The Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts is home to a creative and innovative environment. Several disciplines come together in forming the institute and each of them contribute to its identity. There are five schools that are part of HIDA: the School of Art, the Design School, the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, the School of Music and the School of Art, Media and Engineering, also called AME.
Each of these schools are assigned a space inside the campus where they can develop their creative outcomes, but there is very little interaction between the different disciplines, limiting the amount of opportunities that can spring from a crosspolination of knowledge. Moreover, the current buildings in which the schools are located lack a strong expression of identity on the outside and the necessary porosity for an interaction between what is happening on the inside and the surrounding community of HIDA, ASU and the community of Tempe at large.
The public space of HIDA, as well, is anonymous and does not provide many opportunities for the students to come together and for community involvement.
The corner of HIDA on Mill Ave and University Dr represents a strong opportunity for the Institute. This area is the window to campus from the city of Tempe. The lot, called Tempe Gateway, is currently a thin surface, only housing parking. Developing this public space according to the needs of HIDA would allow the Institute to establish a new presence on campus and in the city, allowing for a stronger influence of its creativity on the community. Addressing this area would also begin to solve the ecological issues that a large asphalt area produces. Impervious soil not only facilitates water runoff, but it also generates a solar heat island that makes it hard for humans to inhabit, especially in the hot summer months.
In my proposal a large solar canopy is the first step to addressing these issues while enabling for many opportunities to happen beneath it. The shade would mitigate the summer heat, allowing the space to be packed with program for people to use and enjoy all year round. Therefore, the surface can be thickened by introducing areas that facilitate the practice of sports and the happening of other events such as performances and exhibitions, while green areas introduce zones of permeable soil where water can be directed and then collected and stored for future use. New transparent buildings at the second level will house program from all the schools in shared spaces, tied together by an outdoor public deck that allows the students to easily communicate and interact with each other and the community. This ability to share knowledge will allow for a stronger and even more innovative creative outcome while enhancing the HIDA identity.
All together this new structure will allow to strengthen the HIDA identity, while enhancing its learning spaces and experiences, in a larger dialogue between the different creative disciplines that form the institute and the community of both ASU and the city of Tempe.