From fly-fishing and professional football to archery and bird watching, Pasadena’s historic Arroyo Seco serves as a 900-acre playground as diverse as the millions of urban sophisticates, suburbanites and nature dwellers who use it each year.
If Pasadena were to succeed in revitalizing the Arroyo’s 22-miles of trails and creating a singular vision for the canyon’s three distinct areas—the Hahamongna watershed, the Central Arroyo’s entertainment hub, and the rivers of the Lower Arroyo—the Arroyo Seco could rival New York’s Central Park, Chicago’s Lincoln Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and L.A.’s own Griffith Park in esteem and recognition.
This Fall term, a team of Environmental Design students will try to do just that as they help reimagine Pasadena’s greatest outdoor space. Embedded in Environmental Design’s Sustainable Design Studio, faculty member Professor James Meraz will encourage students to design unique spatial experiences that are sustainable, eco-friendly and environmentally responsible, with the potential to encourage a critical dialogue and a new stewardship and symbiosis in our relationship to our Southern California eco-system.
The class will explore a wide-range of topics, including public furnishings, interactive installations, play equipment, hospitality spaces, way-finding and experiences that may reinvigorate surrounding trails and landscapes. As Environmental Design Department Chair David Mocarski recently explained to Pasadena Now, “Everything happens in the environment. And so the class is really looking at possibilities of reimagining and looking at how we can elevate people’s interaction with the Arroyo Seco.”
The class project stems from a collaboration between ArtCenter and the Arroyo Advisory Group, a citizen-led effort to develop a cohesive vision and implementatio