What do you see?
Photo by the 2011 Class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture

Inform, inspire, and collaborate!  These actions are the main goals of the 2011 ELA class, an honor’s academy under the auspices of the VSAIA.  Each year, the ELA class selects a specific region within a city of Virginia and develops a project aimed to improve through architecture.

The 2011 group has chosenManchester, a region ofRichmond rich in history and culture, but afflicted by urban drought. A 6-lane highway dissects Manchester into two separate parcels with transitioning industrial buildings to the north and a residential neighborhood to the south.  Master plans for redevelopment have been prepared by the city planning office, but little action has occurred to implement the proposed plans.  In order to engage the community, the class project is an interactive kiosk that is designed, built, and marketed by the class.  The kiosk will be introduced into the neighborhood at three separate sites within the Manchester with the intent to interact with residents, business owners, and passersby about the future of Manchester:  The Hull Street Library, Tricycle Gardens Urban Farm, and 201 Hull Street, near the Mayo Bridge.

ELA participants will be onsite at each location to spark dialogue between visitor and kiosk.

The kiosk is designed and built by the class.  Designed to fit into a standard parking space, the kiosk consists of four 4 x 8 modules that create a transparent shelter, evoking the regionally historic lath construction.  Within the rectangular shape, the form channels the visitor to a specific framed view.  Within the kiosk, visitors will have the opportunity to leave their imprint on the neighborhood through drawing and writing.  This visual conversation will be recorded and collected for a final presentation at Architecture Exchange East.

The class is also spearheading its own marketing campaign to engage the community and other stakeholders within the community.  In addition to social media sites on Twitter and Facebook, Posters and postcards are being designed for distribution throughout the community and region.  If you are interested in donating to the production or marketing of the project, please contact your local Chapter.


Please visit:

On Facebook @ What Do You See

On Twitter @ What_do_u_see

If you are in the Manchester Region, on the following dates, we invite you to join us to celebrate architecture, community, and the collaborative spirit we share!

Saturday, Oct 8 – 201 Hull Street

Sunday, Oct 9 – Tricycle Gardens Urban Farm at 9th and Bainbridge

Saturday, Oct 15 – Hull Street Library
<Renderings by Amrit Singh, Associate AIA>