Design Workshop: InfoWash

DESIGN WORKSHOP: INFOWASH: Ongoing

Design Workshop is an innovative studio that provides pro bono architectural and construction services to nonprofit organizations while giving graduate architecture students the rare opportunity to both design and build a community facility.

Since its establishment in 1996, Design Workshop has helped meet community-based organizations’ needs, ranging from green space to educational and recreational facilities for children.

Site

In 2006, Design Workshop was invited to join New York-based SHoP Architects in the reconstruction of DeLisle, Mississippi, a small town in the gulf coast region that had been devastated by the storm surge following Hurricane Katrina.

Challenge

Local philanthropist Martha Murphy decided to transform 55 acres of private land into a new town center for her DeLisle community. The town center would also function as a resource for citizens seeking information about securing loans and rebuilding homes and businesses. The challenge was to create a facility that would attract residents on a regular basis and become part of their weekly routine, so that they would have the opportunity to follow up on vital financial information and assistance.

Outcome

InfoWash is a combination laundromat and information center designed and built by Parsons students as a way to get community members to integrate research into their weekly laundry schedule.

The project was selected for a special exhibition presented as part of the Venice Biennale.

Parsons Team

Second-year students from the Parsons Masters in Architecture (MArch) program.

Partners

Philanthropist Martha Murphy and New York-based SHoP Architects. SHoP Architects has rich experience with emergency architecture; the firm designed the Rector Street Bridge, the first new infrastructure to be created at the World Trade Center site after 9/11.


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