The Java St. Garden is a collaborative garden for community engagement, education and action. The mission of the Java St Garden is to maintain and preserve an open public space for use by individuals and community organizations within the local Greenpoint and Williamsburg communities who seek to share a common, public, collective experience. Through collaborative effort and group ownership they hope to create a community event space as well as a living laboratory for our participants who wish to gain design and gardening experience and expertise. The Java St. Garden is a collaborative laboratory not just for communal, political and gardening processes, but also for the design process by which the spaces and objects within it get built.
The Java St. Garden was seen as the first to step to create a BLACKBELT – a network of public spaces for community engagement, organizing, and action – in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We held a #whOWNSpace workshop with community groups in Greenpoint to discuss the BLACKBELT. The workshop was divided in three sections:
People were asked to take a 1.5 hour walking tour and were asked to observe one of these elements, focusing on the democratic vitality of the open spaces:
2. Gathering Space
4. Urban Furniture
The elements observed in the step above were diagrammed using 11″x17″ maps and a 2’x4′ model that #whOWNSpace provided.
The result of the studio was to form a group of designers, journalists, politicians, and other citizens that will continue to advocate and develop a BLACKBELT network of public spaces for community engagement, organizing, and action. We will do this through direct action campaigns, policy changes, and design solutions.
DSGN AGNC’s Java St. Collaborative Garden design team was part of the group that founded the Java St Garden Collaborative and helped shape its mission:
Our mission is to establish a garden and public space for the larger Greenpoint area and for the enrichment of those participating in the community’s development. Through our collective efforts and with the cooperation of local organizations, we aim to develop this space as a living laboratory for participants who wish to gain design and gardening experience and to contribute to their community.
The Java St Garden was designed to be the first part of the Greenpoint Blackbelt. From the garden the community could hold meetings to discuss urban changes in greenpoint and to create more actions in nearby public spaces.
The garden itself was designed on a 4’x8’ flexible grid that makes it easier to phase the construction and change programs as needed. The garden would have a mix of spaces to grow plants and areas for educational meetings and events.
Similarly to the garden, the shed was designed to be flexible, allow multiple uses, and be built in phases.
-Community Garden and Education Space
–Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City, US
DSGN AGNC TEAM:
-Quilian Riano, Project Leader
-Rena Mande, Project Manager
-Amanda Rekemeyer, Philip Grimaldi, Melissa J. Frost, Laura Moen
-Java St Garden Collaborative
-Community organizing complete, ideas of the proposed design project were used by the collaborative