Advanced Studio Update: LIGHT URBANISM

By Dongyue Zhang | Nov 10, 2015

Students from Aaron Forrest and Elettra Bordonaro advanced studio are working on a design built project that will revitalize the Grace Church Cemetery in South Providence. Working in groups, students have analyzed the site with their own acute eyes, and proposed their design approaches for the site. The studio is a continuation of SouthLight, a Winter Session class led by Elettra Bordonaro in 2014, which culminated in the design and implementation of a temporary lighting installation in the Grace Church Cemetery. Students participating in the studio were provided with the opportunity to (1) learn about lighting design as a means of engaging and intervening with an urban environment; to (2) participate in different activities with partners and community members relevant to the studio. This advanced studio will continue some of the dialogs that students encountered in 2014 with the intention of developing a longterm strategy for the future of the Trinity Square area.

“This is a great chance to work with the community and to actually realize and build the project. It will be very exciting to actually build the project this summer! “- Robert Sugar

“Having two professors from the field of architecture and lighting design for the studio really has brought us a lot of interesting conversations.” – Renee Jensen

“There is a very clear approach for the studio with an intention of designing for the long term.” – William Gant

“This is my first time engaging the community for my studio project. There are a lot of site and budget limits, and working with these limits is very challenging and interesting for me.” – Saba Yazdjerdi


Ruiz Sugar Xu Analysis

Site Analysis | Robert Sugar, Natasha Ruiz, Tianyu Xu

Ruiz Sugar Xu proposal

Proposal | Robert Sugar, Natasha Ruiz, Tianyu Xu
Trinity Constellation
A series of points surrounding Trinity Square are linked to provide spaces for gathering and reflection in a way that connects the neighborhood to stories of diversity, identity, and transformation.

Arditi_Fu_Lu_Night Light Collage_Cropping

Site Analysis | Yin Fu, Nandi Lu, Sarp Arditi
Mapping the existing lighting condition and tracing the visibility at night raise the potential of activating the forgotten spaces.


Proposal | Yin Fu, Nandi Lu, Sarp Arditi
A path along the main road of the cemetery introduces stopping points for people to gather.


Site Analysis | William Gant, Alex Kim, Jing Li
Mapping of the existing lights and signages around the site.

Gant Kim Li Proposal

Proposal | William Gant, Alex Kim, Jing Li
Glowing Field
The group is proposing a glowing field of public spaces that influence each other to create a network of lights emerging out from the trees.

Jensen Marsh Yang Analysis

Site Analysis | Renee Jensen, Senbo Yang, Genevieve March
A analysis of the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood by comparing the street dynamics.

Jensen Marsh Yang Proposal

Proposal | Renee Jensen, Senbo Yang, Genevieve March

Site Analysis and Proposal | Saba Yazdjerdi, Peter Kim, Jingyang Zhang

Site Analysis and Proposal | Saba Yazdjerdi, Peter Kim, Jingyang Zhang
The group strives to make Trinity Square a landmark for the community by introducing a series of interweaving community gardens on the site.

With the support of partners and donors – Philips Color Kinetics, Stop Wasting Abandoned Properties (SWAP), Grace Church Cemetery, Residential PropertiesATR Treehouse, Waterfire ProvidenceNational Grid, the City of Providence and other Providence groups and organization – the group was able to complete the first installation of SouthLight in February 2014. The goal of SouthLight was to engage the community in the rejuvenation of the Trinity Square area. The installation was meant to provide an opportunity for community members and organizations throughout Providence to collaborate and envision ways to collectively rejuvenate and reclaim the cemetery as a community space and as a kick-off leading to a more permanent project.


Advanced Studio: southlightBuilding

Spring 2017 Events

  • February 23, 6:30 PM Brett Schneider, Guy Nordenson and Associates & RISD Architecture
  • March 2, 6:30 PM at RISD Auditorium Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside, Hosted with INTAR, Textiles, RISD Museum
  • February 27, 6:30 PM Jeanette Kuo, Karamuk*Kuo
  • March 13, 6:30 PM Allan Wexler, Allan Wexler Studio, Hosted with ID
  • March 16, 6:30 PM Jarrett Walker, Jarrett Walker + Associates
  • April 3, 6:30 PM Kunle Adeyemi, NLÉ, Yoder Lecture
  • April 24, 6:30 PM Nader & Katie Faulkner, NADAAA, Shoemaker Lecture
  • May 11, 6:30 PM Shumi Bose, Central Saint Martins & Architectural Association

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