Station Design Workshop Overview

CA High Speed Rail

rail LA has taken the planning of the California High Speed Rail System, undertaken by the CA High Speed Rail Authority, as an opportunity to inspire the public to think about the future of their community built around High Speed Rail and multi-modal public transportation systems.  Rail LA believes that the CA High Speed Rail project has great potential to significantly and positively transform cities.  Rail LA also believes that everyone has worthwhile ideas about how to improve their communities and the environment through the implementation of high speed rail and we want to tap into this creative thinking.

The City

The city and its diverse communities are a rich visual, physical, and emotional experience.  The senses are constantly bombarded with images, smells, sounds, textures, and people.  Rail LA’s community outreach effort, through its Station Design Workshops, attempts to capture peoples’ experience through our interactive models and workshop process.  By having the public use their hands, imagination, and thousands of small recycled objects, they can easily, clearly and creatively articulate their thoughts and ideas about the potential of high speed rail to transform cities and communities.

The Station Design Workshop Premise

Interactive ModelThe premise of the Station Design Workshops is that each and every participant has an idea for high speed rail; we just need to give them a platform to express it.  Every attendee, from children to senior citizens, can participate in the outreach activities in a way that they are most comfortable.  We do not ask participants to design the high speed rail system or to solve high speed rail challenges.  Rather, we ask them, based on their personal life experience, to think about how they would see a high speed rail station integrated into their community or how they would improve their community with HSR.  We ask them to think about their everyday experiences in the city and how HSR can be part of daily life in the city.

The Station Design Workshop Method

Community Design WorkshopEach participant is given a blank board and a variety of recycled materials such as bottle caps, wood blocks and other found objects to construct a 3-dimensional ideal station in 20 minutes.  There are no wrong or right answers!  When completed, each participant has one minute to share their designs ideas with the group.  After the individuals have finished their explanations they are asked to form larger groups and collaborate to create one collective model.   In a short of amount of time, participants will have modeled, discussed ideal solutions, and reflected on their neighbor’s ideas.

Through this method, all social barriers are broken down, thereby creating a friendly exchange of ideas.  Participants leave these exercises feeling a sense of accomplishment and better understanding of the planning process.  These interactive workshops mimic the dynamic and collective nature of urban life.  The workshops reflect how varied groups of players—strangers, neighbors, friends—interact to share their ideas to create a vision for the future.

Past Station Design Workshops

To date, railLA has conducted Station Design Workshops in various communites.  To see who attended, what they said, our observations and imagery from each workshop, click on the link below.

June 16, 2010:  railLA Working Group session at Parsons Brinkerhoff

June 22, 2010:  The Exchange at Downtown LA Neighborhood Council

July 17, 2010:  Pico House at Olvera Street

August 18, 2010:  Good Public Transportation Party at LA Beyond Cars Exhibit

railLA is hosting a series of community design workshops to encourage involvement in the visioning process of a future Los Angeles with high-speed rail.

Link to June 22, 2010 DLANC Workshop Notes

Coming soon: Host a Community Design Workshop with the railLA Toolkit

One Response to Community Design Workshops Overview

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