Jasper Stephenson

UX engineer, friendly ghost.
Header image – The Raleigh Beach: Creating a Homegrown Urban Intervention

The Raleigh Beach: Creating a Homegrown Urban Intervention

From abandoned to awesome! Along with the unstoppable Matt Tomasulo, I helped push the envelope of creative potential for underused spaces within my hometown of Raleigh, NC.

Our goal was to get people thinking about how abandoned spaces could be put to use by staging a guerrilla urbanist intervention around an unused lot downtown.

Specifically, THIS lot.
Specifically, THIS lot.

We started out thinking broad, concocting a plan to design interventions for various underutilized spaces around Raleigh. We would create physical and digital campaigns to build buzz, with the end goal of attracting funding to make our concepts into reality.

Our first target had been chosen, and not having any clue what kind of response we would get from the public or the owners of the property, we got to work.

I Can't Believe It's Not Summer™

Some panoramic photos, a few hours in Photoshop, and a few trips to a sign store later, we were ready to put the plan in motion.

Some of our planned pieces were subterranean lined shipping containers as pools, using the existing deck as a bar, and a lookout point to survey the Raleigh skyline.

Finally, we were ready to hang. Matt and I wandered the several blocks to the site, hung our signs on the lot and around the neighborhood, and then got busy on Twitter and Facebook. Within hours, we had gained over 250 likes and 280 followers, and the feedback started pouring in.

Feedback

We got an incredible amount of positive support, and the crazy idea of a beach in Raleigh almost came true in 2013.

In the end we did find interested sponsors, but sadly, we ran out of Summertime.

However! The spirit of the Raleigh Beach was reincarnated the next year with The Wander Box.