MAP, Make Art with Purpose, is a non-profit organization led by artist Janeil Engelstad that produces artistic projects that shape and transform our world in positive ways. MAP exists to inspire learning, creativity and hope. In parallel, MAP projects often work with local communities as partners to create innovative work that directly engages the audience to participate and contribute instead of being passive observers.
Hoefer Wysocki partnered with MAP and the Dallas community to create an inspiring structure that could be used for multiple purposes as part of their Neighborhood Art Festival Series: Use Your Voice. Lorena Toffer, design leader for the project stated: “The design for MAP’s nomad cultural lab envisioned a structure where materiality, texture and community outreach converge. This mobile pavilion serves as a gathering and “maker’s space” during the day, and as a distinctive backdrop during the evening performances, all while allowing diffuse natural light to permeate through the cantilevered roof. Additionally, it becomes a depository for books, inspired by the little free libraries, where the public can take a book – and leave a book. This piece is a performance, teaching and learning unit, where Design and Culture come together in the name of social impact.”
It was important for our Dallas office to give back to the community and engage with a non-profit organization where their values and our values truly aligned. MAP was the perfect organization to partner with and practice one of our core beliefs: that as Architects we have a social responsibility to mold our environment through meaningful design. This includes engaging with our local communities and demonstrating the value of Design, while allowing that particular community to have a voice and have ownership of the end result.
While there was no external competition for partnering with MAP, our Dallas office did host an internal competition throughout the office, with several design charrettes. Each intern could design their own structure and present it to the office; the favorite would win, and their design would come to life. This exercise allowed one of our summer interns, Patricia Moriel, to start finding her design voice and be able to follow a project from ideation through construction – she is currently a high school student starting her senior year at Irma Rangel Leadership HS and is interested in pursuing a career in Architecture.
By the end of the summer, the Hoefer Wysocki Dallas employees had spent numerous days in the hot sun, but the end result was amazing and well received by the community of Pleasant Grove. All in all, more than 300 hours have been spent in this design-build community outreach project. Cody Zatopek, Architect in training at the Dallas office, served as the team’s constructability leader, as well as on-site project manager and mentor for our full time and summer interns. Other organizations that assisted in making this project a reality include the Dallas Art Conspiracy, UT Dallas Residency program CentralTrak and DISD Skyline High School. The mobile pavilion is scheduled to travel to West Dallas Library and Ferris Plaza in downtown Dallas.
This fun community outreach project not only allowed our Dallas office to do some team building, getting to know each other and network with community organizations in Dallas, but it made everyone realize that communities should have a voice, and that every individual’s contribution to this type of project is invaluable: Design Matters!