Monday, October 19, 2015

Brennan Park Community Build October 24, 2015

Project FORA is excited to announce that our community partner, the South Parks Neighborhood Association, is hosting a open community build day for the first phase of the Brennan Park Site Plan that was developed collaboratively with us, Project FORA!

If you are interested in lending a hand to construct a new durable play structure that will serve the children of the community for many years to come. No special skills are necessary, if you can swing a hammer, then you are perfectly qualified.

The playground has been made possible by many partners and supporters, and a special thank you goes out to the Ruth Mott Foundation for their generous grant. For more information on Brennan Park and the South Parks Neighborhood Association check out their Facebook Page!

Project FORA will be there! Will YOU?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mason Street Lots

Below are some on ground pictures taken of the eight lots that have been acquired by the Genesee County Land Bank. These lots are rift contiguous vacant lots within a five minute walk of downtown Flint. Project FORA is planning on launching a community garden on these lots Spring 2016. The initial plan is to make these lots productive land once again. 

Over time the lots will grow fresh fruits and vegetables using indigenous species and low maintenance plants that do not require watering. This is critical at this time as the city has web scrutinized for its public water supply. 

While these lots begin to become productive the plans are in place to rebuild new affordable housing that can serve our community's workers and students. There is a huge gap in housing that is underserved and project FORA is going to lead the charge in the missing middle housing. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Arts Tech Biz Mash-Up Conference

Project FORA was invited by the University of Michigan Flint to present at the ARTS / TECH / BIZ Mash-Up Conference which was held in July 2015. The conference focus was on emerging entrepreneurial talent that merged aspects of artistic endeavors, technology, and/or creative business models. Project FORA was again honored to be invited to talk to Flint based faculty, staff, students, and local community members about the core tenets of what we are all about.

What was added to this conversation was something new. Project FORA Founder, Kurt Neiswender, has expanded from not just pro bono practice, but into the realm of social entrepreneurship. In addition to Project FORA, Kurt has developed a L3C entity named Urban coLAB Architecture. An L3C business structure is short for Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, and is considered a hybrid of nonprofit, community focused practice, and a traditional LLC, for profit business structure.

The Urban coLAB Architecture L3C can benefit from the best of both models. By the way, Michigan is leading the charge with having the most approved L3C's. To learn more about the L3C structure please visit this link.

Moving past the business model to what it means for Project FORA, is that we can offer more services to the community with the two companies working collaboratively. Look for more exciting actions to come from both Project FORA and Urban coLAB Architecture.

2015 Structures for Inclusion Conference

Building on the previous success and positive response from the Michigan Association of Planning Conference, Project FORA is excited to announce that we were invited to talk at the international Structures For Inclusion Conference which was held in Detroit, Michigan at the Carr Center.

The SFI Conference focuses on Public Interest Design and this year was no different. We were honored to be among superstars of community engagement. Project FORA presented an updated version of our work with the South Parks Neighborhood Association and Brennan Park. Afterward we were part of  panel discussion regarding the practice of pro bono urban design.

Among the panelist were Design Voice from AIA Austin, AIA Detroit, and a collaborative team from New York City who worked to save the identity of a long time neighborhood in one of the outer boroughs.

It was energizing and refreshing to see emerging professionals taking the reigns and leading projects within their own communities to improve their urban spaces.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Public Art / Tactical Urbanism

Project FORA Collaborates with UM Flint Professor Benjamin Gaydos on Tactical Urbanism Art Installation. 

We have spent some time over the past month consulting Ben and his students in a crash course on low budget wood fabrication techniques in preparation for Saturday April 24th installation. The art piece is based on a student led design process that incorporates painted plywood planter boxes growing colorful flowers for the neighbors to enjoy year round at the corner of Welch and Chevrolet. 

This project is brought to you by the generous support of the Flint Public Art Project which received a planning action grant from the Ruth Mott Foundation. 

Please come to the reveal event from 1-4 pm. Below are some sneak peak pictures of what is to come. 

The goal of Tactical Urbanism is to see how the space is utilized with a temporary installation and after a short period of time make adjustments to a more permanent structure for the neighbors to enjoy for many years to come. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Art in the Parklet

Join me and UM Flint faculty member Ben Gaydos for a collaborative public art installation in the Welch Dupont neighborhood of Flint. 

Working with Ben's public art students and with the generous support of the Flint Public Art Project we are proud to unveil a public art installation and tactical urbanism work that was conceived with the help of the community surrounding the triangle park. Come see the seed of a great idea to reimagine the public realm.

Ben is also from GoodGood, a Detroit based graphic design firm interested in giving a voice to public interest desig.  

Kurt Neiswender is founder of project FORA a public interest design practice that focuses on urban design solutions in Flint, Michigan. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Michigan Association of Planning conference

Here we are! At the Michigan Association of Planning Student conference. Presenting project FORA's work for Brennan Park. 

I was extremely excited to hear the positive reaction from the audience who appreciated our public interest design work and efforts in Flint. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Project FORA Modus Operandi

This is a sketch of what project FORA all about.

We choose to practice through breaking down silos and creating a forum for collaborative design for every project. 

The collective projects become a hive of knowledge and a resource to community partners.  

Saturday, January 24, 2015


In the summer of 2014 Executive Director of Project FORA, Kurt Neiswender, was invited to speak on a panel discussion held by the Flint Public Art Project. It was an excellent discussion surrounding the topics of community, neighborhood, safety, and public awareness.

Representing Project FORA, Kurt Neiswender spoke to the importance of the intersection and interaction between humans and the built environment.

Additionally, Project FORA provided design consulting services for the art installation work that served as the stage for the event.

In The Weeds is a landscape installation by Missy Ablin + Allen Gillers and public conversation on the grounds of Spencer's Art House. Through playful use of form, color and optical patterning, the installation offers the potential to look anew at the whimsy and beauty that grows admits the weeds. In The Weeds hosts a panel discussion between academics, designers, and representatives from local government, law enforcement, and community organizations for a public conversation about community oriented art and design practices, and the publics these practices engage.

2015 Student Michigan Association of Planning Conference Presentation

Project FORA is excited to announce that we have been accepted as a presenter at this year's Student Michigan Association of Planning (SMAP) conference. The conference will be held on February 20th, 2015 at the Michigan League on the campus of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 

Our presentation that was chosen is focused on our work with the South Parks Neighborhood Association (SPNA) and the new Brennan Park Master plan. The title of our presentation is "Strengthening Community through Urban Design"

We will be discussing the design work and our process using the Brennan Park project as an example. Through our continued work with the SPNA we are using urban design and masterplannning to engage with community members, and the result is a stronger sense of identity and an improved public urban space.

Please register to attend the event, the fee is $35 until February 11th. Project FORA would love to see you all there to share our exciting work.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 - New Year and New Look!

Welcome to the new website for Project FORA. 

For the New Year we have decided to give Project FORA a new look. Below is a sample of our website masthead and logo for our nonprofit. 
Below is an abstract drawing depicting the map view of the ancient Roman Forum. From history we know that the Roman Forum was the center of social, political, commercial, and all civic urban activities. The Forum is where we derive our name from. 

Project FORA uses the plural form of Forum, as our identity because we encourage collaborative gathering for the development of every project that we take on. 

We cannot accomplish great urban design without the participation of our local community and municipal partners. 

For 2015 we will begin using this website to document the progress and recognition of all the work created and developed by Project FORA. Keep checking back in with this website for updates and information.