Shaking The Snow From Our Boots

T-Minus 3 days until we trek to Las Vegas, and leave this snowy winter in the dust. The timing could not be more perfect, having recently garnered 14" of snow in Central Iowa. 70 degrees and a dry heat sound exactly like what the doctor ordered. 

Iowa winters are beautiful, but they come with a bite. This is a view from the College of Design at Iowa State.

Iowa winters are beautiful, but they come with a bite. This is a view from the College of Design at Iowa State.

Since my last post we have made some new iterations to our research presentation boards (mine being research on Downtown Las Vegas Districts). The old boards are in my previous post, with the updated version below: 

The main additions that I made to the previous iteration was the new zoomed in maps of each district. This closer look allows for us to peer into the size, structure, and important landmarks of each district. For instance, now you can see the placement of the Fremont Street Experience within the Central Casino District. 

Another addition was the clarification for what the terms like landmark, district, and nodes actually mean. These terms derive from the previously referenced Image of the City by Kevin Lynch. Lynch's work is hugely important in identifying what is working within an urban context, and what is not. Without the terminology described on the first page of the PDF above, it would be immensely more difficult to articulate what is necessary for urban improvement. 

Veteran's Village & What is Next

So now that we as a class have exchanged such fantastic information in preparation for the trip this Friday, we decided to once again pool our knowledge (or lack there-of) to see what we still need to know prior to the trip as well as what we need to do while on site. These tasks ranged from identifying important information about each site's demographics, to understanding the prominent homeless population within the downtown context. 

So, my task was to look into the incredible work by Arnold Stalk (as well as countless others) on the focus of the homeless veteran's population, and more specifically The Veteran's Village. Now, Veteran's Village can be described as a transitional and permanent housing residence for United States Veterans. It is located in the heart of Downtown South and provides specific programs such as on site employment assistance, career & life planning, and access to medical services. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, the website for Veteran's Village is: . 

I am currently in the process of putting together a "Homeless Veterans Process Diagram" which will display the process of how Veterans go from combat to homelessness. The hope is to provide some insight into how exactly we can intercept that process through design to give Veterans a more stable transition. It is a huge problem, but undeniably one that needs attention. 


News and Notes

  • Word is that Las Vegas is looking to get an NHL team...sounds like the perfect escape for those "hot" Vegas winters. It would be interesting to see if this develops faster than the talk of a Major League Soccer team. 
  • Currently listening to: The Greyhounds...this one will be on repeat all the way to Las Vegas.