Natalia Fernandez

System Proposal for Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Class of: 2023

Major: Product Design BFA

Medium: Digital Renderings

Faculty: Aviva Shulem

Prompt: Gather the research conducted throughout the semester on one neighborhood in NYC to design an intervention/solution to a issue observed in that neighborhood.

In this project I propose a system that aims to provide the residents of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with greater access to biodiverse urban green space and the Brooklyn waterfront. Based loosely on the Highline model, this public park system would also make it increasingly difficult to dump waste into the Gowanus Bay and Bay Ridge Channel from Sunset Park, thus protecting the marine environment. The indoor, greenhouse-like mode of providing “open space” for residents will also protect the residents themselves from the toxicity emanating from the neighboring and highly polluted Gowanus Bay, Canal, and Expressway. This project also calls for a shift in the neighborhood’s relation to the energy industry; it brings one to question if industries such as that of energy production could be designed to healthily inhabit the same space as people. The system that I propose leaves room for incorporating educational programs and events to benefit the local community. Through academic and ethnographic research I have seen Sunset Park as a model for change, and in its possibilities for improvement I have found hope.