Place-Based Projects > Corpitopia

Community-based project in Corpus Christi, Texas, exhibited January-March 2010.

In this project I visited multiple groups in Corpus Christi, Texas (over 60 sessions), listening to people's ideas of their place and this place...facilitating discussion, envisioning, and participation concerning the state of the built community and its future.

After commentary in each session, younger student participants generally made drawings of hypothetical additions to the cityscape, while other residents made maps idealizing and reconfiguring the city. Sessions were recorded, materials gathered. My large architectural drawings of vacant lots and open waterfront were kept intentionally minimal, interspersed with residents' maps and drawings, projected video comments, a floor map/game where viewers toss bean bags onto areas of the city to "score" (downtown wins automatically), plus a workstation with computer, desk, and library.

The resulting exhibition was a rambling creative community studio of sorts, a gallery morphed into a kind of community creative space. Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame attended the opening and addressed the audience during a stimulating reception that became an impromptu town hall meeting.