We presented our assembled timeline on the history of Las Vegas and received some helpful feedback. Overall, I feel everyone's presentation went well and I learned quite a bit. Perhaps the most insightful was the form-based code presentation because of how little I knowledge I had on it prior to yesterday. I think that there is still more to find about form-based code, but to begin with this outline was nice. It has yet to be seen whether we can make any sort of suggestions to the city for their draft of form-based code, but the one thing that irked me was its pass on sustainability. While I know from researching it that Las Vegas is a very sustainable city, I find it hard to believe that the “hiding” of sustainable technologies such as photovoltaic panels and wind catchers is the best thing to do. I think there must be something there that we can do about formed based code and trying to make sustainable technologies appealing and cool. Though my understanding is limited, my other concern about the form-based code is that if the code starts significantly dictating the form of the building, you take away opportunities for the architect to make great design. On one side, I see that being a non-issue, but since the rules are so loose as of right now, the potential for future changes that do start pushing for a “standardized” form would be more destructive than beneficial.
The other presentation that really got me thinking was the one on character. The character of Las Vegas is typically the neon lights and gaming. While this is accurate for the Strip, I wonder what the case is with the Downtown Region. I know about the Fremont Street Experience and the Fremont East Entertainment District, but I wonder how development 5-10 years down the line would be centered upon. If true development is to occur downtown and people are to move down there, should neon lights be the focus? Is there another identity that we can promote? Or is there an opportunity to design one? These are all questions we will get to answer at some point throughout the semester I’m sure.
Finally, because history covers such a vast period of time, it was difficult to tell the extent of Las Vegas history while also hitting all of the important points to take away. Because not every event is relevant it was difficult to decide which are worth mentioning, worth displaying, and worth emphasizing. It's important to know where you've been to decide where to go. The main feedback we got was regarding the mass quantity of information we presented, and to pick out the main points. Along with that, using the things we have learned and proposing what to do about it in the future. These comments are accurate, and I believe we tried to make an effort in highlighting that, but with such an overwhelming amount of information, we may have presented it in a less than stellar manner. We know and mentioned that the decisions made about the development of the city but may have not promoted them as the main idea as well as we could’ve. The importance of studying the history of the city and the development of it is so we can learn from what has been tried before, what worked, what didn’t work, and what can be improved upon. All of these things can help us to make decisions that are feasible and rooted in the downtown region we will be working in.
Below you can find the boards from the timeline we presented