Aridagawa Community Design Workshop


By engaging the local community we empowered the residents to conceive of new ideas for the reuse of an abandoned, city owned nursery school building in Aridagawa, Japan.

Propel Studio collaborated with PLACE to run a series of community design workshops in a small but vibrant farming town in Wakayama prefecture, a couple hours south of Osaka. We traveled to Japan for a series of workshops and also invited community members to visit and learn from the Portland design and planning process. The design charrettes included looking at the town as a whole, identifying assets and challenges, and discussing master planning concepts. We then narrowed our focus on a city owned nursery school building with the goal of converting it into a community asset that focused on young women entrepreneurs. 

Using a a "Kitto" we developed a series of activities and games that got the locals brainstorming ideas, sketching out plans, and thinking about the opportunities in a new creative way. The goal was to break down social barriers and empower everyone to express their ideas. Using role playing games, inspiration images, and lots of discussions, we gathered as much information and ideas as possible, and then worked with the residents to narrow in on the best ideas for their needs. We then turned this vision into architectural and landscape designs and renderings to visualize what the end result could look like.

The town is now working with a local architect to realize the vision. 


Lucas Gray
Nick Mira
Tuan Vu

A collaboration with PLACE.


Portland, Oregon
Montavilla Neighborhood