The thriving district of Deep Ellum, just to the east of Downtown Dallas, is known for its off-beat, gritty, independent vibe. It’s this sense of independence that shapes the newest pedestrian plazas and shared access lanes of Crowdus Street. The pedestrian plaza, composed of the northern two blocks of Crowdus, is designed as a space to be molded and formed by the user, with tilting planes, rotating street furniture, and nearly infinitely configurable spaces. DIY Plaza is not just another park or commercial plaza, but it a place to explore, play, and most importantly, make the space your own.
The flexibility in the design of the plaza stems from a series of design modules that can be placed along the street and plaza as the needs of the space grow and change over time. These design ideas are like a toolbox that future designers, businesses, and neighborhood associations can draw from in implementing a flexible but strong solution for creating more pedestrian-friendly spaces in Deep Ellum.
As opposed to a static, rigid site plan, the activity modules are proposed as flexible solutions – they can be placed at multiple points along the street, can be moved and rearranged by the user, and allow for a flexible configuration of the space. For example, rotating and sliding planters and benches can create smaller, more closed-in spaces by blocking off the width of the street, or the configuration can be opened to make way for food trucks, emergency vehicles, or larger events.