The Newschool of Architecture and Design (Newschool), long a globally recognized private university of architecture and design located in downtown San Diego, is getting its students involved in the city’s recent program to turn a designated district in the city into a Black Arts Cultural District. Newschool prioritizes educating its students through involvement in real-world projects and teaching them social awareness by involving them in programs that make a difference.
Founded in the mid-80s, Newschool’s vision is to provide elite professional programs in architecture, construction management, and design, and the college has become a leading, globally ranked design college.
Though retaining its name, ownership of Newschool has been transferred to Ambow NSAD Inc., a subsidiary of Ambow Education Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: AMBO). Ambow Education is an educational group that offers both educational and career enhancement services.
Newschool’s involvement in the San Diego district’s planning is not the first time its students have been involved in specific, real-world projects where the students can gain vital experience and confidence. Other projects involving Newschool include the development of Portland's Ford District, where the college got 60 students to help develop contemporary urban design and architecture plans as part of a sustainable vision for the Ford district in Portland. Another time, 70 Newschool students followed criteria set out in the official National City Downtown Specific Plan to design over 40 city blocks worth of buildings for downtown National City, helping renew the poorest areas of the city.
Stepping Up For Black Arts Cultural District
An exciting project that the Newschool is currently involved in is the development of a Black Arts Cultural District, which will be in the Encanto district of San Diego. The plan for the development was approved last summer by the San Diego City Council. The district, which will run along eight blocks of Imperial Avenue from 61st Street, will celebrate the contributions made by members of the Black community and will highlight Black arts and culture.
Involved in spearheading this project is Carolyn Smith. Smith is a born-and-raised Encanto resident and a trusted leader of the community. She is working in collaboration with local city politicians to deliver on this visionary project.
Two classes of students, organized into studio sections, from the Architectural Program of Newschool are participating in the district program. They are led by Daniela Deutsch, the Head of Architecture Programs and the primary instructor for the project. Other Newschool faculty as well as multiple regional architects will be serving as mentors or jurors throughout the design process. Together, they are helping design and plan the vision that will transform the eight blocks into the cultural district. The program will also include an adaptive reuse project, turning the building of a former Boys and Girls club in Encanto’s Wiedeman Park into a Black Arts Cultural Center.
The Encanto Black Arts and Culture District will be a designated cultural district, becoming the fourth area designated a “cultural district” by the city. It will join Balboa Park, Oceanside, and Barrio Logan as a place where tourists and the community can gather to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the Black community to San Diego. The designation also means the city will contribute funding toward improving storefronts, landscaping, and helping small businesses.
Click here for more about the Newschool of Architecture and Design, and for more information on Ambow Education Holdings, visit its website.
Content originally published on Benzinga.com here.
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