Author: Aliya Mckethern
Keeping citizens at the focal point of a city’s development is integral to providing a wholesome, connecting experience. The newly-arrived MSU Art Lab gives the area of downtown East Lansing the chance to present these citizen-centered values to the community. This lab currently displays the artifacts from the art museum located on campus, hosts workshops, and holds meetings. However, to make this resource truly citizen-centered, featuring a wall for incomers to place a note or sticky note, stating ideas they would like to be implemented at the lab, or perhaps just to express themselves or provide words of encouragement. I have seen this element on college campuses across the state; this small element could have the power to connect community members and generate novel ideas for the next theme of the lab. Another interesting intersection is that of the cross benefits for the mental health awareness projected through this art expression as well as the feature of making the lab even more aesthetically pleasing.
The co-collaborative nature of this vacant wall being occupied with citizen’s input may further improve East Lansing’s efforts to become more culturally inclusive. As a center for community involvement, the MSU Art Lab has an opportunity to serve the community in their interests and needs from a more microscopic level. Plans to implement this idea should include MSU Art Lab gaining approval for this feature, thus providing the utensils needed for the job. This new addition to the streets of Grand River could potentially save a student from their dark thoughts, or even simply lead them to more bonds and relationships with their fellow students or civilians.
An example of this principle at work: Project For Public SpacesBack