Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Visual Advocacy: Ivanhoe Further Research and Plan

Walter May Interview:
We began the informal meeting with Walter May by reviewing our project idea with him and telling him a little more about what we had in mind for the empty lots in Ivanhoe. Dina Newman also sat in on the meeting.

Questions we asked:
What lots would be available and safe for setup?
How many total lots does the Ivanhoe Foundation own?
Is there a map we could get a hold of?
Which block leaders would be available and want to get involved?
Do you have lawn equipment we could use to clean up the chosen lot for the prototype?
Is there any organization in particular that we should get involved with?

What We Found Out:
The Ivanhoe Foundation owns most of the empty lots on Woodlawn and many in back of the center on Highland St. It is difficult to get past the loitering issue in using the empty lots. That’s why basketball courts aren’t put up. They have a project going on right now with a local artist, “Shane” who works on “Ugly Houses” by putting art on the boarded up buildings using painters and graffiti artists. There is one at 31st and Holmes. There would be a lot available for us to use at 3703 Highland St., which is right behind the Nutter-Ivanhoe Center. The organization is tearing down the house beside the lot as well as taking down the chain-link fence that surrounds it. This demolition should happen within the month. This lot would be safe for us to use for setup and prototyping. We have their permission to use it for the project just as long as we let the foundation know when we will be there so that they know it isn’t someone “dumping” on it. We considered using the wood from the house being torn down next to the lot, but Walter told us that all of the good wood from the houses is given to Habitat for Humanity and the rest is demolished. He also put us in contact with Douglas Bowl who keeps maps of Ivanhoe. He ensured us that Douglas would have detailed information on every part of Ivanhoe, including a map of specific blocks (information we would like to use in the project). Also, we learned the block leader for our given lot is Pam Sweeney and we were also given contact information to speak with her about helping out or becoming more acquainted with the neighborhood.

We met with Lea Griggs from the sculpture department at KCAI to talk about building our objects to put in the lots. Although he said he could not help us out this semester, he did give us a few more people to contact at KCAI as well as some locations we could find and re-purpose materials (i.e. KC Steel, Asners Junk Yard, Liberty Wood, Make in Wesport, or using old wooden palettes). This step did not necessarily help with the interest in collaboration so we are continuing to look on craigslist for objects we could use in our prototype.

From here, our plan is to pursue the new contacts and prepare for an actual prototype. This means construction and planning of the lot objects. In addition to that, we have begun designing a new map, survey for residents of the area, as well as sketching out our prototype ideas.

Plan for the Past Week 9/26-9/30Things to be Accomplished:Sketches
Secondary Research
Rent video camera to document process/setup
Yolanda—talk about girl scouts
Vector map
Pick location and photograph “before”
Meet and discuss lots with Walter May
Continue framing pesentation

Collaborate:Sculpture Department
Urban Youth Center

Planned Prototype:Grill
Picnic Table

Here is the Map of the first quadrant that our prototype lot would be. 

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