Local Students Think Outside the Bus Stop for Design Challenge

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Students from Brackenridge Elementary School, C.C. Ball Elementary, and KIPP Camino Academy converged Monday morning at the recently renovated multimodal transportation center, VIA Villa, in the city’s near Westside. The elementary and middle school-aged children were involved in the Southwest School of Art‘s student program, Kids Initiating Design Solutions (KIDS) and were charged with the task of thoughtfully designing a bus stop that provides riders activities and opportunities to educate themselves or even grab a bite to eat while waiting for their bus.

The results were nothing short of spectacular and served as a reminder for adults, who often think linearly when it comes to transportation and infrastructure, to think outside the box – er, bus stop. Along with individual models and written essays on the students’ ideas on a personal bus stop, the classes joined together to present larger scale stops that would be placed in front of the schools they attend. KIPP Camino Academy students said there was a lack of food options near their stop, which inspired a model that included a mini health food store and an educational kiosk overlooking the historic Southside Hot Wells.

After the children presented their models to their fellow students, VIA officials, teachers and Southwest School of Art representatives, the students took a tour of the new Centro Plaza, the second phase of the VIA Villa development, and spoke with local artist Bill FitzGibbons on his latest public art piece, the Centro Chroma Tower which serves as a beacon of light to the plaza.

Below you will find the list of amenities the classes came up with for their bus stop.

JT Brackenridge Elementary

  • Game Room
  • Community Garden
  • Community Pool
  • Shoe Store
  • Hardware Store

C.C. Ball Elementary 

  • Garden/Greenhouse/Grocery Store
  • Fitness Center
  • Historical Center
  • Artist Studio
  • Hardware Store

KIPP Camino Academy 

  • Community Greenhouse
  • Electronic Library
  • Food Court
  • Artist Studio
  • Health Store

*Top image: Students from KIPP Camino Academy touch an interactive public art piece by local artist Bill FitzGibbons.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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3 thoughts on “Local Students Think Outside the Bus Stop for Design Challenge

  1. Great ideas. In a city with fully integrated mass transit,,, all of these businesses would be at basically every stop because they would all be accessible. It’s telling that the kids don’t associate normal day-to-day activities with something near a transit stop.

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