• Savannah Boxport: Community, Culture, Commerce

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    By Caroline Ingalls

    Ninety percent of all the goods we possess have been transported via giant steel boxes from faraway lands.Yet, how many people are aware of the journeys our toothbrushes take through raging storms and across vast oceans to get to our bathrooms? Our global economies owe themselves to what has been called the box that changed the world; the modest metal box we call a shipping container.

    There are many inspirational yet untold stories that could be told about these simple boxes. An elaborate system of 20-foot equivalent unit boxes (TEU’s) has allowed us to live the lifestyles we have today. These boxes have allowed cultures to connect with each other in powerful ways, they’ve provided jobs to millions of people, and the companies that move them around the world have made significant efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.

    This past fall, I had the pleasure of getting to know the shipping container industry in Savannah a little better. For my Final Project in the Design for Sustainability master’s program at SCAD, I saw an opportunity to bring the shipping industry closer to the people of Savannah. Having completed my undergraduate studies at SCAD in Interior Design, I’ve gotten to know the city of Savannah. It’s a creative place, rich with a vibrant history and a bright future. And tourists from all over the world want to be involved with that. It also happens to be the fourth largest port in the United States.

    Using shipping containers for architecture has been dubbed cargotecture due to its popularity.  TEUs happen to make the perfect life-size legos for architects and designers. And due to the imbalance of exports to imports in the US, why not put the underutilized ones to good use?

    There is great potential in Savannah for a community destination made up of repurposed shipping containers. We have at least one residence made from shipping containers, but, surprisingly little else. The city’s port is very historic. As one example, it’s where the first steam ship ever to cross the Atlantic embarked from on its journey to the UK. Let’s build on Savannah’s innovations of the past by continuing to innovate!

    Savannah Boxport is the concept I’ve developed for my Final Project that celebrates Savannah’s “historic and hip” character:
    —It has the potential to bring the local community together to connect to something much bigger.
    —It allows commerce, community and culture to merge in one setting; celebrating our talented local craft and design; providing education on our historical influence in the shipping industry; and creating valuable relationships between people that would not otherwise have gotten to know each other.

    With all of these powerful aspects together under one roof, it’s a perfect place to increase sustainability awareness. This can be achieved by showing the public how simple and beneficial sustainability is. Boxport is centralized around providing a safe, healthy and sustainable built environment. It creates jobs, supports the local community, and facilitates direct connections between global and local entities.

    2014 was a great travel year for me. I visited beautiful, forward-thinking, and well-designed community spaces from Brisbane to San Francisco, from London to  Cape Town. Some were constructed of repurposed shipping containers, and others from old factories and wharfs. The most common aspect amongst all of these places was that each one of them celebrated the beauty of design by merging the three essentials of community, culture, and commerce in to one. I know I’m not alone in the realization that with all that Savannah has to offer, we’re in serious need of an inspirational meeting place like Boxport. There are so many amazing things happening out there in other major port cities around the globe; why don’t we have more of that in Savannah?

    I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some influential people in the Savannah community throughout the process of this project. Case in point: Page Siplon, former Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, and Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah, have both graciously shared their deep understanding of potentials for such an idea in Savannah.

    The concept has gotten positive responses so far, and I encourage everyone reading to think about this idea in conjunction with where Savannah is headed in its future. As Joe Marinelli says, “Savannah will always have its history. It is our identity, but we must never stop looking towards where we are going.”

    Stay tuned! Be sure to check out my blog for Boxport right here.

  • Facilitating Change in the Dominican Republic

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    By April Lee

    Hi there! My name is April Lee, I am a Design for Sustainability MA candidate at SCAD. As a sustainability advocate I want to involve myself with organizations who have the purposeful mission to give back selflessly to facilitate real change.

    The Batey Rehab Project (BRP), is a non-profit organization who has proven just that. Founded by Katie Godkin de Morales, a former SCAD graduate of the Architecture program, BRP’s mission is to mobilize a movement of people to aid in the deliverance of knowledge, thus creating a shift of thinking towards international projects and programs integrated within Batey communities in the Dominican Republic. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with BRP twice last year, each trip has forever inspired where I should place value in life, and also my next steps going forward in my career.

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  • Fibers and Sustainability: An Event

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    “Extraordinary change requires building extraordinary relationships, and at some level this requires gathering together people representing diverse views so they can speak and listen to one another in new ways.”
    —Peter Senge, Necessary Revolution

    By Brittney Boudwin

    And so we gathered last month for the main event — students, professors, business owners, designers, artists and the like—to explore the intersection of sustainable design practices and fibers studio production. Some guests came for the studio production work, others more for the design practices information. With various reasons for coming, the most important part of each guest’s participation was that they represented different parts of the system and brought with them varied experiences and perspectives.

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  • The Main Event is this Thursday!

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    Collaborating is ultimately about relationships, and relationships do not thrive based on a rational calculus of costs and benefits but rather because of genuine caring and mutual vulnerability.” —Peter Senge

    JOIN US FOR FOOD, FIBERS and FRIENDLY CONVERSATIONS ABOUT FIBERS IN SAVANNAH AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES!

    This Thursday, November 20th, at the Creative Coast‘s CREATOR’S FOUNDRY! Stop in any time between 11:00 and 1:30.

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  • Challenging our Own Assumptions

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    Recently, our class broke into three teams: (1) Team Ecosystem, (2) Team Identities, and (3) Team Strategy in order to put our knowledge of one’s role in the ecosystem to the test.

    This week, we invited three people involved in fibers and textiles in Savannah for an open conversation about integrating SCAD students further into Savannah’s community as a means of developing their professional skills. Our guests were Charlie Crosby, Emily Felix, and Rebecca Zerby.

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  • Tips for Future Fibers Entrepreneurs

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    Get involved LOCALLY – build relationships with people even if it’s a restaurant owner. He might not be you customer, but he can get you one.”

    By Anu Agarwal and Eva Dunn

    In our exploration of the Savannah fibers scene, our team has been out and about, learning from those already contributing. Below is an interview with Adrienne Cronberger, owner at STITCH by team members Anu and Eva . But before the interview here is a short history of the Savannah company:

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  • Understanding the Fabric

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    The last five weeks have been dedicated to learning not only about fibers and textiles, but the dreams, career visions and passions of our colleagues in the Fibers Studio Production class at SCAD. So far we have surveyed the fibers students’ skills, taken a peek at the local economy and analyzed how the two can integrate.

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  • What if Just One of Them Started a Sustainable Business in Savannah?

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    If you’ve been following this blog, you know a little about what recent Sustainable Practices in Design classes at SCAD have been up to. Intermingling with a group called Accelerate Savannah, these classes have been asking questions about the local economy.

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  • Experiencing the Batey Rehab Project

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    This Thursday, the CEO and Founder of the Batey Rehab Project, Katie May Godkin, will be making a presentation at the SCAD Museum of Art at 11:30am. Katie is also an alumna of SCAD’s Architecture program. BRP’s mission is to mobilize a movement of people to aid in the deliverance of knowledge, thus creating a shift of thinking towards international projects and programs integrated within Batey communities in the Dominican Republic. And they provide life-changing volunteer trips for students to help support that mission. Design for Sustainability masters student April Lee is one of many SCAD students who have taken advantage of this opportunity in the past.

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  • What’s Your Sa.Ga?

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    The last post in this series of 4 focuses on the question of openness and outreach for a Savannah-based  hub for economic development that embodies environmental, social and cultural sustainability. A team of 4 students in the previous Sustainable Practices in Design class—Nicole Andrews, Jerome Elder, Liz Lukken and Santiago Castillo—focused on this particular question:

    3: What methods of outreach could be applied to increase awareness, participation, and excitement in the hub’s endeavor?

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