• 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.

    They were representative of a design and production community that already is, or could be, putting to practice sustainable ways to do business in our community, and thanks to their presence and participation, we were able to explore the intersection of the two.

    Before mixing and mingling at the Creators’ Foundry, guests were guided through a quick and friendly quiz that served to identify their interest in sustainability and their roles within the artist and designer community, and donned color coded badges to share those statuses with other attendees.

    The statuses were: “I am actively seeking ways to contribute to the sustainable movement and I want to be part of a design design team”, “I am actively seeking ways to contribute to the sustainable movement and I want to make a positive impact on the local community”, “I am unsure of how I can contribute to the sustainable movement and I am seeking artistic expression” and “I am unsure of how I can contribute to the sustainable movement and I want to produce for the mainstream market”.

    Each fibers and design management student also wore the identifying color coded badges as a way to spark conversations around similarities and differences between themselves and the guests.

    Alongside meticulously crafted and innovative products from fibers studio production students like customizable wristbands from recycled leather scraps and naturally dyed multi-purposefully commuter bags, we set up an exhibition of our research and insights. On display next to hand-crocheted lighting fixtures and organic cotton and linen smocks, we paired posters on frameworks like Cradle-to-Cradle and the Natural Step that help to explain the importance of material selection and product life-cycle considerations, and partnered a poster detailing inspiring ways to innovate by emulating nature through biomimicry, and a poster sharing focused ways to rethink what it means to design sustainably from the Sustainist Design Guide.

    The juxtaposition between product and information evoked questions from guests, which we were delighted to hear expand into diverse and new conversations. Guests were also able to read and hear about the obstacles and aspirations working studio producers in the community shared with us, as well as learn about concepts near and far that we found inspirational, like Fibershed and Alabama Chanin. We exposed our understanding of the current sustainable fibers based system in Savannah, and mapped out a proposal that could build upon the momentum of this gathering, and foster continued and expanded conversations and collaborations.

    Our hope was that the final event would be less of a culmination of a class project and more of a commencement to the type of student contributions that could be added to local conversations happening amongst art, design and business disciplines interested in keeping creative entrepreneurs in Savannah. As we learned from Peter Senge, this type of “purposeful networking is about shaping, and continually reshaping, a collective sense of key questions and opportunities”, and this was the first of hopefully many interactions between students and the community to do just that.

     

     

  • 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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  • What tools and frameworks would be helpful in creating a sustainable business hub?

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    By Scott Boylston

    While the last post shared the design work created by a SCAD Sustainable Practices in Design team focused on the physical attributes and the general operations of a sustainable hub for Accelerate Savannah, this post shares another team’s work, which focused on the second question:

    2: What tools and frameworks could help such a hub effectively accelerate existing collaborations in sustainable sectors of the Savannah economy?

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  • What would a hub for a sustainable economy look like, and where might it be located?

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    By Scott Boylston

    This is the second of 4 posts that delineate the efforts made by the Sustainable Practices in Design classes at SCAD to help members of Accelerate Savannah shape a green jobs economy in Savannah. With the task of exploring potential locations and operational models of a “sustainable hub,” the class homed in on three questions, the first of which was:

    1: What kind of physical space would best serve the objectives of the hub, and where in Savannah does such a place already exist?

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