Archive | July, 2010

The Pocket Park Initiative

30 Jul

As the Indianapolis chapter of Architecture for Humanity prepares for a trip to the Dominican Republic to help Engineers Without Borders renovate and expand a health clinic, AFH Indy founder ChunSheh Teo was also thinking locally.

In the last week he has met with Phil Schaefer of Keeping Indianapolis Beautiful and Tammy Golden of the Community Outreach Center of Reagan Park about a local beautification project.

Earlier this year KIB selected Golden’s proposal to turn a vacant lot into a serene pocket park on 23rd Street near the Monon for a grant. And now AFH Indy has jumped in to see if it can help make a preserve for neighborhood children a reality.

Here is how the KIB website described the initiative:

This is an important location, as the nearest park, Kennedy King Park, is across College Avenue and kids cannot get to it safely. This will give the neighbors a place to gather, and a place for the kids to play. It will create a focus for the neighborhood in an area of need. The park has not been designed yet, so specifics are not yet available as to what features we will be creating in this space. This is a group that was turned down three years ago that has since then built community and started work on their dream park without KIB. Their goal is to have a Paige Booker-style park, but we will start them out smaller and easier to help build the momentum of their neighborhood involvement.

As AFH Indy has more to announce on this project, it will post the information here on the blog.


Relief In Sight

22 Jul

In a few weeks, August 9th to be exact, four members of the Indianapolis chapter of Architecture for Humanity will venture to Batey Cinco Casas in the Dominican Republic to assist in the expansion and renovation of a medical clinic operated by the Batey Relief Alliance.

One of the Indiana chapters of Engineers Without Borders — one situation at the Rose-Hulman Institute — is partnering with AFH Indy to provide a roof for an unused building which was once public housing for Haitian sugar cane workers.

The roof is simply phase one for the facility as the construction of a surgical unit is on tap for the future. While thousands use the clinic for it out-patient services already, that number will continue to grow and this effort will allow the community to stay up with that.

And AFH Indy is asking for your help. The organization simply needs to secure funds for four plane tickets to the D.R. For more information or to help, please contact the projects committee at

[PARK]ing Day Returning To Indy

21 Jul

Origins | Rules & Regulations | Getting Involved | Photos From 2009

Parking. Redefined.

The Architecture for Humanity Indianapolis Chapter had such a fun time bringing PARK(ing) Day to the Circle City for the first time last September, that it will be doing it again on Sept. 17. And this time AFH Indy is calling on others to make the celebration bigger… much bigger.

Established by San Francisco art and design studio Rebar in 2005, PARK(ing) Day challenges urban dwellers and visitors to rethink infrastructure by transforming, temporarily, metered parking spaces into public parks.

“In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” said Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant urban human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the metropolitan landscape.”

Last year, AFH Indy took up the challenge by transforming two parking spaces into a 9′ x 40′ park — complete with sod, paving stones, flowers, trees and benches — in front of the Borders Bookstore on Meridian Street near the Washington Street intersection. This year, at the same location, the hope is to transform as many as 10 spaces typically reserved for cars.

“We are actively recruiting organizations to join AFH Indy in its PARK(ing) Day celebration,” said chapter founder ChunSheh Teo. “We are excited about establishing partnerships and collaborations that will have an impact on those who experience PARK(ing) Day in the shadow of Monument Circle in September and beyond. Everyone is invited to join us on September 17.”

In fact, those interested in partnering, sponsoring or volunteering can find out how to do just that by visiting the chapter’s blog. In the coming weeks that will be the best place to learn about the participating organizations as they commit to PARK(ing) Day 2010 in Indianapolis.

Architecture for Humanity is an international nonprofit organization, founded in 1999, which promotes architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises. The Indianapolis Chapter was founded in 2008.