A once derelict riverside area transformed into a community oriented neighborhood, so we investigated and celebrated this development.
Upon being awarded an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Grant (UROP) through the University of Minnesota, I worked with professor Leslie Van Duzer and design students Sara Marquardt and Melanie Povlitzki on a study of the historical Minneapolis Mill District. Fascinated by the successful transformation of this once derelict riverside neighborhood, we aim understand what went so right, both to celebrate the successful urban development and use it as a model for future planning.
To understand the community, we studied the history, photographed, drew, interviewed locals, and experienced the neighborhood first hand. The team discovered countless thoughtful but unspoken collaborations between residents, local businesses and cultural/ educational institutions that gave birth to this remarkable community. What was seemingly typical neighborhood pride turned out to be a deeply woven web of unexpected relationships.
We then developed a set of postcards to give back to the community. Each card abstractly highlights a unique connection formed by the people, from a theme of dog ownership and responsibility to shared spaces and products. 500 sets of 12 postcards were produced and distributed to local businesses and residents.