Visions of the future can spring to life almost anywhere, and this month they’re at the Tempe History Museum.
An algae farm, a biodiesel station, an elementary school and nine other buildings preview the insight that fourth-year architecture students at Arizona State University have for the future of the Ash and Farmer avenues area in Tempe.
And they all fit in the museum lobby—at least do a selection of artfully designed models of these futuristic buildings.
People can see models of the sustainable urban village displayed in the lobby of the Tempe History Museum until June 2. There is no plan to build full-scale versions of these. They are simply the concepts and ideas of students.
A goal of the museum is to show how history and the present may affect the future, and to be a welcoming place for discussion. People are encouraged to look at these models and let museum staff know what they think.
Reid Johnson, adjunct faculty at ASU and design associate at Tempe-based firm Architekton, led the project. The village contains 12 buildings, each designed by a different student, each with a different purpose. The idea was to create a place where sustainability is a key component in building design, transportation and energy.
“The freedom of the design studio at the university lets us explore new ways to assemble cities without the typical development constraints,” said Johnson. “This studio used this freedom to experiment with ways to create a self-sustaining urban village near downtown Tempe.”
Johnson said the group chose the Farmer-Ash area between Rio Salado Parkway and University Drive because it represents a bridge between the dense, high-rise area of downtown Tempe and the single-home, low-rise apartment neighborhood.
The series was previewed at this month’s Third Thursday, held May 16, which featured Mayor Mark Mitchell discussing Tempe’s future and answering questions. It was the last lecture before the series’ summer hiatus.
Third Thursdays will begin again in September.
Tempe History Museum at 809 E. Southern Ave. next to the Tempe Public Library east of Rural Road.
Josh Roffler is the curator of Tempe History Museum.