It’s time to DIY Downtown! Whether you’re an urban planner, dweller or advocate, there’s a little something for everyone during the fifth annual Phoenix Urban Design Week — going on March 31-April 7. During this design-focused week of community building, you’ll find an inspiring array of events focused on sustainability, placemaking and the built environment. Check out our top picks for free downtown happenings: Jonce Walker will present on the need for biophilic design in urban places. (Photo: Phoenix Urban Design Week) Thursday, March 31 / Biophilic Urban Design / 5-8 p.m. / Maricopa County Security Building / Free
“Biophilia” is humankind’s innate biological connection with nature and helps explain why we’re drawn to certain things or have an aversion to others. This presentation by famed urban planner Jonce Walker articulates the need for biophilic interventions in urban places, real-world examples and opportunites for new applications. Pre-event networking reception begins at 5 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6 p.m.
“The Intersection” uses photography, projection technology and sensors to create an interactive art experience. (Photo: Union Digital) Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 / The Intersection Digital Projection / 7-11:30 p.m. Friday; 7-10 p.m. Saturday / A.E. England Building-Civic Space Park / Free
Using advanced digital projection technology, the entire A.E. England Building will become a work of art for two days April 1 and 2. A team of artists from local media and production company Union Digital designed the larger-than-life display to light up the windows with images spectactors can interact with and alter. Video projections will also be connected to motion sensors that trigger different visual effects.
Saturday, April 2 / Design A Traffic Triangle Urban Art Project / 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. / Roosevelt Street, between Third and Fourth streets / Free
Help design a temporary urban art installation at the “pork chop” median strip on the south side of Roosevelt Street, between Third and Fourth streets in the Evans-Churchill neighborhood. Based on this brainstorming session, local volunteers will construct the proposed installation on April 16 as part of the 23rd Annual HandsOn Greater Phoenix Serve-A-Thon.
FORTuitous fort-building is all about getting outside and making something artistic, fun or useful. (Illustration: Ro2 Lot) Sunday, April 3 / FORTuitous Children’s Fort Building / 9 a.m. to noon / Ro2 Lot-Corner of Roosevelt and Second streets / Free
Downtown artist and mom Chris Pruitt is hosting this free, family-friendly event where people of all ages are encouraged to make art, forts and new friends. Located in the park next to The Monorchid, families are encouraged to bring their best fort-making materials, supplies and skills.
Sunday, April 3 / Roosevelt Row Community BBQ & Potluck / 3-6 p.m. / Ro2 Lot-Corner of Roosevelt and Second streets / Free
A delicious meal and great conversations presented by the Roosevelt Row Arts District, Evans Churchill Community Association and The Davis Experience at the Ro2 Lot.
Monday, April 4 / Meet Me Downtown Phoenix: Historic Alleys & Plazas / 5:15-7:15 p.m. / The Corner-CityScape Phoenix / Free
This special edition of Meet Me Downtown, a weekly 5K walk/run, features a tour by the Thunderdome Neighborhood Association of urban alleys and plazas, some dating back to 1885. Phoenix native Jeff Sherman leads this fun and educational tour, exploring a side of downtown rarely seen.
A rendering of the Hance Park Master Plan courtesy of Weddle Gilmore Architects, !melk and Floor Associates. (Illustration: Hance Park Master Plan) Tuesday, April 5 / Placemaking in Phoenix Public Spaces: Hance Park & Arizona State Fairgrounds / 6:30-8 p.m. / The McKinley Club / Free
Hear the latest design ideas for two significant public spaces in central Phoenix — the Arizona State Fairgrounds and Margaret T. Hance Park. Provide your input and engage with other architectural enthusiasts during this happy hour and presentation by Kris Floor and Phil Weddle of the Hance Park Master Plan, and John Drury of Drury Design Arts.
The Levine Machine in the Warehouse District. (Photo: NBMA Photography) Wednesday, April 6 / Warehouse Wednesday Self-Guided Bike & Walking Tour / 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. / CCBG Architects / Free
During your Wednesday lunch hour, take a leisurely self-guided tour of the Phoenix Warehouse District, starting at CCBG Architects. Get a sneak peek inside several newly-renovated structures and meet the people transforming this historic part of Downtown Phoenix.
Thursday, April 7 / Corgan Presents Artists & Placemaking: How Do Artists Enrich Community Identity? / 6-8 p.m. / Central Arts District Plaza/ Free
Join architecture and interior design firm Corgan Inc. for a lively happy hour discussion on local art, and how it shapes the unique character of Phoenix — featuring a live painting demo, fashion exhibit, food by the Asian-fusion eatery Sosoba and beer by Pedal Haus Brewery.
Phoenix Urban Design Week website
for a full list of Valley-wide tours, talks, happy hours and workshops, and be sure to register online.