What Does “Placemaking” Really Mean?

We started out talking about design…

Last Tuesday we hosted a panel discussion on the impact of design on placemaking, at our office in Portland, a neighborhood in West Louisville. We had a great group.

Gill Holland, the driving force behind Louisville’s NuLu district, moderated the discussion.

Bullhorn founder, cultural catalyst of North Lexington, and devoted lover of Kentucky, Griffin VanMeter was there to talk about how more sex can have a positive impact on conscientious development (not just physical connections, mental too, know what I mean?)

aiga design week louisviile place making bullhorn portland griffin vanmeter gill holland kristin bookerAndy Knight, principal at MKSK spoke about how he uses graphic design to demonstrate the vision behind his insanely large-scaled projects.

Patrick Piuma, from City Collaborative, gave us a look into the planning and larger purpose behind ReSurfaced – a badass use of unused space in downtown Louisville.

Kristin Booker, of Booker Design, gave us a deep look into her process, showing how Louisville’s most beautiful gardens begin with a specific tone and a sketch.

Finally, our own Adam Kuhn spoke about the design impetus behind the NoLi branding, the Night Market and what can happen when you give a neighborhood its own brand.

aiga design week louisviile place making bullhorn portland
Then, shit got real.
You see, amid all this wonderful, lofty discussion about design and its effect on neighborhoods and physical space, many in the audience wanted to know how it, and many other factors at play, would affect the very neighborhood we were in – Portland.

“What considerations do the panelists take when planning bold projects in old neighborhoods with deeply rooted residents?”

“What considerations are taken when people give “identities” to places that already have one?”

We got excited.

We got excited because Griffin and Gill, perhaps the two most qualified people to discuss conscientious neighborhood development in the state of Kentucky, were given a chance to explain their approach, their motivations, and their actions. Their understanding of the complexity and delicacy of the issues was immediately clear.

But what really excited us was that we had no expectation for how a design discussion would go, and it went in the best direction possible – toward something meaningful.
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Learn more about our event here.

Read Creative Director Adam Kuhn’s thoughts on the logo, “Is the Logo Dead?”