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Hub2 engages Allston residents in designing Honan Library Park

Project Coordinator Peter Bowne engages residents in design Something remarkable happened last night at the Hub2 Honan Library Park design session. People were laughing — laughing because they were having fun and enjoying an open design process.

Nine residents of North Allston sat down with our staff, experienced the space virtually on both the big screen and their own laptops, and brainstormed how the park could play a role in community life. We asked the residents to pick a theme from among the several that emerged from the formal design process being led by Harvard and the ICON Group. Among these themes were “playful,” “educational,” and “contemplative.”

Because the park is still in the early design phases, we focused on broad strokes rather than specific design, and participants knew we were throwing out ideas, not specific recommendations. Nonetheless, the residents were actively engaged in thinking through how the space might weave into the fabric of the neighborhood, what can realistically fit in the relatively small, L-shaped parcel, and what the community really needs. Among the general ideas were a fitness circuit, ampitheatre-type group space, a covered seating area, and a naturalistic pond.

The outcome of last night’s process will be available to view in Second Life through tomorrow afternoon, when a new community group will come in and do it all again. We’ll be providing Copley-Wolff Design Group, the landscape architects for the park, with these ideas as well as more specific designs later in the summer. If you’re a local constituent of the park, please consider joining us at tomorrow’s brainstorming session:

Harvard Allston Education Portal
175 N. Harvard St
1:30-3:30pm

Anwar helps navigate Second Life We’d especially like to thank, among the Hub2 staff, our interpreters — local Allston youth who have been learning more about both the virtual world of Second Life and the real world of park design — who helped residents manipulate their avatars through the virtual space. Our hosts, the Harvard Education Portal, also worked extra-hard to ensure that the computers and network stayed up and running.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. the zak | July 21, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    At the Allston Branch Public Library what’s in the very very tall very
    very narrow display case by the window on the left?… as you walk to the
    back of the reference books reading room not going through the doors to
    the art gallery.

    Is it some kind of architectural exhibit?… it should be lit from the
    inside but the power cord isn’t plugged in, it’s ironic the librarians
    haven’t any information !

  2. solltex | October 21, 2008 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    it should be lit from the inside but the power cord isn’t plugged in, it’s ironic the librarians haven’t any information !

  3. solltex | October 21, 2008 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Your article are good!

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  1. [...] 2009 we intend to build on last year’s success with Harvard’s Honan Library Park in Allston. One of the key innovations we will expand is the practice of putting participants into specific [...]