The Niehoff Urban Studio is a unique interdisciplinary academic initiative undertaken to address urban issues that challenge the quality of life in Cincinnati. The studio endeavors to engage the community in a shared urban problem solving effort. The studio is located off-campus on Short Vine street in Corryville and includes classroom, meeting, and exhibit areas. Since its inception in 2002 more than 1500 students of 16 different disciplines including urban planning, engineering, architecture, design, anthropology, business, nursing, political science, urban geography and others have participated and partnered with more than 160 community based organizations on projects intended to make Cincinnati more sustainable. The studio also functions as the regional center for urbanism by hosting a regular series of events on many topics relevant to the future of our metropolitan area. Originally created through the DAAP Community Design Center, the Niehoff Urban Studio is now administered through the UC Forward program of the Office of the Provost.The UC Forward Program was developed in 2011. It was modeled after the Niehoff Urban Studio as a way to reach into even more Colleges across the University to promote interdisciplinary coursework and create opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate with stakeholders from outside the university. The intent of this initiative is to advance innovative problem solving for any kind of complex and "wicked problem" confronting our local community. In addition to administering a series of independent courses, UC Forward incentivizes collaborative interdisciplinary activities at many locations across campus that introduce thousands of students and faculty to this progressive approach to experiential learning.
News and Upcoming Events
The rapid development of Artificial Intelligence and its convergence with other technologies will have profound effects on the future of work. Many job categories, including the professions, will be affected – and dramatic changes in economic, political and social life are inevitable. If UC is to stay relevant and help our students and our society meet these challenges, we must be prepared to change our curricular content, our ways of teaching, and our research. If we respond appropriately, we will demonstrate that Next Lives Here.
The Hines 2019 ULI Competition took place early in the spring semester 2019 with four student teams entered from UC. Teams were in a for credit class conducted by UC Forward in the UC Division of Expertial Learning and Career Education at the UC Niehoff Studio that produced urban development proposals over a two week competition period. The inter-disciplinary teams were comprised of graduate students from real estate, finance, urban planning, and architecture. Each team developed a concept, site plan, architectural designs, and a real estate proforma. Professional developers from Cincinnati mentored the teams along with faculty members Frank Russell (Architect/Urban Designer) and Conrad Kickert (Architect/Urban Designer). One of the four UC teams placed as one of the top four finalists out of 90 project submissions from universities in the US and Canada. The UC finalist team and advisors: Lorrin Kline (M.Arch), Varsha Iyengar (M.Arch), Danielle Campbell (MCP), Rachel Kallicharan (M. Arch), and Patrick Maney (RE) with advisor Frank Russell. The mentors of all teams included Dave Neyer of STNL Development. The finalist team will present in early April to compete against two teams from University of Texas (Austin) and MIT/Harvard.
The goal of the UC Forward project is to adapt and integrate a series of disciplinary courses from the existing CEAS and DAAP curriculums to produce products via course term projects that evaluate the performance and travelers’ preference of the existing transportation corridors in Uptown across the new development area in the vicinity of the new interchange of I-71 and Martin Luther King Drive. As a result, solutions will be explored to proactively enhance the operation of the people-friendly, transit-oriented and “smart” traffic control based Uptown Innovation corridor. The Uptown Innovation Transportation Corridor Forum will exhibit the project outcomes from the courses which are offered in Fall 2018, including PLAN5058/6158 – Transportation Planning (Dr. Na Chen), CVE5110C/6010C – Advanced Transportation Engineering (Instructor: Dr. Heng Wei), CVE5122C/6022C - Traffic Control & Signal System Design (Instructor: Dr. Heng Wei), and ARCH 4001 - Urban Mobility. Architecture Design Studio (Instructor: Mr. Ming Tang). The results will provide preliminary inputs for other courses to be offered in Spring 2019.
Place: Niehoff Urban Studio, 2728 Vine St., Cincinnati
Time: 5:00 – 7:30 PM, Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Sponsored via the UC Forward Collaboratives Grant
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, through the UC Forward Program, will select and support undergraduate coursework for 2019-20 course offerings that address the impact of advances in Artificial Intelligence on the Future of Work. Up to 6 courses will be funded with course development awards of $5000 each. Activities are intended to promote progressive pedagogy and associated research inquiry. Coursework interactions and outcomes are anticipated to lead to future collaboration among diverse disciplines in both teaching and ancillary research opportunities in any related area of interest. Coursework proposals are sought from all disciplines, including those not traditionally focused on AI studies.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education through the UC Forward Program will support undergraduate coursework to be conducted in Fall 2019 that addresses essential aspects of the University of Cincinnati’s relationship to the broader community. Up to six courses will be funded with course development awards of $5000 each. Activities are intended to promote progressive pedagogy and associated research inquiry. Coursework interactions and outcomes are anticipated which will lead to future collaboration among diverse disciplines in both teaching and ancillary research opportunities in any related area of interest. Coursework proposals are sought from all disciplines.
The 2018 ULI Competition studio based within Cincinnati's Central Business District. The competition had six finalist teams from multi-disciplinary studies including real estate, urban planning, and architecture. This studio is unique, because the students are required to produce a final product in two weeks. The studio is modeled after the National Hine ULI Competition by developing a concept, site plan, renderings, and a real estate Performa. The Hine’s competition is designed to “challenge students by collaborating across disciplines and imagine a better built environment”. The Winning team included a combination of UC undergraduate and graduate students from different disciplines: Claire Benken, real estate / Lauren Bihl, Urban Planning/ Nick Dinunzo, Real Estate / Kyle Mcgurn, Landscape Architecture / Kevin Rechtorovic, Real Estate. The team had two mentors, Chad Munitz from Town Properties and Daniella Beltran from MKSK Studios. The winners received a $5,000 prize split to each team member from Al Neyer, Inc.
We've invited 50 advanced students out of over 180 submissions to participate in a one day Corporate Challenge workshop to help re-envision one of Cincinnati Bell's key digital touchpoints: the CONNECT CINCINNATI” app. The workshop is sponsored by UC’s newest corporate partner- Cincinnati Bell- and will be facilitated by local marketing firms - Fusion Media and Curiosity 360.
Students are eligible be paid up to $100 for their time working with interdisciplinary teams AND will have the opportunity to win cash prizes as part of an innovation team! First prize: $2500, Second Prize: $1500. No academic credits are available through this event.
This STUDIO competition is modeled after the existing national ULI Hines Competition conducted annually for 3-4 person interdisciplinary teams to design a real estate development project on an assigned local site. Student teams will produce site plans, architectural designs, and real estate proformas. Professional Architects, Developers, Engineers from Cincinnati ULI will mentor the teams along with Faculty Members Frank Russell (Architect/Urban Designer-UC Niehoff Urban Studio) and Shaun Bond (UC Real Estate Center).
Fall Semester 2018I 3 CREDITS I SLCE 5001-002 I SLCE 7000-001 Service Learning Collaboratory
The Hines 2018 ULI Competition has been completed early in the spring semester. The project host city was announced on January 15th to kick off the competition. The competition was completed on January 19th with 3 separate teams sponsored by UC Forward, UC DAAP School for Planning, and the UC Real Estate Center. The teams were comprised of inter-disciplinary graduate students including real estate, finance, urban planning, and architecture. Each team developed a concept, site plans, architectural designs, and a real estate proforma. Professional developers from Cincinnati mentored the teams along with faculty members Frank Russell (Architect/Urban Designer) and Conrad Kickert(Architect/Urban Designer). This year the Hines Competition received applications from 60 universities from the United States and Canada. Out of 130 project submissions 2 out of 3 of the UC teams received an Honorable Mention. Placing team work are posted below. Honorable Mention Team One consisted of Amber Wasinski (M.Arch), Andrew Scott Campbell (M.Arch), John Miklos (MCP), Matt Obringer (RE), Courtney Kress (M.Arch) with advisor Frank Russell. Team Three included; Lorrin Kline (M.Arch), Sadaf Khalil Zare (MLA), Varsha Iyengar (M.Arch), Danielle Campbell (BUP), Ryan Stickel (RE) with advisor Frank Russell. The mentors of all teams included Dave Neyer of STNL Development, Zeb Copley of PNC Bank and Lydia Jacobs-Horton of ULI Cincinnati.
Recent Events and Projects
Service Learning Fair
On Friday, October 19th, the College of Allied Health Sciences hosted a Service Learning Fair in partnership with the Center for Community Engagement for first-year Allied Health Students, who are required to take the service-learning course, Success in Allied Health 2. The course requires them to gain 23 hours of experience in the field through volunteer work. 12 community partners tabled at the fair, and nearly 200 students circulated through to meet the partners, ask questions, and determine which organization they would like to volunteer with in the spring. The space was perfect for this event, and dare I say, the bagels were the highlight.
UBER, Multimodal, Transportation, and the Urban Future
UC Forward and Niehoff Studio sponsorship has leveraged a visit by Andrew Salzberg, Head of Transportation Policy and Research at Uber. Salzberg spoke about UBER's pursuit to develop innovative connections of technology, transportation, and governmental policy for the future of cities.
Filipino Cultural Group
Philippine Cultural group hosted a heritage event presenting upon tribal tattoo designs. Facilitated by Lane Wilcken author of “Filipino Tattoos Ancient to Modern”. The cultural event described the art of Filipino Tattoos and demonstrated an authentic tattoo. The Filipino community is actively providing outlets for the local Cincinnati community to understand their heritage and connect with their culture.
Action Research Center
The Action Research Center held their 6th annual showcase at the Niehoff Urban Studio. Utilizing the flexible and inviting space of the studio, students shared art work, posters, powerpoint presentations and spoken word poetry. They also celebrated the graduates of the Educational Studies/Education and Community-Based Action Research doctoral program, and the Educational Studies/Education for Social Change masters program. Over 40 people from the UC community as well as the greater Cincinnati region attended the event.
Pay It Forward
On Monday, April 23rd, Niehoff hosted the annual Pay It Forward end of year celebration. The Pay it Forward initiative is developing a new generation of philanthropists through an innovative course-based service-learning program that engages Ohio college students in hands-on philanthropy, grant-making, and volunteer service while providing community nonprofits with much needed assistance during difficult economic times. This year Pay It Forward was able to donate $10,000, dispersing to 17 non-profit organizations by nine total courses.
Cincinnati Public School (CPS)
On Wednesday, April 11th, The Cincinnati Public Schools held an event at the Niehoff Urban Studio in order to engage the parent-teacher community and Cincinnati school system. The event was held after Laura Mitchell was promoted into position as the new superintendent. In order to “accelerate academic achievement” within the district, the event was held in order to bring partnerships together in the community and to build collegiality across the Cincinnati Public Schools.
Bi-Okoto Cultural Center
In January of 2018, the Niehoff Studio began collaborating with the non-profit organization, Bi-Okoto African Cultural Center, to begin developments for a renovation project. Located in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood, the arts center takes part in joining the many independent businesses. The center focuses on promoting and spreading the rich culture of African dance, music, language and other arts. They present the authentic arts and culture of West African drum and dance performances at festivals, schools, colleges, churches and more. Classes are also provided in forms of lectures, workshops, residencies and the learning of African Drum and Dance classes for various skill levels. The organization is looking to further spread the arts by renovating and expanding their facilities.
Read more about the
Bi-Pkoto Cultural Center
Professor Frank Russell made a presentation to the UC research community on April 10, 2018 to outline research conducted with Graduate Assistant Alican Yildiz on “A conceptual model for Food System Assessment”. This work stems from Niehoff Studio thematic work on food and the subsequent Food Congress events hosted by the studio. The work was conducted with the support and collaboration of the Cincinnati Food Policy Council, Green Umbrella, and the City of Cincinnati Department of Environment and Sustainability.
On March 26, ULI Cincinnati, the UC Real Estate Program and Center, and UC College of DAAP's Niehoff Urban celebrated our teams from the University of Cincinnati who entered the 2018 ULI Hines Student Competition. The Competition challenges students to collaborate across disciplines and imagine a better built environment. Three groups of five students form teams to devise a development program for a real site in a North American city, providing designs, market-based financial data, and related narratives. This year Toronto served as the host city, with a challenge to develop a comprehensive development in an area near the mouth of the Don River. Three teams of future planners, architects, real estate professionals and landscape architects at a reception honoring their accomplishments. Each team was able to deliver a brief description of their project and engage with local professionals.
Nature Playscape Project
The DAAP Interdisciplinary Topics in Design, Architecture, Art and Planning class was held in the Niehoff Studio between Friday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 4th. The class structures interdisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty of DAAP, CECH, and A&S to develop a research topic, program or theme. Coursework is introduced as a series of lectures by regional experts across the three days as well as a combination of research, readings, precedents and case studies that students develop over the semester. The groups present their best ideas after a month and may be followed through with funding from organizers, such as UC Forward, if provided. Design students work hand in hand with research students to take into consideration the information that they are given. Interactive design missions are given through the course to generate initial creative ideas.
This semester, they are given the concept of a “Nature Playscape”, an environment where kids are encouraged to play outside for a public elementary school in Clifton. Students have to research and design a safe environment for kids to engage in nature to aid early childhood development, encourage hands-on learning, and interact with nature’s elements while fulfilling health and safety requirements. Students are given various information for any site restraints or opportunities they may have. After visiting the site on Saturday, they are given the chance to develop site evaluations and plans. Some restrictions to keep in mind are topography, enclosure for safety, plant types and designers will work with developing concepts that will best fit the site
On Friday, March 2nd, 2018, the Niehoff Urban Studio hosted a portfolio review event held by the American Society of Landscape Architects, ASLA, for students at the University of Kentucky. It marked the beginning of the annual Kentucky ASLA Conference held in Covington. The conference is an outlet to celebrate the success of student’s and professionals in their fields as well as recognizing the winner of the Annual Grady Clay Community Vision Award. Mitchell Silver, FAICP, Hon. ASLA rounded out the conference in the evening with the delivery of the keynote lecture.
Saturday, March 3rd was a day packed with educational sessions and vendor expo. Five speaker panels were able to delivered lectures. First up was Practice Paradigms: New Business Models that are Challenging Traditional Design Practice, with speakers Christine Dunn, AIA, senior design architect and Principal at Sasaki, David Gamble, AIA, AICP, LEED AP, Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard with moderator, Kristin Booker, ASLA, and Principal of Booker Design Collaborative. The second lecture, The Creative Study Tour: A Metacognitive Approach to Developing Creative Leaders in Landscape Architecture was delivered by Ryan Hargrove, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Kentucky, and Department of Landscape Architecture. Next up was the lecture Neighborhood Playbook: Activating Spaces, Developing Places by Joe Nickol, AICP, Senior Associate, and MKSK. The Future of Urban Parks: The Challenges of Managing Modern Urban Parks was delivered by Tom Smarr, Horticulture & Natural Areas Director, and 21st Century Parks Inc. Finally, The What, Why & How of High-Performance Urban Trees, presented by Matthew Werle, GreenBlue Urban.
Innovation on Vine
On March 20, 2018 UCAAMP hosted a presentation about “INNOVATION ON VINE” from 11:30am – 1:00pm AT THE TURNER CENTER. The presenters were Frank Russell from Niehoff Urban Studio and Craig Vogel, co-founder of Livewell Collaborative (LWC). The discussion encompassed efforts of DAAP Community Design Center, work load of the LWC, and how UC collaborates with the industry.
Perception, Permission and Purpose: Portraits of Vulnerability and Resilience in Teaching
On Friday, February, 23rd from 4pm – 6pm Annie Straka, PhD Candidate in Educational Studies, Educational; and Community Based Action Research presented her dissertation, Perception, Permission and Purpose: Portraits of Vulnerability and Resilience in Teaching. This dissertation is a qualitative portraiture study that explores vulnerability and resilience. This study is approached from a feminist, relational stance that views relationships and connection as central to human development, drawing from relational cultural theory (Gilligan; 1979; 2014; Jordan et al., 2004; Jordan, 2017; Miller & Stiver, 1997) and communicative resilience theory (Buzzanell, 2010, 2017) to explore how teachers make sense of vulnerability and construct resilience in their teaching lives. Findings of this study reveal the following three dimensions of vulnerability in teaching: vulnerability as courageous disconnection, vulnerability as authentic emotional expression, and vulnerability as paradox. Through the lenses of perception, permission and purpose, the participants in this study simultaneously make sense of vulnerability in their teaching lives and discursively construct resilience.
2017 Local ULI Competition Winner
December 4th, 2017 concluded the Local ULI Competition where 7 interdisciplinary teams including; finance, real estate, planning, and architecture, developed separate proposals for the revitalization of the Bond Hill Business District. The teams presented in front of local working professionals to receive a grand prize of $5,000. The competition is modeled after the National HINES ULI Competition. The winning team included Joseph Rusche, Matt Ziegler, Alex Scherzinger, John Miklos and Charles Wiederhold. The ULI members who mentored the winning team included Ryan Laber of Bayer Becker and Lasserre Bradley of Pennrose.
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