Scott Page is the founder of Interface Studio, a collaborative design office based in Philadelphia.
Contributed 46 posts
Scott Page is an urban designer and planner with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgia Tech. His experience in neighborhood design, city-wide housing strategies, waterfront planning, downtown revitalization and economic development has resulted in innovative and achievable strategies for a diversity of public, non-profit and private clients. Scott's design process merges creative grass-roots planning with a focus on sustainable development and design. His project work has been featured in 306090, CITY, The Journal of Urban Technology, Salon, The Philadelphia Inquirer and, most recently, in Crossover: Architecture Urbanism Technology, by 010 publishers, Rotterdam.
Scott founded Interface Studio in 2004 to explore the relationship between urban design and information technology. Today, the firm is engaged in a wide range of assignments including work in Philadelphia, Chicago, Rochester and Camden. Scott is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design.
<p class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-size: 9pt; font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'">Many thanks to Wired’s Jeff Howe who’s 2006 article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” put an effective label at what the internet was doing to business.<span> </span>Building from Web 2.0 applications focused on social media like Facebook and on-line communities, it’s become a popular and controversial term in tech circles.<span> </span>For those not as familiar with the idea, let’s consult the most often used example of crowdsourcing – Wikipedia.<span> </span><span> </span>“Crowdsourcing is a distributed problem-solving and production model. Problems are broadcast to an unknown group of solvers in the form of an open call for solutions.
If you’ve ever worked in distressed communities, you’ve faced the dilemma that there simply is no private market for what you want to see built.<span> </span>You can chip away at the problem of vacant land with thoughtful affordable housing developments or, if you’re lucky, a new recreation center but by and large, large amounts of vacancy remain and impact the psyche of those that live nearby.<span> </span>So working closely with residents, and really listening, has sparked a whole new sub-discipline in our world of urban planning and design - temporary use.<span> </span> <p class="MsoNormal"> The shrinking cities movement shined a light on the potential of ad-hoc reuse and programming some time ago but so too has groups like the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Design our industrial future
I <a href="/node/38510">previously lamented</a> the apparent death of industrial use in our cities by the widespread application of terms like “post-industrial” and “rust-belt.”<span> </span>While semantics is an issue, let’s not forget that design matters and, in terms of industrial use, it hasn’t seemed to matter enough in recent years.<span> </span><span> </span> <p> In times past, industrial use was often a form of pride.<span> </span>Many of the hulking, multi-story industrial buildings in older cities are (still) beautiful additions to our cityscapes.<span> </span>In some cities, those that went vacant have spawned a new form of <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20090301_Eploring_abandoned_industrial_hulks.html?viewAll=y">urban scavenge hunting</a> by those seeking to fuel their appreciation for our industrial past through photography and exploration.<span> </span>Think as well of the <a href="http://vintagraph.com/wpa-posters/health-and-safety-posters/">WPA posters</a>, many of which used stylized industrial themes to promote our “American” identity.<span> </span> </p>
Vacancy, It's Not Just For Cities Anymore
<p> Thanks to the <a href="http://www.vacantproperties.org/index.html">National Vacant Properties Campaign</a> for another important conference on vacant properties - this time in Louisville. I was duly <a href="/node/27856">impressed with the first conference</a> on the subject a year and a half ago but what struck me this time was the growing diversity of voices concerned with the issue. </p> <p> At the last conference, I (and I assume many others) had the feeling that it was a therapy session of sorts for like-minded spirits. "Older industrial" cities were sharing information and ideas because, while all cities are unique, we share a lot of the same challenges. </p>
<p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0in" class="MsoNormal"> <span style="font-size: small"><span style="font-family: Calibri">I never put much thought into the term “post-industrial.”<span> </span>In my college and grad years, the phrase seemed to be used like candy – a ubiquitous summary of the current state of cities in the US.<span> </span>The phrase implies a kind of death in our cities, an inability to retain the industries that spurred their very growth.<span> </span></span></span> </p>