Environmental Design students worked with the Pride Center of Western and New York to assist in expanding its services, and reach to make the Western New York region an inclusive, safe and healthy community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.
Sung Joon Oh
END 450, Fall 2018
The studio investigated and proposed a variety of design, planning, and programming recommendations, meant to enhance the services offered by the Pride Center, as well as its integration within the community.
Research conducted assessed who PCWNY currently serves, and opportunities to expand. Specifically, the studio considered ways to improve outreach and programming for specific segments of the LGBTQ community, including people of color, older and younger individuals, lesbian and bisexual women, people of different abilities, immigrants and refugees, working professionals, and substance users. Each group faces unique challenges, which serve as the inspiration behind prototype designs and policies. In teams, students conducted research to learn more about the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ stakeholder groups by conducting interviews with community members. This work informed ideas to expand the current health-focused programs, and reach a broad section of the local community. These initiatives include:
Merchandise and Fundraising: Creative revenue streams are not just an important source of funding, but also create opportunities to connect with the community while utilizing the values of LGBTQ identity.
New Services: The Community faces a number of challenges, very often overlooking minority segments of the community. Environmental Design: Reimagining the Center’s space and changing utilization can engage the urban context, and strengthen relations with neighbors.
New Location: Projecting forward, guidelines for a new space investigate how the Center could serve not only Buffalo’s LGBTQ population, but the region as a whole.
New Programs: A new space and programming is a vital component to the long term goal of reaching the entire local community.