As part of an architectural thesis, the ShareDesign method of architectural practice was developed and the community of Franklin High School in Los Angeles conceived, designed, and organized a complete multi-spaced outdoor classroom. The project was presented by students and faculty of the school at the Southern California Institute of Architecture along with the thesis of ShareDesign. For the presentation of this project, a book documenting the process and a ‘map’ explaining the ShareDesign methodology were produced.
Materials: CalEarth building technology, ceramic, concrete, bamboo.
Collaboration: Students, Teachers, and Administration of Franklin High School in Los Angeles, California.
A methodology and process of architecture for the benefit of communities and populations in need which does not rely on the current methods of architectural design and practice, a building methodology that relies on local construction and human resources to create a structure that the community feels ownership of and ultimately results in a broader, sociopolitical empowerment.
Most projects which are intended for community use are designed by imported architects who have little or no understanding of the dynamics, needs, and assets of a local community. Typical construction methods use materials and skills not indigenous to the area, resulting in a structure that is completely dependent on external resources.
Specifically, the SHAREDESIGN methodology uses grassroots organizing to engage community members in the design process from the beginning of the idea to the completion of the building. The architect will work directly with the community, and acting as a facilitator of spatial representation and architectural knowledge, allow the community members to create spaces which represent the values and needs of the community.
The exampled project is for an Outdoor Classroom at Franklin High School in Los Angeles, California. Students, staff and faculty engaged with the architect over several months to develop and design a buildable outdoor classroom facility based off of their own designs.
A video documenting the process, also presented at SCI-Arc and included in the documentation, is below.