Sponsored by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, CityStudioSTL has worked within St. Louis neighborhoods on projects emphasizing community and sustainability. A two-semester studio initiative at the Patrick Henry Academy in the Cambridge Heights neighborhood has thus far transformed a cracked asphalt parking lot into an urban garden, an outdoor classroom and green play area, helping fulfill the school’s goal of becoming a green pilot school. The project garnered awards from EcoLifeSTL, The Monsanto Fund and the St. Louis Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
An earlier studio led by visiting artist Theaster Gates Jr. called Somethingness: Ways of Seeing and Building, transformed a rundown, vacant building into a student art center at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School in St. Louis’s Hyde Park. Students turned a withered, neglected yard into a garden and a gathering space. In both projects, students worked with neighborhood residents to plan and build a green space open to the community.