Design students to build community garden on site of former “Sister Cities” building

Press release from the Asheville Design Center:

Asheville, NC – The Asheville Design Center is excited to announce our Summer 2017 Asheville Design Build Studio. Design students are invited to apply to the studio, which will be partnering with the City of Asheville this summer to design and install a community garden at the former “Sister Cities” site located at 33 Page Ave. The installations are intended to inspire and inform components of other community garden sites in the city.

The hands-on, multi-disciplinary, eight-week studio will run from June 5 to July 28. The program will be led by Clemson architecture professor Doug Hecker. In 2013, the City of Asheville created the Food Policy Action Plan in support of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council to advise City Council on policies and goals to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system in Asheville.

The Asheville Edibles Community Garden Program’s goal is to allow usage of city properties for the cultivation of plants, herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables; increasing local food production and providing community benefits. Raised garden beds was also a concept generated by a group of citizens appointed by City Council to determine the future uses of that and adjacent city-owned sites.

This summer students will work with community members to explore how design can address issues of community sustainability and support a successful model for building and maintaining garden sites. Students will define, generate, and explore conceptual solutions while integrating technical, financial, legal, and social constraints to complete a built project.

The Design Build Studio is open to collegiate and graduate level students who are interested in learning more about the built environment and how it interfaces with individuals and local communities. The Design Build Studio will be an equivalent of six credit hours. Each participant will be responsible to coordinate the transfer of credit with their host College or University.

Past Design Build Studio projects include:

2016: UNC-Asheville Bee Hotel
2015: U-LEAF Mobile Performance Stage
2014: YWCA Beehive Pavilion
2013: River Arts District Pedestrian Bridge
2011: Burton Street Peace Garden Pavilion

Interested students can visit ADC’s Design Build Studio ( to submit an online application (PDFs of applications are also available to download).

In addition, students can inquire with Chris Joyell ( to receive additional information re: project description, tuition, scholarships, housing, application and selection process.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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