White Springs I

Experimental Learning Takes an Opportunity to Shine

Architecture Design 5, at the School of Architecture, University of Florida, is a third-year studio concerned with Design within and with nature. After selecting out theme for the First Exercise as an Observatory for the extraordinary Suwannee River Big Shoals, our interaction with the City of White Springs authorities led us to broaden our object of inquiry and proposal to study the edge/bridge conditions of the available land between the popular Steven Foster State Park, and a small city in much need of revitalization.

It has been a privilege for the course to have the opportunity of a Service Learning experience, through the enthusiastic support of a City Leadership open to experimentation and visioning. The students have work far beyond their expected level involving themselves, though team work, in urban design and the development of innovative programs. They have generated and presented publicly multiple alternatives and different visions for the future of the central area of White Springs, to establish the discussion of Sustainable Futures that include integrative human and economic development options while enriching the environment. The studio has provided our Students formative lessons to carry with them on the fertile exchange between Academia and the Public Realm on the pursuit on innovation in design. We hope, as a State University, to have contributed creatively to the development of appropriate local authentic options. We would like to recognize our students for their engagement and great results and to warmly thank the City of White Springs, represented by their dedicated Mayor, Dr. Helen Miller, for the possibility of such fruitful exchange.

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