Waste to Wonder

This year’s University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Urban Edge Award will focus on post-industrial urban sites

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This year's University of Milwaukee Urban Edge Award will focus on post-industrial urban sites. Seen here: Salvaged Landscape, Detroit, by Catie Newell.  (Photo: Catie Newell)
This year's University of Milwaukee Urban Edge Award will focus on post-industrial urban sites. Seen here: Salvaged Landscape, Detroit, by Catie Newell. (Photo: Catie Newell)

As part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning’s biennial Urban Edge Award, students are engaging with visiting designers, architects, and artists through a series of design workshops. Working with the students over the semester in three charrettes will be artist and designer Olalekan Jeyifous, Catie Newell of Alibi Studio, Fionn Bryan of the Harvard GSD, Joyce Hwang of Ants of the Prairie, Sergio Lopez-Pineiro of the Harvard GSD, and Aleksandr Mergold of Austin + Mergold. The award program will culminate in a public symposium with a keynote address by Walter Hood of Hood Design. Of the 15 projects produced by students with the workshop leaders, one exemplary work will be chosen and highlighted by Hood at the conclusion of the public symposium.

In years past, the Urban Edge Award has been given to a single individual. The award was founded to recognize excellence in urban design through creating positive change in the public realm. By inviting six design professionals, the award could allow for a semester-long investigation into three sites across the City of Milwaukee.

Olalekan Jeyifous explores the application of computer software to produce art, design and architecture. (Olalekan Jeyifous)

Olalekan Jeyifous explores the application of computer software to produce art, design and architecture. (Olalekan Jeyifous)

The theme of this year’s Urban Edge Award is “FROM WASTE TO WONDER: Working with What Remains.” The main focus of the program will be three research and design workshops lead by two guest leaders each. The first workshop will be led by Jeyifous and Newell and will focus urban vacancy in the four-mile-long 30th Street Industrial Corridor. The 880-acre industrial landscape suffered like many Midwest industrial centers and now has over 100 acres of vacant land. The second workshop will be led by Fionn Byrne and Joyce Hwange and will focus on adaptive reuse along the Kinnickinnic River Corridor on the south side of the city. The third will tackle the idea of productive landscapes area around the confluence of the Milwaukee and Menomonee River in the once thriving industrial Menomonee River Valley. Each of the sites throughout the city is typical of the post-industrial struggles Milwaukee has been dealing with for the past 40 years.

The public symposium will take place on Saturday, April 15th, at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Along with the keynote address by Walter Hood, students and workshop leaders will present their work.

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