urbanSTITCH Community Outreach Program

Held in Memphis, Tennessee, during the 2017 AIA TN Conference on Architecture and funded by a Memphis Medical District Collaborative grant, urbanSTITCH Community Outreach Program, was the idea of knitting together gaps and pauses in the urban tissue of the city. An intentional exercise in healing a neighborhood sliced by progress and paved over. urbanSTITCH promotes a typology of cohesion through a tighter vocabulary of elements which enhance views, streetscape, public safety, and the pedestrian experience.

Over 25 architects from across the state worked together to envision the gaps within The Edge district and how those gaps could be connected in order to bring life and vibrancy back to these corridors.

News Coverage of urbanSTITCH:

The Low Line: Architects see treasure in sunken Memphis rail ravine by Tom Bailey of the Commercial Appeal. 

The Memphis Edge District is sandwiched between several highly developed zones, yet the 240 Interstate and 6-lane Danny Thomas Blvd have created substantial barriers for the area’s regrowth and visibility despite the close proximity to Autozone Park YMCA and other downtown amenities.
Dis-integrated over time under a series of competing grids/outside forces, many sites in the The Edge are forgotten, hard to find, and ultimately problematic for development. From unusable geometry leftover from historic building footprints, to vacant parking bays for unoccupied businesses; a rambling connective figure emerges which seeks to link these islands into a network of new urban typologies.

As an incubator space at the scale of the neighborhood, we wish to solicit concepts for each of the varied shapes and sizes of these pieces, to form an implicit constellation of community infrastructure (bike depots, bus stops, transit hubs, stages, trails, park space, urban gardens, lighting, street art, furniture, fitness, gaming, education, etc.…).

Proposals will be grounded in and draw from current homegrown activity and prelude community charrettes happening this spring! These temporary mediations would function as a laboratory for urban improvisation. Starting as inexpensive and easy-to-construct prototype interventions, the experiments would be designed to inspire permanent future structures, or be flexible enough for quick disassembly and re-use elsewhere.