A team of recent graduates from NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) raised $60,067 to help fund a project for downtown San Diego that has received public support from city officials and the community for their innovative approach to revitalizing vacant lots with retrofitted shipping containers. The concept was developed at NSAD as a 2013 senior thesis project on “temporary architecture” solutions by Philip Auchettl, Jason Grauten, David Loewenstein and Mike Poage.
The Kickstarter fundraising campaign raised money that will go toward city fees, a conditional use permit, and site improvements such as installation of water, electrical and sewer lines.
Envisioned with a lifespan of two to three years, the RAD Lab is a temporary “laboratory” urban infill project that offers sustainable solutions to vacant lots. The team of NSAD graduates envisions using retrofitted shipping containers to create an urban park in downtown San Diego’s East Village area that will incorporate a dog park, outdoor beer garden, a plaza with food trucks and an event space for residents and visitors. They see it as being a template to revitalize other unused areas around the country.
The project idea was developed during a class taught by Jorge Ozorno on “Architect as Developer” and it became a senior thesis project under Chuck Crawford. Since graduating this year, three members of the team continued to work on developing the project.