Broadway 1,000 Steps

Broadway 1,000 Steps* will run as a special project in Spring, 2012. This studio class will explore how visual thinking and design can engage and activate participation in building cities that respond to environmental challenges.

Students will conduct ground research and site analysis into a designated ‘hub’ along Broadway. The goal of the research will be to amass a knowledge base of natural and artificial conditions, historic transformations and current character, all of which will serve as a basis for action and participation in the design process.  In addition to framing and mapping that research to the public, and academic partnerships, the studio will work in teams to implement a design intervention, anchored in the site, that will seek to activate local efforts to create a more sustainable city.

We will explore the following themes in class:

  • primary research strategies for understanding a site and it’s users;
  • design and the construction of a public;
  • mapping to identify key actors (human & non-human), relationships and leverage points for a design intervention;
  • design tactics to transform behavior: decisive, coercive, seductive, persuasive;
  • speculative design based on historical analysis and scenario planning.

This studio will occur in collaboration with the Mary Miss Studio and City as Living Laboratory. We will participate in a online website along with a number of other schools, in documenting our process of research, collaboration and outcomes. We will also be sharing and collaborating on our designated hub, Bowling Green, with Marymount Manhattan College faculty members, Matthew Slaats (New Media) and Terry Morely (Environmental Studies) and their students.

**Please see work in progress from this class on our wiki.**


*Broadway 1,000 Steps is a concept developed by the Mary Miss Studio and City as Living Laboratory (CaLL) to address significant urban/environmental challenges of the 21st century. The project will establish Broadway as the “green corridor” of New York City. Twenty hubs dispersed along the length of Broadway, will serve as sites for collaboration between MMStudio, research scientists, municipal policy makers, local community groups. Through academic partnerships (including Boston University, CCNY, Marymount, MIT, The New School, Parsons, Penn State, Pratt, and UVA) artists and designers will create installations that make sustainability tangible and inspire future projects. The sense of incremental transformation, as the name suggests, reflects the concept that the city is a dynamic urban ecosystem that continuously transforms over time. For more information, please visit:

Images shown above are from the Mary Miss’ prototype installation for ‘Broadway: 1000 Steps’ in Montefiore Park, 137th Street and Broadway.