TEDx SMU + TEDx Kids

Learn more about POP Dallas.

On November 30 and December 1, 2012, bcWORKSHOP was invited to participate in the TEDxKids @ SMU (a special TED event for local middle school students) and TEDxSMU conferences to showcase our POP [People Organizing Place] Dallas initiative. Now in its fourth year, TEDxSMU brought a multitude of creative thinkers to the City Performance Hall in the Arts District to share and discover innovative ideas in technology, entertainment and design.

Following the conference's theme of re:TH!NK, over 400 attendees on both days shared their ideas for re-thinking the neighborhoods where they live, learn, work and play through activity cards, video interviews and good old-fashioned conversation. During the day, bcWORKSHOP created a compilation of Neighborhood Stories collected throughout the conference as well as a map of representing attendees' neighborhoods, which was screened at the end of the conference.

Conference participants were eager to share ideas for their own neighborhoods and absorb the ideas shared by others from around the city. With the POP City Map as a guide, attendees left armed with a strengthened understanding and commitment to place-making in Dallas.

Neighborhood Stories - Arts District

Learn more about POP Dallas and Neighborhood Stories.

On October 27-28, 2012, bcWORKSHOP was a part of a monumental project for Dallas: the grand opening of Klyde Warren Park. The celebration commemorated an innovative park that decks over a portion of Woodall Rodgers Freeway, providing valuable new civic space and connecting Uptown and the Dallas Arts District.

bcWORKSHOP had a substantial presence at the park opening, engaging visitors on Harwood Street around our POP [People Organizing Place] Dallas initiative as they passed between the new park and the Arts District. The centerpiece was a Dallas Neighborhood Stories exhibit inside our 45’ retrofitted shipping container that examined the evolution of today’s Arts District from its origins as the juncture of the Freedman’s Town/North Dallas, Little Mexico, and Ross Avenue neighborhoods, and how major interventions - the construction of Central Expressway, the construction of Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and the master plan for the Arts District - affected physical and social change.

The POP City Map also made an appearance; more than 200 people marked their Dallas neighborhoods, with dozens more showing their pride in places from Irving and Lancaster to Brazil and France. Finally, hundreds of revelers shared pictures and stories about where they live on the container itself and on camera in the Story House.

The weekend affirmed how strongly people identify and connect with their neighborhoods as well as the importance of understanding the decisions and actions that have shaped our city over time. We had a great time at the opening and look forward to bringing our exhibit back to the Arts District soon!

BigBang! 2012

Learn more about POP Dallas and Neighborhood Stories.

bcWORKSHOP provided a variety of activities concerning Dallas neighborhoods at the 2012 bigBANG!, organized by Dallas Social Venture Partners. Located in Union Station, this day-long forum convened the thinkers and doers of the city for an opportunity to catalyze positive impact. Many components of the POP Dallas initiative were engaged by event participants, including the POP City Map which allowed attendees to identify and mark their neighborhoods. The Story House also made its debut, and new interviews were collected inside of it in collaboration with educational nonprofit Commit!, an organization dedicated to realizing children's full potential. Fifteen different neighborhoods were represented with 30 new recorded interviews. Next door, bcFELLOWs led two high-energy work sessions utilizing the POP Toolkit, empowering participants to think about the changes they can affect in their own communities.

The Parklet

Learn more about our work in Dallas.

Surrounded by freeways, the skyline of downtown Dallas rises from a sea of concrete and asphalt. Public parks lie scattered across this landscape, accounting for less than five percent of the urban geography. In opposition, downtown over-accommodates a perceived lack of parking by dedicating twenty-seven percent of surface to vehicular storage. The disproportion between these two landscapes has created an opportunity to rebalance the relationship between the pedestrian and the vehicle; this opportunity is the parklet.

The parklet is a type of urban space that supplements people’s access to places for rest and social interaction. Inserted into the gaps in-between downtown’s sanctioned parks, it creates new public space where once only a vehicle could reside. It extends the sidewalk as space is carved from conventional parking, reclaiming the street from the automobile for the pedestrian. An outgrowth of the PARK(ing) Day movement, the art and design studio Rebar pioneered the first parklet in San Francisco. Since then, the idea has spread to other cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

The parklet is both temporal and permanent, dynamic yet anchored. Designed as a set of components, the parklet can be deployed on any street, bringing vibrancy to the sidewalk and the block, and then moved to facilitate activity elsewhere. The individual pieces can be disassembled and moved via truck or trailer, then joined together again in a new location.

The parklet creates the amenities of the city at a fine scale: it is shelter from the sun, a café, a garden, a, bench, a storefront, the chance encounter. When it is deployed, the parklet is open to all no matter where it is. While the space is intimate, different furniture types can be added and rearranged to change the program of the parklet. Benches are worked into the design of the mobile planters, bringing visitors closer to the fragrant herbs and flowers growing from the natural cedar beds.

Developed in partnership with Downtown Dallas, Incorporated, Dallas's first parklet made its initial appearance on PARK(ing) Day 2012 in front of bcWORKSHOP's office on South Ervay. The parklet will continue to appear there and elsewhere around downtown's parking spaces, serving the public wherever it goes.

Park(ing) Day 2012

Learn more about our work in Dallas, and our Neighborhood Stories initiative as part of POP Dallas.

PARK(ing) Day is an international one-day celebration of people re-purposing parking for other activities not centered on the car. For Dallas's second annual PARK(ing) Day, we brought our 20-foot long commissary container over to the one of the parking spaces along downtown Main Street. Inside the container, we displayed the POP City Map along with a map locating green spaces in Downtown Dallas. A small theater was set up for projecting our collected Neighborhood Stories, while we also recorded new ones them from passersby on the street. Outside, visitors played board games and placed notes on the exterior of the container sharing what they love about Downtown.

Down the road on South Ervay, we also set up Dallas's first Parklet in front of our office. Created in partnership with Downtown Dallas, Incorporated, the parklet carries the spirit of PARK(ing) Day by making the transformation from vehicle parking to pedestrian space more permanent.