Tag Archives: community

TEDX Asheville 2016 | Community and Transformation

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-3-13-48-pmCommunity and transformation play a very important role in all of our lives – even though we may not always feel it. News headlines and social-media sites focus on the popular and dramatic but are failing to connect us in a real way. There are magnificent things happening all around us through normal people just like us. Our speakers were handpicked for the importance of their stories in the coming transformation of our culture. At TEDxAsheville 2016, we want to make a place to experience community and see how people (not technology) can change everything. For tickets and information go here. Cheers!screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-3-10-04-pm

Designing Our Future | Edition 015

ReGen Village | A new neighborhood that will grow its own food, power itself, and handle its own waste. 3060167-inline-6-this-new-neighborhood-will-grow-its-own-food-power-itself-1

As always, our friends in this part of Europe set the tone for the future in terms of design and lifestyle. This neighborhood will be the first ReGen Village, a new type of community designed to be fully self-sufficient, growing its own food, making its own energy, and handling its own waste in a closed loop. Read the full article here. Anyone think it would be great in Asheville? Cheers!

Designing Our Future | Architecture At Home In It’s Community

Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 2.27.20 PMContinuing on this series inspired by the new construction going on in Asheville, I’m posting a new seven minute video I watched today from an architect working in Africa and how he draws from the surrounding community to create designs for new public buildings. Please watch or click on link if it doesn’t show.


As a designer, realtor and resident of Asheville I’m conscious of the changes occurring with our built environment. Kelly, myself and our chosen families frequently witness discussions by both designers and citizens regarding the new hotels, apartments and commercial structures that are stamped out and replicated here identical to other cities. What do these new constructions say about Asheville that is different than Charlotte or Tampa as examples?Asheville Bad Comp

We moved here because Asheville is incredibly rich in geography, history, spirituality, creative talent, environmental consciousness and an independent desire to do things differently. I wonder what our buildings could be doing that help steward our town into its own future inspired by what is here and what is important to our community today and for the future. Think about it. Cheers!

Designing Our Future | With Porches and Parks

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.23 AMHi Folks. Here is a short audio segment {5 1/2 minutes} from NPR’s “All Things Considered” Cities Project capturing the planning behind a community outside Austin. The community is designed to be convivial, walkable and energy-efficient. Click here to read the article and listen to the podcast.

As I listened to this I considered and compared it to some of our newer communities such as Reynolds Mountain or Biltmore Park. What could we do to add more community and cultural value to new growth and rediscovered neighborhoods? Can we make use of these opportunities to make growth less painful? Last, can we as a community get involved and influence our future? Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.09.36 AM

Modern Community | Eichler

This is an intriguing video. Though primarily on Eichler it provides a sense of community established by shared interests in a modern environment.
It’s worth a watch. Enjoy! Troy

“Your Town” Walkable Communities

I just came back from participating in a 3 day seminar in Michigan sponsored by the NEA and the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design called “Your Town”.  This seminar of lectures and design charettes was held in the historic landmark “Old Schoolhouse” in the small coastal village of Douglas.  The focus of the seminar is on Walkable Communities.  Walkable Communities address the need to change our focus from a car or vehicle-centric nation, to a human-centric nation in the way we plan communities.  Associated with the current trend in Smart Land Development and addressing such qualities as diverse asaffordable housing, sedentary lifestyles, obesity and the corrosive effects of sprawl (all by-products of our vehicle-centric living) in our society, this well paced and participatory seminar helped a small West Michigan community identify ways in which it could plan to become a healthier and even more attractive place in the future.  The seminar host and co-founder, Dan Burden was on hand to help 50 local stakeholders (planners, the mayor, residents, teachers, and designers) organize into groups – armed with colored sharpies, aerial maps and tracing paper to plan ways in which problem areas in town could be addressed. Dan Burden and his staff’s infectious optimism and consensus-building approach to dealing with traffic, access and safety was a refreshing approach.  Long-standing local infrastructure issues, complaints, and missed opportunities were identified through a design process that encouraged (by Dan and his team) looking beyond current and at times archaic ordinances and regulations and to identify potential.  The end goal of this and I am guessing many seminars will be the establishment of a Design Committee of citizens in order to further the discussion established in this Your Town seminar.  Link to Walkable and Livable Communities website: http://www.walklive.org/

Article by Nicolaas Wilkens