Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Students involved in Denver’s Living City Block

interactive kiosk

Students developed an interactive display for Denver's "Living City Block."

With the guidance of their professors, five DU students are developing tactile ways people can learn about what it’ll take to have a “Living City Block.”

The mission of Living City Block, a Denver nonprofit organization, is to create sustainable living in cities. The sustainability has to be replicable, scalable and economically viable.

DU students created interactive viewing stands focusing on the five key areas of a sustainable block: water, energy efficiency, energy renewal, transportation and community.

“It’s quite a challenge and learning opportunity for our students to create an experience,” says Laleh Mehran, associate professor of electronic media art design. “We wanted to create something interesting, not just dictate facts.”

The students created the stands in last quarter’s Site Specific Design and Interactive Art class, which was taught by Mehran and electronic media professor Chris Coleman. They have volunteered to work on the project on their own time until it’s complete.

“It’s been great to get real-world experience with a client,” says Andrew Edwards, a first-year eMAD graduate student.

Llewellyn Wells, president and founder of Living City Block, says he’s worked with the group as if they were a hired art house.

“I was so pleasantly surprised,” Wells says. “They are such a creative group; they came up with things that we would never have thought to do on our own.”

In addition to Edwards, the student group includes undergraduate students Katrina Glover, a digital media studies major; Marcus deThouars, a computer science and digital media studies major; Jen Schneider, an electronic media art design major; and Jeff Neil, a computer science major.

Mehran says it’s been a great way for the students to learn while impacting the community.

Their work certainly has impressed Wells.

“Their work is just as good if not better than a professional shop would have been,” Wells says.

The pilot project for Living City Block is taking place in Denver’s LoDo district between 15th and 16th Streets and between Wynkoop and Wazee. To follow the students’ work on the project, visit their blog.

The courses received support through a public good grant from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at DU.

Comments are closed.