As a contributor to the Park at Palm Center’s community garden project, University of Houston research professor Carroll Parrott Blue engages UH professors, students, and other resources.
Blue enlisted professors Patrick Peters (architecture) and Cheryl Beckett (graphic communications) to involve their classes in creating amenities for the Park at Palm Center’s community garden.
Blue provided instructional support, supplemental funding, and engaged key experts to participate in this effort.
To enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area and provide fun and educational tools about health, wellness, and the environment, UH architecture and graphic communications students worked together for 15 weeks to design and build a solar shade structure, demonstration area, and educational center for the community garden.
They gained hands-on industry experience by working in tandem with TIRZ #7, a civic agency, Asakura Robinson landscape architecture firm, and ESPA CORP, an architectural and engineering firm.
The graphic communications students also worked with UH professor Sibylle Hagmann, game developer Jose Baez-Franceschi, and Variate Labs President Robert Miles Kemp, an interactive architect and user experience designer.
This class developed website prototypes, including online games for children.
Future plans include an onlocation QR code system connecting the park to the website and an interactive video project.
These ancillary projects promote public engagement by incorporating interactivity and social media.
The final scheme is a 400 square foot solar-powered canopy and demonstration area with graphic panels that provide information on solar power, planting, composting, rainwater harvesting, nutrition, and health. The garden will open in 2013 with a public invitation to come on in and “Plant it! Grow it! Eat it!”
- OST/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority (TIRZ #7)
- National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Initiative
- University of Houston (Provost’s Office, Gerald D. Hines College Of Architecture, Texas Learning & Computation Center, College Of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, School Of Art, Center For Public History)
- Houston Advanced Research Center (Third Ward Sustainability Project)
- United Galvanizing, Inc.
- The Dawn Project
reprinted from CENTER FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT, Summer 2012
Carroll Parrott Blue, MFA
Research Professor, University of Houston
Center for Public History and Texas Learning & Computation Center