top of page

Why You Should Embrace Guerrilla Placemaking: Abrazzo

It used to be called guerrilla urbanism. Young intellectuals. Secretly building urban improvements in the middle of the night. Intending to make something great to inspire. Looking for a permanent solution. Avoiding the conventional approval process. Fast and unsanctioned. Enter a new dawn of guerrilla urbanism- funded by a private foundation and sanctioned by the local college in a course called Reimagining Cities. This is placemaking in its purest and simplest form.

In less than two months, the creators of Moonlighter, a local maker's space in Wynwood, lead ten students through a kind of design build process that resulted in Abrazzo, this beautiful grid of red fabric landscaping ties which creates the feeling of an embrace.

I was lucky enough to meet with the students several weeks before they installed the final product to talk with them about master planning and implementation. But, really, I learned much more from them about how small improvements can make a big impact. Let's look at their process.


Site Selection and Design

Students were divided into four teams and given a different site around the periphery of the Miami Dade College Wolfson campus in downtown Miami. They developed design concepts and even created models of their designs before voting on the favorite project. Students included an architect, artist, graphic designer, landscape architect, attorney, urban planner, a veterinarian and a full time student. Each one brought a different perspective to the process which was really fun to see.

The winning site is located across from the College Station Metrorail stop on NE 5th Street and NE 1st Avenue. Abrazzo, the winning design, was a merging of two designs- the red fabric ties and modular seating- shown in action above. The