Last Friday, October 10, the Design Marathon had local design talent racing through pro-bono projects to benefit Charlottesville nonprofits. Our correspondent Kathryn Faulkner was there and sent this report (she also has a piece about the Marathon in C-VILLE this week):
"The windowed walls of the Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC) line a second story on the Downtown Mall’s east end. Had you peeked inside the glass last Friday, you would have glimpsed clusters of designers hunched over Macs, quietly sipping coffee, or crowded around layers of drafting paper and protractors, trading ideas. Had you ventured inside, you would have felt a calm sense of urgency and excitement permeating the place.
"This was no ordinary marathon. Instead of miles, these volunteers were counting down hours until 8pm, when final projects were due, when everyone would cross the finish line together.
"The first annual Design Marathon brought 30 professionals and students from Charlottesville’s design community together for a day of architectural, landscape, and graphic design benefiting 10 local nonprofits. Projects ranged from creating a poster ad campaign for the Rivanna Conservation Society to designing a low-cost playground for Children, Youth and Family Services’ (CYFS) new location off East High Street.
"And even though I found no mention of ‘green design’ in any of the event’s fine print, it was clearly on the minds of designers, several of whom dreamed up sustainable solutions to meet their clients’ needs.
"Andrew Daley, an architectural intern at Alloy Workshop, believes it’s possible to ‘[turn] what you think of as trash into an amazing play structure.’ Joined by two other UVA Architecture grads, Daley designed an interactive playground for CYFS by focusing on reclaimed materials such as PVC pipes, aluminum, recycled tires, and even bamboo. This eco-conscious approach will keep costs down for the nonprofit and make it easier to apply for grant money.
"One element of the design is a multi-purpose ‘music wall,’ made of various materials suspended between posts, that functions both as a barrier and as a place where kids can ‘experience how sound works.’ Other ideas? How about turning an existing box hedge into a scaled-down navigable jungle. Now that’s a green imagination."
Big-hearted, coffee-fueled designers lend their talents.