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Articles about CONNECTIONS81.2 

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Local Part 1 Participant Highlight

 
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CRYSTAL VAUGHN

Firm: LS3P

Part 1 Team: The Stitch

Resident of Raleigh since early 2018

Originally from Asheville, Crystal Vaughn is an interior designer, who has returned to North Carolina after working in the Chicago A&D industry for the past 10 years.  As an alumni of UNCC and The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago, she has had the opportunity to work on design in a vast range of projects, including healthcare, corporate, industrial, restaurant, property management and retail design.   A passionate and active member of the A&D community, she's volunteered and been on planning committees for organizations such as Rebuilding Together, DIFFA, Designs 4 Dignity, IIDA, Refortify & USGBC. 

What drew you to participate in the CONNECTIONS 81.2 discussion?

The opportunity to help shape the future of our city is exciting and one I couldn't turn down.  Great cities don't just happen, they are imagined, thought out and planned and if these plans have the local governments and community support behind these plans, great things can happen. Raleigh is a city of sprawl and it now has the unique space in the center to have something that can really make a difference in the heart of the city, creating a more connected center.

In your view, what is the most exciting thing happening in Raleigh and its growth?

Raleigh's recent & future plans to revitalize, re-grow, and reinvent it's downtown is exciting to watch and be apart of.  Downtowns are the heart of a city and having a healthy heart is essential to having a strong community.  This is essential to be able to compete with other world class cities in the US.

In one word, how would you describe the site's potential?

Revivifying
 
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JAKE HEFFINGTON

Firm: in situ studio

Part 1 Team: INculsionary Landscape

Resident of Raleigh since 2013

Jake spent his youth in the NC mountains before heading to the coast to study Philosophy, Anthropology and Religion at UNCW. While there, his studies and his interest in Palestinian-Israeili politics led him to spend several months in The Middle East where he split time between refugee camps, an archaeological dig, and studying Arab-Israeli politics at a Jordanian university. These experiences led him to pursue a deeper understanding of how architecture and urban environments effect individuals and communities over time. He received his M.Arch from NC State University and is currently working as a designer at in situ studio, where he continues to develop his skills and is on track to be a licensed architect by the end of the year.

What drew you to participate in the CONNECTIONS 81.2 discussion?

Opportunities to work at the scale of Connections 81.2 don’t come to designers often enough! This site is incredibly important to the future of the city. It presents a massive opportunity, and the charrette was a brilliant way to pool the high level of talent in Raleigh’s design community with those intimately familiar with the legacy of the site and its existing program to offer exciting and insightful solutions that reflect the growing fabric of our city. Did I mention that it was a brilliant idea?

In your view, what is the most exciting thing happening in Raleigh and its growth?

There is so much potential in the growth of Raleigh right now! I love examples of our building habits not outpacing our ability and willingness to think about the future of each site and of the city. The most exciting example of this right now has to be the intensive community centered design approach at Dix Park.

In one word, how would you describe the site's potential?

Equalising
 
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Tina Govan

Firm: SOMOS design

Part 1 Team: Missing Middle

Resident of Raleigh for 25 years

Tina has been principal of her own firm in downtown Raleigh, NC for the past 25 years and has recently formed an architectural design collective, SOMOS.  Their work ranges from schools to parks, cafes, co-housing, animal housing, and “tactical urbanism.” She holds a Master of Architecture from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, has practiced in a wide range of cultural settings, and takes a strongly people-based approach to the design of places. She has also recently co-founded Raleigh Urban Rangers, a new initiative which encourages more active use of public space by inviting residents out to play, meet and fully inhabit their city.

What drew you to participate in the CONNECTIONS 81.2 discussion?

The CONNECTIONS 81.2 charrette offered me the rare opportunity  to collaborate with other professionals in an open, mutually supportive way. It erased typical office boundaries and competitiveness, inviting us all to imagine possibilities together, towards a common good. This kind of open, collaborative sharing is too rare in our profession. I welcomed the chance to see how others work and think, to hear others’ perspectives and values, and to participate in a growing community conversation about the future of our city.

In your view, what is the most exciting thing happening in Raleigh and its growth?

I am most excited by the increasing attention being paid to Raleigh’s public spaces, such as Moore Square and Dix Park. Improving our shared spaces will help bring the city together. Strengthening public engagement in the design and creation of those spaces, through initiatives like Neighborland,  is also critical and very exciting. I see a real bottom-up participation building from the energy of our local businesses and people who live here and care. I’m also encouraged by the number of people moving downtown, walking and biking our streets. They will join us as stewards of our city, advocating for our schools and public services and working to make Raleigh a humane city for all ages and income levels.

In one word, how would you describe the site's potential?

HEALING