Five graduate students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s School of Architecture and Design traveled to Hattiesburg, MS, over the weekend to participate in a community-building design charette hosted by the Hattiesburg Arts Council in conjunction with Southern Mississippi University. The ULL students were under the direction of Professor Kari Smith, graduate school coordinator, and engaged in a fast-paced, adaptive re-use project development session. The students were tasked with transforming the Old Hattiesburg American Newspaper building into the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center, which is to house a multitude of programs such as art galleries, theatre, artist working space, a dance studio, culinary arts kitchen, office of youth development, community food pantry, wine bar, rental space, an exterior performance venue and arts park, and a community garden.
The students’ design intentions of the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center were to continue the momentum of the city’s downtown historical development, connect the city’s visitors and inhabitants to the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center, facilitate multi-generational relationships, foster positive youth development, celebrate the local culture and heritage of the city, and create revenue opportunities to perpetuate the city’s dedication to and support of the arts. The team aimed to preserve, maintain and enhance the Old Hattiesburg American Newspaper building and discover a connection and balance between the arts and the community.
The results of the charette were part of the Hattiesburg Art Walk, and members of the public were invited to interact with the students and give feedback on their designs. The event was an outreach opportunity for the students, served as an exercise in community involvement and professional development, and enabled the building of relationships with the students and faculty of Southern Mississippi University.
For more information on the event, visit the Hattiesburg Art’s Council’s Facebook page and http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/local/2016/04/08/architect...