The Capitol Mall is a very complex urban area adjacent to downtown Phoenix, where Governmental buildings exist side
by side with a historic residential neighborhood, warehouse buildings, an under-construction human services campus,
vacant lots, and many homeless people on the streets. This area has been 'forgotten' in recent efforts to revitalize downtown
Phoenix. The Capitol Mall project involved two studios - Architecture and Planning - conducted simultaneously
during spring 2005. The planning studio was intended to develop a revitalization plan and the architecture studio was
charged with developing specific programs and projects of urban design and architecture.
The purpose of this paper is threefold: 1) to introduce our studios as examples of community embeddedness, 2) to discuss
our pedagogical approaches and the project's outcomes, and 3) to present a set of lessons learned that can be
valuable to others teaching similar joint studio arrangements. In brief the five lessons are: a) joint studios can have different
approaches to reality, b) interdisciplinary studios can benefit from different methodologies and outcomes, c) planning
and architecture studios use classroom resources differently, d) joint studios display creativity in different ways, 5)
interdisciplinary studios can lead to joint discovery and re-enforcement of learning experiences.
Keywords : Downtown Revitalization, Urban Planning Studio, Phoenix - Arizona
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