Saving Space, Making Place : Cultivating Community through Design Open Access

This thesis proposes the use of exhibition design as a vehicle to explore the influence of public space on a community. Through the lens of a renovation of the McMillan Park Sand Filtration Site in Bloomingdale, Washington, District of Columbia, Saving Space, Making Place seeks to bring the community together through collaboration. Bloomingdale is in the middle of rapid gentrification in northwest DC. An influx of young millennials has resulted in a diverse, yet disjointed, population. The McMillan site is in the middle of an intense battle between developers, city officials, and community activities over its future. The combination of neighborhood and site provides the ideal setting to bring the community together under common purpose. Through an examination of the issues at hand, strategies derived from human centered design, exhibition design, and urban studies are combined to build community while gathering input for the renovation.

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