Tuesday, March 27

Communities: A City's Life Blood

by Wil D. Marquez

In many parts of the world, the design and vision of cities have become both a contentious battlefield for change and an example for new modes of urbanity. As we move into the next decade, the business and entrepreneurship of city development will continue to expand with a particular focus on communities, the life blood of a city’s success.

Driven by the economy of competitive expectations that drive cities, the business of how people live will be in left in the hands of emerging non-architects as well as architects. The marketing and development of environments, a profitable career option, will become big business as emerging professionals respond to new data concerning urban behavior, cultural values, economies and the comprehension of work/production.

The speed of technology, data mining and changes in human behavior will require the attention of our present and future architects. They will need to respond by shifting to operating at multiple scales; integrating, speculating and developing collaborative events, monuments, and possibilities that will consider a population’s behavior, work production, transportation, and a way of living beyond the physical form. The city’s new generation of design practitioners will no longer just focus on the physical object of buildings, but will expand that intelligence along design verticals by considering forces beyond form, massing, or monument, a logic process intended to keep cities not only competitive, but site specific and unique.

The conversations about discarded couches that have unfolded during the exhibit “Couched Constructions,” currently showing at Herron School of Art & Design and at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, and of abandoned homes in the upcoming IndyTalks public discussion at the JCC, get to the core of an insurgency that has slowly been building. Our cities need not look far, as the protagonists of this story are a new type of citizen. We will explore these notions further in the IndyTalks moderated panel discussion and during the table conversations that follow with community leaders, such as Wes Janz, Erika Smith and Connie Ziegler. The public discourse will help us better understand the scale of the problem we are dealing with and why it is so that the public be involved in our neighborhoods.

Join Wil and other community leaders for our IndyTalks Community Discussion moderated by Erika Smith, Indianapolis Star Columnist – “Our City Under the Radar: Neighborhoods on the Edge,” Wednesday March 28, 7-9. Everyone is also invited to our “Couched Construction 2” art gallery reception, Wednesday, March 21 – 5:30-7:30.  Both of these free, public events are at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Road, Indy.

For the past decade, Wil D. Marquez has been developing a unique product in architecture and urban design for clients who believe that good design can make a difference in both their lives and in the lives of others. His expertise focuses in finding plausible, yet nontraditional, solutions for homes, developments, streetscapes, retail centers, and installations through a collaborative practice he defines as “creative play”. A unique process of collaborative programming meets big picture thinking that he believes is the basis for how we make the decisions needed to realize a project’s full potential.

Marquez graduated from the University of Minnesota (B.A. 1999) and University of Michigan (M.A. 2005), His philosophy is centered around the belief that it is imperative for creative designers to seek out new solutions if they want to contribute to meaningful and relevant environments to society. That philosophy is the reason why Marquez launched his own company in 2010. Indianapolis-based w/purpose is an urban + public design firm whose mission is attract clients that believe and act like his company is so aptly named, with purpose.

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