The Built Environment

Engagement. Translation. Connection.

For four consecutive years, the Built Environment Design Group has strengthened engagement and translation of research and creative work through community-based projects. The purpose of this unique, multidisciplinary program has been to give students a framework for understanding societal, economic, and ecological sustainability as it pertains to community-centered design.


Community Connections


Design Week 2017- Intercommunity Connectivity

Design Week 2017 was an intensive cross-disciplinary project hosted by the UK Department of Landscape Architecture and the College of Design's School of Interiors in partnership with LFUCG Division of Planning. The project began with the On the Table input event in March of 2017 which was held to collect information about individual LFUCG district needs. While the needs expressed by each district were distinct, the theme of  intercommunity connectivity emerged as the common thread. Therefore, Intercommunity Connectivity became the objective of Design Week 2017 and each council member challenged one of twelve student groups with a prompt to create a place-making project to enhance the community in their assigned district.

Design Week 2016- Retrofitting the Retro

The 2016 Design Week project Retrofitting the RETRO was developed in partnership between the Built Environment Working Group and the City Planning Department.  The project challenged the students to reimagine a 1950's style retail center and consider WHAT IF? ...there were fewer parking spaces and more green space...more trees...better connectivity...a community space....? 

In the first phase, students collected data to assess various aspects of the Southland corridor from number of cars, bikes and pedestrians to the temperature of the asphalt.  From this information, they worked in interdisciplinary teams to examine the corridor through various lenses such as connectivity, way finding, safety and comfort.  Each team then developed a 2 minute video to summarize their findings and suggest WHAT IF? design solutions which were presented to the community stakeholders for feedback.  

Design Week 2015- Campus Connectivity

In the first year, the group coalesced around the Design Week studio project In Motion where interdisciplinary teams of students were challenged to develop design proposals to improve the walk- and bike-ability between UK's Arboretum and Town Branch Commons.  The concept for data collection and assessment was recognized and presented in the recent CELA conference in Utah (March 2016).  Students in LA and Interiors studios carried the project forward Beyond Design Week and received an award at the KY ASLA Conference held in Lexington KY (March 2016).