Big changes are planned at the Urban Design Studio on Third Street at Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Patrick Piuma, director of the UDS, said that with the recent departure of the University of Kentucky College of Design as a participating member, the Studio is reevaluating its mission.
The Urban Design Studio has played an important role in the Louisville through its Sustainable City Series and exhibitions but hopes to become even more integral in coming years. Piuma says the sustainability forum will continue but the UDS will also become more active in the community through increased exhibitions and outreach, especially relating to sustainability.
Moving forward, the UDS hopes to showcase the importance of good design in Louisville and plans a series of charrettes to engage the community. The Studio is also working with the American Institute of Architects, Central Kentucky Chapter to highlight design work underway in Louisville with drawings and models on display.
At the end of June, the University of Kentucky withdrew from its partnership with the University of Louisville’s School of Urban & Public Affairs, citing financial reasons. While losing a major sponsor seems like a challenging obstacle, Piuma believes that going it alone with U of L will be a positive development.
Now, the Urban Design Studio is undergoing a rebranding campaign to push sustainability to the forefront of its mission – and part of that involves pushing sustainability to the storefront. The Studio recently chose to remain in its current location after a short search for new space in Downtown and plans to upgrade its 2,400 square foot space.
A storefront applique has been removed (see the old storefront here) and soon a “living storefront” will be installed to physically demonstrate the Studio’s commitment to going green. Piuma said Dropseed Native Plant Nursery has donated plants for the window display.
It’s encouraging to see such an important institution remain committed to Louisville and especially heartening to see an increased push for sustainability and good design in the local community.