Live | Play | Coexist
Although we live, interact, and share our city with many other living and non-living species, we do not see them the same way. Most of the humans' conscious and unconscious acts result in displacement or even discarding other non-human species from the ecosystem web. My design attempts to co-create an environment with rodents, that fosters coexistence with non-human species without establishing or negotiating boundaries, by studying the local culture of Columbus, Indiana.
The two institutional blocks together house three schools and a church with plenty of open space. Further lack of seating along with this openness makes it less engaging for the kids and the neighborhood.
The open grounds often serve as an extension of the trees for the squirrels. Since these playgrounds also activate the playfulness of the children as their social skills learning extends outside of the classrooms, they function as a common ground for both species to gather, observe, and make a connection.
American elms have the most beneficial environmental impact over any other tree cover in the state, and their nuts make them one of the preferred habitats of the squirrels.
Because squirrels forget 74% of the nuts they hide during winter, some germinate, resulting in forest regeneration.
NETWORK OF EXISTING TREES
Overall the design intends to promote and enhance life, providing a delightful experience within the middle species via a mixed-use approach reducing the land-use footprint.