Project Site : Community Forge in Wilkinsburg Neighborhood
In Collaboration with Ghalya Alsanea, Fon Euchukanonchai, Mounica Guturu, Ritchie Ju, Rachel Park, Mariana Alberola Rezza, Shariwa Sharada, Gautam Thakkar, Scarlet Tong, and Chitika Vasudeva
Community Forge is a private organization formed in January 2017 by a group of 8 individuals with the vision of revitalizing the former Johnston Elementary School as a community resource. Wilkinsburg has been struggling with vacancy and blight, which is slowly affecting households and eventually children and their education. Community Forge attempts to use this space as a resource to rebuild communities, promote youth learning, provide employment opportunities and support sustainable businesses. In January 2018, Community Forge opened doors and is now home to many artists, entrepreneurs and educators growing and running community events and adding liveliness to the community of Wilkinsburg. To support and promote these goals of CF, the studio project strives to design and build outdoor playscape for youth learning and activities. By making learning, gym, playground, gathering, and future island, the project incorporates various types of learning opportunities and activities for the youth. These designs came to fruition through interviews with numerous community members, engaging in multiple community activities, many site visits, and thoughtful planning. At the end of this project, the learning island and two types of benches were realized with hopes of other islands coming to realization in the near future.