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City of Monroe

Design Camp

Design Camp Overview

Design Camp for Downtown Monroe was a creative and fun way to engage the community, specifically focused on youth engagement. Design and City teams encouraged community participation through marketing of the Design Camp event on social media and via newsletter. Artists, children, parents, business owners, and City officials participated in Design Camp. In addition, local press attended and reported on the event. The children of Monroe got to play a part in urban design development by engaging in Design Camp at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum. Attendees could participate in four different stations: 

  1. Start a Business
  2. Renovate a Building
  3. Design a New Building
  4. Create Outdoors Space 

At the first station, each student created a vision board for their new business. Students were then instructed to select a location downtown for their business to reside. They could either “renovate” an existing building from the model or construct a new building and place it on the model. Building renovations encompassed façade restorations, new and/or mixed-use programming, new building penetrations for windows and doors, and new landscaping for the site. Proposed new buildings were modeled and creatively decorated with exterior materials, doors, windows, and signage. Proposed outdoor spaces displayed gathering areas, bodies of water, sports and recreation facilities, bike trails, and trees additions. With significant community participation, the team gained insight into the youngest of Monroe citizens’ ideas and wishes for the future of Downtown Monroe. The produced outdoor spaces vision boards included sports and recreation amenities, new programming ideas were proposed as businesses, and art-filled renovations were added to the Downtown Monroe scale model.

The children in the city of Monroe spent time coming up with new programming ideas to be placed throughout the city. At the first station, they created vision boards with their business ideas and determine who their target customers would be, what would make the business special, and what the business would look like. At a later station, they selected scale buildings to renovate. The proposed businesses created included the following:

  • Cat Cafe
  • Fast Food Store
  • Fashion Store
  • Barber Shops
  • Furniture Store
  • Christmas Store
  • Barstucks, the Cafe
  • Austin’s, the Restaurant
  • Party Supplies Store
  • Fitness & Relaxing Center
  • Candy & Ice Cream Store
  • Shoe Store
  • Teen Center
  • Design Shop
  • Clothes Store
  • Music Store
  • Art Store
  • Book Store
  • Hotel
  • Restaurant
  • Toy Store
  • Museum
  • Nail Shop
  • & many other creative entrepreneurial ventures!