The Asheville DesignBuild Studio, a program of the Asheville Design Center, is a multi-disciplinary, hands-on, educational experience. Participants will have the opportunity to affect a lasting and positive impact on Asheville’s vibrant and diverse communities. Individuals will come together as a team, draw upon their wide range of design and technical disciplines to gather community input, define a project type, design and develop the concept, and build their design. The DesignBuild Studio addresses issues of social justice, community sustainability and good design, not simply by watching, but by doing.
This Summer’s Project
This summer, we will be working with the University of North Carolina-Asheville to build a “bee hotel” near an established pollinator garden on campus. With bee populations declining, there has been a call for the building of bee hotels, man-made contraptions that act as a resting place and nursery for solitary pollinators. While they may not produce honey, these pollinators still play a vital role in the growth of fruits and vegetables, plants and flowers.
We will be working with UNC-Asheville’s Office of Sustainability, as well as their Biology Department to design and build a structure that will serve as a model for bee-friendly communities around the country.
How We Select Community Projects
Every winter the Asheville Design Center puts a call out to the greater Asheville Community to solicit proposals for community projects. We typically receive over a dozen intriguing proposals from community groups. Our DesignBuild Task force then evaluates the proposals, using the following criteria:
- Community Impact: How does this project improve our community? Is it focused on a narrow segment of the community, or can it be enjoyed by everyone? Does the project allow for opportunities to collaborate with community groups and individuals?
- Feasibility: How does the scope of the project match up with our 10-week class and students’ skill sets? Is funding for building materials secured? What are the anticipated permit requirements for the project?
- Multi-Disciplinary: Does the project offer opportunities to engage students of multiple disciplines?
- Studio Visibility: Is the job site visible to the public? Does the project allow for a transparent design process? Will this project serve as effective promotion for future studios?
Once we’ve narrowed the field to three to four finalists, our task force interviews the applicants and selects a final project for the upcoming summer studio. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for next year’s studio, please feel free to submit a proposal.
The DesignBuild Studio is open to collegiate and graduate level students who are interested in learning more about the built environment and how it interfaces with individuals and local communities. The DesignBuild Studio will be an equivalent of six credit hours. Each participant will be responsible to coordinate the transfer of credit with their host College or University.
A PDF of the Student Application form is available here.
All forms can be mailed to:
Asheville Design Center
PO Box 1524
Asheville, NC 28802
All other inquiries can be directed to Chris Joyell (firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-782-7894)