IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26

associate design director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill,
San Francisco, California, USA. "We need to make public
spaces that allow for a wide range of activities for people
from all ages and backgrounds. Those spaces work when
everyone within them feels welcome."
That means staying on top of rapidly changing
demographics.
"If you were working in some small town 40 years ago
where the population was homogeneous, it would be easier
to forecast what people would want their spaces used for,"
St. Pierre says. "Today, the process is no longer a slam
dunk. Today, you have to know who is going to use the
space, and you have to make the space inclusive. The space
has to transcend divisions."

Pride of Place
McAllen, Texas, USA, is a small town with a diverse
population. The city is one of the busiest border towns
between the United States and Mexico, and has one of
the largest immigrant populations in the country. At the
same time, it has become a popular spot for young families
looking to put down roots.
So when city officials set out to build a new public
library, they imagined a space where everyone in their
town could find common ground. Unity quickly
emerged as a theme for designers at MSR, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, USA, who set out to transform an old
Wal-Mart Supercenter-which sat abandoned after the
retailer moved to a larger space-into a library.
"We wanted to create a space that would promote
interaction with people in a community who may not be
just like each other-people who might not otherwise
have a conversation with each other," says Leanne Larson,
IIDA, CID, LEED AP, interior designer and senior
associate at MSR.
To foster that sense of community, the library had
to appeal to all of McAllen's residents-three-quarters
of whom primarily speak Spanish. Further complicating
matters was the fact that the town is home to tens of
thousands of recent immigrants from Mexico.
"We had to make a space that was welcoming to both
English speakers and Spanish speakers," Larson says. So
MSR worked with library employees to ensure the Spanish
collection had a pride of place. The team also used large,
bold signage in both Spanish and English to delineate the
library's sections.

Photo by: (Annie Chu) Zachary Bako

Bold signage-in
both Spanish and
English-is used
throughout the
main branch of
the McAllen Public
Library, McAllen,
Texas, USA.

has the power to bring communities together-creating
the places and spaces where people make connections, find
common ground, and forge a collective strength.
Deepening political, cultural, and economic schisms
can-and should-inspire designers now more than ever to
make unity their rallying cry.
"There is a divisive impulse in society right now. That
affects what designers do, and it's something designers
may be able to do something about. I'm not a world leader,
but I can affect things through my craft by focusing on
what communities share," says Andrew Frontini, LEED
AP BD+C, MRAIC, OAA, principal, design director at
Perkins+Will, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
If Frontini and other designers are to succeed, they'll
need to invite the entire community into the process-and
listen carefully.
"We don't want public spaces to fulfill only the needs
of one segment of the population," says Michel St. Pierre,



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
Contents
From IIDA
Next
World View
Sum of Its Parts
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Data Viz
A Common Good
Pop Goes Design
A New School of Thought
Balancing Act
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
Sound Bytes
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - World View
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sum of Its Parts
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Data Viz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A Common Good
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pop Goes Design
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A New School of Thought
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Balancing Act
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sound Bytes
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover4
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