NCDC Fellow Highlight

NCDC Fellow Highlight

Throughout the year, NCDC hosts various interns and fellows to help with our projects, publications, and initiatives. This year, we are hosting Edian Mece, a Design Fellow from Tirana, Albania. He is currently working on our Reclaiming Public Space, 2.0 publication.  Read more about Edian's experience at the Design Center!

About Edian

Edian is a young architect, urban planner and urban enthusiast who earned a Bachelor and Master Degree in Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic University, Faculty of Architecture. Before joining the Civic Design Center in January 2019, he worked at the Urban Planning Department at the Municipality of Tirana, Albania. His professional experiences include working as an architect in Milan, Italy and Tirana, Albania before starting working in the public sector. A strong advocate of public space, he is also an invited professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Tirana.  Edian has been dealing with planning and design at different scales, having worked in the Tirana General Local Plan, Tirana 030, and various urban design projects.

A Reflection by Edian

It has been 3 months now since I started an exciting professional and cultural experience as a Design Fellow at the Nashville Civic Design Center, thanks to the ‘Masters and Internship Program’ (MIP) of Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF). 

Since the beginning I have been assigned the task of drafting and designing a new publication, Reclaiming Public Space, 2.0. This publication will be a sequel to the first one, dated March 2013. NCDC aims that this publication will serve as a tool for citizens and local leaders to guide them in the rapid transformation that Downtown Nashville is experiencing. It consists of a series of urban design public space proposals, focused in various areas downtown, giving the stakeholders a valuable option when dealing with these issues. It is important for us at NCDC to consider all stakeholders and listen to their requests to ensure their needs are taken into account.

During these 3 months, I have also had the chance to be part of various activities held by NCDC, such as Urban Design Forums and PechaKucha Nights. The Urban Design Forum is a monthly event organized to present and discuss the role design plays in the city and around the world, and began in 1995. It promotes cross-disciplinary understanding of urban design among professionals, raises awareness of the benefits of urban design, provides a stage for discussion of design-based approaches that are relevant to the development and management of Nashville’s neighborhoods and the city as a whole. The January UDF theme was ‘Pathways as Public Space’, and focused on revitalizing the historic Pathways of Nashville. I enjoyed the experience which was a mix of urban tour and urban development. At the February UDF, professionals and urban actors discussed the Jefferson Street Park proposal by NCDC, a new pocket park that could serve as a catalyst to the development of the whole Jefferson Street area.

I also enjoyed attending the PechaKucha event organized by NCDC on February 28th. PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, just about anything, really, in the PechaKucha 20x20 format. 

During this time I have had the chance to work with really inspiring individuals, dedicated to the issues of urban and landscape design, with a strong sense of social cohesion and public participation. I felt welcomed the moment I stepped inside the office and still feel like I am in a rollercoaster that keeps going on and on, showing all the time new and unexpected things to me. And I absolutely do enjoy this ride.