Corona’s Plaza is a comprehensive research and design project at Corona Plaza, Queens. The project team will work using critical participatory processes and engagement with the local community to study and propose a series of policy, community and physical designs. The process of involving diverse community members — including immigrant communities that are frequently uninvolved in the planning and development process — seeks to have community members determine the long-term development of the site, and to exert ownership over public space to ensure its long-term functionality and importance within Corona.

The Corona’s Plaza project will include these actions:
Diagramming and Mapping
Diagramming and Mapping of policy and design issues that prevent Corona Plaza from being used to its fullest potential by local community groups. This will be done along side local residents and groups working in issues facing the community in Corona. (Action 1)
Forming of Corona’s Plaza Cooperative
Comprised of community groups and individuals working in Corona. This Public-Space Cooperative will look at the issues and boundaries identified in the Diagramming and begin to advocate for changes as well as help formulate design and policy proposals.
Corona’s Plaza Community Action Plan
A booklet documenting the diagrams and maps of issues facing Corona Plaza’s community and the design and policy proposals that designers and the Corona Plaza Cooperative will work on.
Corona’s Plaza Summer 2013 Pavilion
An architectural-scale pavilion that will serve as a prototype of the design proposals in the Corona’s Plaza Community Action Plan. The pavilion will also serve as a place for community programming and engagement. The pavilion is mobile and after the summer it can be used anywhere in Corona.

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Community Engagement


DIAGRAM AND RESEARCH ACTION
The Diagram and Research Action is the initial phase and serves to identify the issues and hidden urban conflicts affecting the community of Corona and thus the plaza. Our approach looks at the spatial dynamics of Corona Plaza as an exemplification of the socio-political issues within the community. As part of a series of conversations with the local community, this research will result in a design for a space that builds social connections and provides opportunities for recreation, education, commerce etc.

The Corona’s Plaza Diagram and Research Action was comprised of six street signs attached to the infrastructure of the plaza — the 7 train, street posts, fences, etc…
Each of the signs has:

  • A specific issue that acts as a boundary, keeping Corona Plaza from being used fully by the community;
  • A diagram that looks at how permeable that boundary is;
  • A description of the boundary, the agents that may help change the boundary, and a key question for each boundary;
  • Finally, each sign has a translucent architectural diagram that looks at the boundary’s affect in the spatial experience of the plaza.

All the boundaries and questions arise from research conducted in Corona. The questions are meant to give us a deeper understanding of the community. Some of the questions, like number 3, are polemical in nature and meant only to challenge assumptions some make about the neighborhood of Corona — i.e. this New York Times article: Roosevelt Avenue, a Corridor of Vice. Our goal is to advocate for and design an open plaza that caters to the entire community.

See entire blog entry on diagram and research action…

OTHER WORKSHOPS
09.14.2012: First Community Workshop
07.08.2012: Making Plans with Social Practice Queens students
04.17.2012: Presentation to Queens College Studio

PROJECT STATS

PROJECT:
-Comprehensive Community Research and Engagement around Public Space Conflicts
-Proposal of Policy and Public Space Designs
LOCATION:
-Corona, Queens, NYC, US
DSGN AGNC TEAM:
-Quilian Riano, Project Leader
-Nicholas Ter Meer, Project Manager
-Scarlett Esion, Rena Mande, Emily Mintz and Jessica Sanclemente.
PROJECT PARTNERS:
- Queens Museum of Art (commission)
- Change Administration**
- Julissa Ferreras, District 21 – Council Member
- Queens Economic Development Corporation
- Queens College
- Social Practice Queens
- Immigrant Movement International
- NY Designs
STATUS:
-In Progress

**Also commissioned by the QMA and we will be coordinating projects.

 
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