Re-imagining space in the built environment through high-quality public interest social justice design is the focus of the environmental design studio. Commissioned by municipal and community organizations or undertaken by JXTA in partnership with residents and local stakeholders, the studio designers work to transform vacant lots and spaces between buildings into beautiful “pocket” parks and pedestrian friendly spaces. Apprentices and designers craft benches for bus stops, planter boxes for corners and art for public spaces. The team trains with the University of Minnesota’s Design School, partnering and learning with students in architecture and landscape architecture. In so doing, they hone their engineering and creative placemaking skills while continually gaining fresh perspectives and new ways of doing things.
In North Minneapolis, examples of the studio’s work can be found at the lot between JXTA and Urban Homeworks on Emerson Avenue at West Broadway and on 2nd Street just North of Washington Avenue.