observation in the morning, the sun had not yet peaked over the building. The entire area was shaded and quite chilly, given that it was 45 degrees outside. I noticed while I was in the sun that day, I was warm, but compared to the cold metal bench and shaded area at my site, it was significantly cooler. Other than that, it was a sunny day, with crisp fall air.
  3. Sitting in this space, and engaging with its senses made me realize it is a rather quiet space. Timid sounds such as bike wheels clicking, birds chirping, people walking by, doors opening and closing, and cars passing were easily heard because there were no major sources of sound reaching this somewhat secluded spot. This space smells of people’s lunches from Casey’s Cafe, and the classic Subway smell leaking out to the bench I was sitting on. As far as my sight can see, I noticed the benches, the vegetation, and the people filtering quickly through the space. The site’s textures consists of the metal benches with slight ridges in them created by the metal rods. The tree’s bark is visually rigid, as well as rigid by touch. The sidewalk’s pattern alternates between concrete and brick, in a linear form, that at times allows the brick to be nonlinear.
  4. Throughout the time I spent observing, I noticed roughly 50 people frequenting the space. They were all quickly passing, while either on the phone, listening to music, jogging, biking, or entering/leaving the restaurants. Lots of the bikers and walkers had a backpack on. Not a single person stopped to sit down on one of the many benches. No one stopped in this space. The closest thing I experienced to someone stopping, were my friends coming out of Casey’s Cafe and heading to the architecture building and saying hello.  
  5. Interactions between people in the space was brief. It was mainly people opening the door for others to come in an out of the restaurants. Other than that someone running into a friend and quickly saying hello was all that happened. Everyone was moving through the space with a clear destination in mind. No one was stopping to stay in the space. If two people were walking together they were chatting, but still continuing on to reach their destination.
  6. I believe this space was designed for the purpose of creating a place that people in the community can engage in. It is outside of a new development, where young students are living, as well as outside of restaurants where students and professors frequent. I assume this space was in the landscape’s design for the encouragement of public use, perhaps intended for the people passing that wish to sit outside to do their homework, or eat their lunch. Maybe to meet up with someone for work, or simply to lounge out on a bench. I come to this conclusion because the space doesn’t just consist of a bench or two. It has almost fifteen benches ranging from the beginning of the sidewalk to the end, accompanied by a few trees and bushes. The space is not used for how it was intended to be. It does not give the appeal of a place where people would want to stay.
  7. The sidewalk creates a place for people to move through. People are drawn to this space simply because they are going out to get a bite to eat, coming into or from their apartment, or walking to one of the campus buildings. Most people walk towards the direction of the round about because all of the campus buildings are that way. The opposite way leads to the end of campus, so not many people are walking in that direction unless their destination is one of the restaurants along the strip. Other than that people are using the space to simply pass by while on a run, bike ride or walk.
  8. This Space lacks within its overall atmospheric characteristics. People do not engage in this space because it is likely uninviting. The location of the benches are uncomfortably close and exposed to the street, and the vegetation is limited. The circulation of the sidewalk is awkwardly in between the restaurants and the outdoor benches. I plan to switch the circulation path with the seating area to engage it directly to the business, and implement more vegetation making it a wholesome atmosphere.

Outline of Specific Improvements:

I see issues in a few aspects of this design, and have some ideas on how they might improve. First and foremost, the path of circulation (dynamic/movement), and the areas to sit (static/stillness), should be switched. The places intended for seating, should be cohesive with the restaurants on the facade of the Domain. The sidewalk area, where people filter through should be next to the road. This will create a connection from the inside of restaurant to its potential outside seating area. It will create a buffer between the seating and the road, by allowing the circulation to be in between the two. Because people enjoy being engaged in what is around them, they like to be able to see the street. The buffer of the sidewalk with people passing, is enough to feel separate from the street, yet still connected. Currently the benches and most vegetation are right next to the street, with no real safety net. It feels like you’re sitting in the street when you’re sitting on the bench. It is not a place where you would want to stay for any period of time let alone a long period of time.

Next, I would swap the benches out for tables and chairs. Tables intend the use for eating or homework, and allow multiple people to sit together. This furniture switch invites people into the space in a different manner. The furniture alone is a communicator to the occupants of what actions are to be done in a space. With this inviting factor people will automatically come to the space. The more people who come, the more appealing and inviting the space becomes. This factor will promote civic engagement. Because this space hits an imaginary dead end with it being the end of campus, it allows the space to be made into something that feels more secluded for the events of studying or dining.

I want to step up the vegetation game by implementing more trees, more shrubs, and a vertical garden, as it is a great way to improve the atmosphere without using up its limited space. The Vertical Garden will create both an aesthetically pleasing attribute to the space, as well as a sustainable one, as vertical gardens filter toxins out of our air. Lastly because this is an outdoor space and won’t need any energy intake, it would likely only require a one time cost to make these renovations, making it sustainable and economical.

Class Topic 1: Climate Change Policies

With President Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, most states and large industries have taken it upon themselves to function cohesively with climate change policies. This means that each state will have their own flexible goals to hit in order to ensure a more sustainable future. Some states, such as New York, are currently running entirely on a sustainable system. As of wednesday, October 24th 2018, The state of New York is suing ExxonMobil due to “long standing fraudulent scheme”. ExxonMobil has lead the public eye to believe a lie about how their company functions. After three long years of gathering information, New York is finally posing a lawsuit against ExxonMobil. Exxonmobil is consciously telling the public and their investors that their industry bases their decisions off of climate change policies. However this is not correct. ExxonMobil is being accused of keeping two record books, one to show to the public and one that accurately depicts what goes on behind the doors of their facilities (Schwartz). If this suit goes through to find ExxonMobil guilty, they are not only letting their investors down, but letting our planet down, as it is such a powerful business controlling fossil fuels.

Schwartz, John. “New York Sues Exxon Mobil, Saying It Deceived Shareholders on Climate Change.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Oct. 2018,®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront.

Class Topic 2: Innovative Planning techniques

In today’s world, if we are not building to be sustainably efficient, then we are only hurting ourselves, our earth, and our wallets. Any new construction that takes place should be consistent with codes for resilient buildings and should have a proactive plan for how to maintain itself in the future. In places such as Detroit or Chicago too many residencies and large malls are becoming vacant. These fairly new structures are costing the economy a lot of money, as well as wasting a lot of resources. This occurrence is not sustainable and cannot continue to happen if we want to achieve a more sustainable future.

While my site for our place making project is not a building itself, it still consists of materials and provides a space for human interaction, which all can be taken into consideration when trying to build sustainably. I plan to implement renovations to my site so that they are long lasting. Because there is limited spacing on my site, and one of my goals is to include more vegetation, I am planning to have vertical gardens throughout. This allows the space to be decorated purposefully, as vertical gardens are aesthetically pleasing and filter toxins out of our air.

Podmolik, Mary Ellen. “Dealing with Chicago’s Vacant Buildings Isn’t an Open-and-Shut Matter.”, 8 Sept. 2018,


Image result for vertical garden

A Vertical garden as simple and small as this, will enhance the atmosphere of the space, as well as filter the air, creating a healthy environment for us, and our planet earth.

My design will incorporate this same pattern seen above of business to seating area to sidewalk to road.

Small scale tables and chairs to create civic engagement in this space.


Part 2: Place Making project

  1. For my public space, I am choosing a wide sidewalk that runs along Campus Drive, outside of the Domain, an apartment building on University of Maryland’s campus. This site exists adjacent to the Architecture Building, and across from Lot 1c. The Domain’s ground level contains a series of mixed-use businesses, including cafes and fast food restaurants. This space is currently in good condition, as it is a newer development that came along with the construction of the Domain. Essentially this space is a wide concrete sidewalk that attempts to have a community use, with a few rarely used benches and minimal vegetation.
  2. I chose this space because I see potential in transforming it into a small plaza. This is a unique sidewalk because it has space for pedestrian circulation, as well as seating areas. These two factors combined make it a perfect candidate for a mini plaza outside of the Domain. Mainly architecture students frequent this area, as it is the closest food option to their academic building. Being an architecture student, I visit the restaurants in this space a few times a week to either grab a coffee from Casey’s Café, or a last minute dinner from Subway. I feel this space is underutilized, as it has more potential than the plain sidewalk it is now. There are few benches, that go unused due to poor placement, as well as limited vegetation that could be improved upon for its design. There has been many times I have sat in Casey’s café, doing homework on a nice day, and wished the benches outside were more inviting so that I would have an option to sit outside.
  3. University of Maryland’s campus is home to roughly 30,000 undergraduates, all of different backgrounds and ethnicities (“UMD Undergraduate”, 2017). Maryland’s diverse campus makes for a great community for its students. Contributing factors to UMD’s profound campus, are the useful transportation systems, as well as student union, STAMP. The department of transportation systems, commonly referred to as DOTS, offers transit for students traveling across our large campus (“The Dept. of Trans”, 2018). Additionally, STAMP, is one of the communities most frequented buildings, as it contains multiple food places, the bookstore, as well as study rooms. The Domain and South Campus Commons are just a few of the on campus living options. Additionally, many students live right off of campus, at Terrapin Row, or College Park towers.
  4. The history of University of Maryland dates back to1856, when the school was first founded as an agricultural institution. Something that has stuck with this university throughout time has been the community’s love for sports. Between flag unfurling at basketball games, and the football victory song, UMD has traditions that are timeless (“University of Mar.” 2018). Because of the popular attraction to sports on campus, we are constantly updating our facilities. Cole Field House, and the Verizon Center are both examples of newer pieces of architecture that mesh right in on campus. Both of these buildings are within a short 2-mile distance of the site I will be working on outside of the Domain this semester, throughout the Place-Making Project.
  5. University of Maryland’s Campus, as well as its surrounding community has faced ongoing troubles with its seedy neighborhoods. College Park has come a long way from how it used to be just ten years ago. Living on campus for the past two years, I know from experience that cases of violence and other ferocity happen on and off campus commonly. College Park is slowly developing into a stronger, more diverse community in every aspect. With the new Riverdale Park Station development and other retail areas, it is attracting a better atmosphere, thus making for a better experience on and off campus at University of Maryland.
  6. As previously noted, the mixed-use community center, Riverdale Park Station, has recently opened down the street from University of Maryland’s campus and is attracting great crowds. This complex has a popular grocery store dinning/place, Whole Foods, as well as many other restaurants. Retail and community are reinforced here, as the complex contains a Gold’s gym and many clothing shop options. The buildings are newly constructed and developed, attracting people from all over the nearby communities. This new station directly effects who may frequent college park, as well as University of Maryland’s Campus. This is a positive improvement for college park, as it strengthens the community that surrounds UMD undergraduates living on and off campus.
  7. The site I’ve chosen is currently designed for the intended use of a quick stop by area to visit on while the go. The current design consists of a few benches, and vegetation. It isn’t a space where one would want to stay for a long period of time and relax. These are the aspects I want to improve in this design. I want to keep the basic concept of it being a communal seating area, but push this space to the next level and create an enjoyable, lively, scenic plaza. Rather than having few benches surrounded by vegetation directly next to the road, I want to create a more inclusive space. Breaking the space up from the road to the sidewalk will make it feel safer, and more welcoming.
  8. Currently the sidewalk along Campus Drive entails a few benches and minimal vegetation. I intend to transform this initial idea of a place to sit, and turn it into a place to stay and have an experience. Currently the circulation area of the sidewalk is up against the buildings façade. The bench area is on the side up against the road. My first move would be to swap these two assets. The circulation belongs on the side closer to the road, and the seating belongs outside of the storefronts on the face of the domain. Instead of using benches I would implement some type of seating and table spaces outside of each place. I want people to usethis space, and currently this space is rarely ever utilized. By placing tables and chairs outside of business fronts it encourages outside dinning, and outside studying. I want to outline the intended circulation with vegetation. And lastly I want to make this space feel enclosed using some type of shrubbery a few feet from the road. No one wants to sit in a place where cars are constantly passing.

Class Topic 1


The plans to renovate the site I discussed previously should follow resiliency codes and FEMA guidelines.To qualify as a resilient building, a structure must be able to withstand, recover and emerge following a storm (“Planning a Resilient”). While there are no consistently threatening bodies of water in the area that could rise concerns about flooding codes, building to a certain standard is important. For buildings in areas that are not currently posed to flood risks, if there is any body of water somewhat near it, the construction of the building should adhere to certain rules. Although there may not be any current threat, 30 years down the line, there might be. Now this is an issue that no real estate developer wants to admit to or consider, mainly because of financially reasons, but it is simply not sustainable to build in today’s world of climate change, without some plan. My site exists along a large apartment building, meaning if that building is not resilient, my site certainly wont be able to stick around. This building as well as buildings around should adhere to these standards to ensure a sustainable community.

Class Topic 2

Public/Private Partnership

In an ideal event of a public/private partnership, a public industry will team up with a private industry for economical benefits on both ends. Public companies tend to lack the funds needed for large-scale projects such as infrastructure. By hiring a private company to provide these funds, the public company saves and the private company benefits from their share of business. Essentially it is a win-win situation and many projects are beginning to take this initiative to have a more productive result. University of Maryland is planning to run a purple line through its campus intending to get people from the D.C. area around to their destinations. “Purple line trains would run mostly on local street between Bethesda and New Carrollton, with 21 stations in Silver Spring, Langley Park, the University of Maryland at College Park campus and other communities” (Shaver). This plan to build the purple line will be on of the largest public/private partnership to impose a plan of transit, hopefully setting a precedent for ways to improve infrastructure in the future.


Work cited  ( umd under grat)



Part 1: Cup of Joe or Cup to Go

As a College student, I spend much of my time frequenting coffee shops. Coffee shops tend to set a certain tone for me. Grabbing coffee often gives me that jump start to my day that I need. I mainly use coffee shops to study. This kind of public study place is different from a library, but shares the same purpose. The overall vibe of a coffee shop encourages me to do my work better because I enjoy the environment I am in. One particular coffee shop that is an amazing place to study for hours is Atwaters in Catonsville, MD. I beleive the Atwaters chain does consist of larger scale resultants, but the one in my hometown is a smaller scale, quiet coffee shop. I like Original coffee shops, which is probably why I find myself choosing to hangout in a local mom and pop type coffee shop rather than a typical Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks.

Local coffee shops provide an atmosphere that I can stay for long periods of time in. Throughout my experiences in Atwaters I enjoy their unique coffee and their friendly severs. Atwaters is a small two story building on the main street of Frederick Road. The bottom area is the spot frequented by more users coming in an out, chatting at lunch, and maybe even going on a date. Up the narrow stairs is a complete different area. There are larger tables and less people. Since it is hidden from the others downstairs it feels safe to spread papers out and buckle down without distractions. What I love the most about these kinds of coffee shops in general is the varying interiors. There is something about coffee shops that with each one you go into, it looks different. They often have a modernistic, yet rustic look to them. These are the public places I enjoy and could spend any day hanging out and doing my homework in. These are the places where I like to drink a cup of joe.

What I like to call a cup to go coffee shop, is something like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. They are both smaller scale coffee shops that are structurally organized to not feel necessarily homey or very welcoming. Often the seats will be hard and uncomfortable. There usually won’t be room to claim a desk and dedicate it to your laptop and books, and why would you want to? I find Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts distracting to be in. If its not from the amount of people coming in and out, then its from the clutter of people trying to find a seat. Everyone goes to these large chain coffee shops. It is chaotic and not somewhere I want to stay. Of course their coffee is great and I get it all the time, but I never have the desire to sit down, or go study in one of these areas.

What is exciting about these fun, local coffee shops I described previously, is that they fit right into the agenda for a city aiming to do placemaking. Local original mom and pop shops are what can make the economy boom, and attract more people to a certain area. The atmosphere coffee shops create could be indoor or outdoor as well. Once the shop spills out onto the sidewalk next to the street, it makes that area less about automobiles and more about people. This is a similar concept to the day trial in New York of putting chairs into Times Square.


Image result for catonsville atwaters Image result for catonsville atwaters

Dunking’ Donuts

Image result for college park dunkin donuts terri row