While at the UNLV Downtown Design Center in 2014, Ken McCown worked with a design team for the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. This project followed our Las Vegas Valley Trails Map for them. The grant funding supporting this project was for efforts to make healthy neighborhoods in areas of need. Our successful proposal was to clean up, enhance, and re-incite interest in an urban trail, the Cedar Trail, in a relatively low-income neighborhood. In the non-profit sector, budgets can be challenging. We worked with a local non-profit, the community, and the Las Vegas city government to gain consensus on the installation of a new, affordable paradigm for signs along trails.
We used Corian to make signs in the ground along the trail. This material let us eliminate graffiti-ridden signs of all shapes, colors and sizes along the trail. Our new signage includes wayfinding, mile markers and other information. We take the myriad and motley assemblage of vandalized, and transfer this information into a legible set of signs having a strong identity and unique expression. By moving the signs into the ground, we also allow the environment to appear less chaotic.
The Corian presented to us the ability to cover a broad area effectively and affordably. Corian had a unique set of qualities helping us meet our needs with our low budget for the rehabilitation of this two mile long trail in a low-income neighborhood. Corian was cost-effective, stable in the Las Vegas climate, and easily malleable. The Corian was easy to mill on the CNC machine. Nearly any design was possible through digital design programs; we could put any of our designs into its surface. CNC milling of our digital designs was possible because Corian has true color through entire solid surface.
The in-ground sign is less attractive to vandals and graffiti taggers. Our design minimizes potential impacts of graffiti in several ways include the ground placement of the sign. If spray-painted, the paint color can easily be sanded off by a community member. The texture milled into the Corian signs will distinguish the letters from the background. If the signs do get tagged, the color will come off of the letters, and stay in the grooved areas. This contrast from painted area to sanded area will actually increase the visibility of the letters. If extensive damage does accrue from extremely violent events, the signs are cheap, easy to mill and easy to reinstall back into the ground affordably.
Project team: Ken McCown, principal investigator, Phil Zawarus, Project lead, Jonathon Anderson, design team member, Joshua Vermillion, design team member, Eric Weber, design team member.