The Your Town workshop in Pendleton, organized by the a.LINE.ments studio in Landscape Architecture at nearby Clemson University, brought together more than 30 community members around two major design issues: Pendleton’s historic downtown square that has been compromised by the widening of a state highway along one side of the community, and the entrance into town, which features a cluster of strip centers and auto-oriented uses. Ed McMahon provided a stirring keynote address to an evening audience, and Pratt Cassity of the University of Georgia and Craig Barton of the University of Virginia were among other key speakers.
The Pendleton workshop had a heavy emphasis on graphic design and visual representation of their ideas. Participants worked extensively in five small groups and produced colorful drawings of the improved town square and signage for the gateway into town. The town has been struggling with these design issues for years, and the workshop provided a forum for bringing together disparate community perspectives, including developers and business owners, to discuss realistic possibilities. The Clemson students will provide Pendleton with detailed drawings resulting from the design problems and a list of ideas that participants had for next steps to move forward.
-Excerpted from Your Town: Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, Update, Fall, 2011