Tupper Lake, NY – Since the Oval Wood Dish factory in Tupper Lake closed in 2008, residents of this tight-knit community have often wondered what would become of the 103,000 square foot factory that once employed three generations of village residents. On Wednesday, December 12th at 6pm at The Wild Center, five student teams from Syracuse University will present their ideas. Refreshments will be served.
Syracuse University conducts an annual Industrial Design competition that presents students with a design challenge. In 2012, Syracuse faculty chose to study the former Oval Wood Dish factory site in Tupper Lake for their challenge.
The competition titled “Product, Factory, Community: Creative re-use of the Oval Wood Dish Factory” promotes consideration of regional resources, community development, factory re-use, and sustainable product development.
The industrial and interaction design (IID) program in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Department of Design runs the 360 Competition. Professor Donald Carr, who led the students through the process, noted, “The goal for the IID 360 competition is to explore ideas for the creative re-use of an idle factory. By leveraging the ‘renewable resources’ of the region, the goal is to create a design proposal that speaks to the needs of a community. Tupper Lake has met the challenges faced by all rural communities in the region with energy and optimism; the community will be an active partner in facilitating redevelopment of the site.” Carr hoped the students would develop ideas for creative products that could be made at OWD or uses for the building that incorporate sustainable wood products.
Both the property owner, Mr. Norman Bobrow, and the community of Tupper Lake have been supportive of the student’s efforts. Members of the Revitalization Committee toured the students on a site visit in September. Syracuse University student ideas will inform a feasibility study of various redevelopment options that will be conducted by the Revitalization Committee this winter, using a Brownfield Opportunity Area grant from the Department of State. Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun stated, “I have met with these students, and I was impressed with the depth of their questions and knowledge of the area. I look forward to their recommendations.”
Syracuse University professor, Philip Stevens, set up an endowment that funds the annual 360 Competition. The winner of the competition will receive the Philip H. Stevens Award, which is named in honor of Stevens ’51, an industrial designer and president of Philip Stevens Associates Ltd. in Skaneateles, who made a generous gift of $100,000 to the program with his wife, Margueritte.