• Desiging through Uncertainty

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    By Mary Rhodes

    We entered this quarter with a lot of uncertainty. As a class we didn’t’ know each other very well and for the project we only knew who our champion was – Emergent Structures, along with a few general goals that each class before us had. We were presented with the challenge to design and collaborate with a focused community in Savannah, to follow existing energies before creating new and, one of the most important, to design solutions that will outlast our presence. The initiatives we’ve forwarded in this class all require a next level of agreement from the parters involved before they can be publicized further, sot there’s just a peek of them here now.

    It can be easy to not think about the long-term impact or success of what you create when you will be leaving a place or moving on to another project. Most of us in grad school are only in Savannah for a year or two and are focused on what comes after. It can be difficult to really get out of that narrow focus or go beyond the comfort zone of SCAD’s community – but that is exactly what this class, and the skills we’ve developed, allowed us to do.

    In this experience we have been able to grow as a team and really get to know the existing maker community and emerging ecosystem around Savannah’s reclaimed materials. In the beginning, we had no idea what the outcome would be. It honestly felt a little daunting to think we could enter a community and somehow design solutions that would be implanted and have a positive impact for the future. Looking back on the process now, I wholeheartedly believe the one thing that made this possible was the people. By using the skills and knowledge we’ve developed throughout our time at SCAD we were able to listen, ideate and facilitate collaboration. But, without Emergent Structures, Maven Makers, Xcel, Southern Pine Company, Mossing Studios, The City of Savannah, and everyone else who shared their knowledge and time with us, our end vision to place diverse solutions behind Re:Purpose Savannah would not have evolved. Nor would we be able to design with the long-term in mind because the outcome might not have been able to fit with what already exists.

    Rather, we’ve gotten to know a part of the Savannah community, to become a part of it for a bit in a unique way and to think about the impacts beyond ourselves as individuals and beyond the places we directly inhabit. It’s been incredible to see different people come together, some of them knew each other before but some did not and provide the opportunity for them to discuss a common interest. Before they might not have had the time to discuss or just by the addition of another person a whole new conversation unraveled.

    What we hope for now is for these conversations to continue after we say goodbye to this quarter. The historical materials and creative culture in Savannah have a lot to offer the whole community. So let’s Re:Purpose Savannah. Let this energy continue through more events like Shape Savannah (which was recently featured in a Brazilian magazine) engage with community through our navigation map, and champion reclaimed materials with the certification process we’ve helped envision. In doing so, we can shape Savannah’s resilient future for the whole community and celebrate its unique heritage.

     

  • Saturday in the Yard

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    By Ivonne Zuniga

    Last Saturday, March second, Emergent Structures hosted an event called ‘Saturday at the Yard’. During this beautiful sunny 74 degrees day, multiple volunteers came together with family and friends to show support and be a part of the conversation concerning reclaimed materials.

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  • SHAPE SAVANNAH: A Reclaimed Material Competition

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    By Ivonne Zuniga

    During the research process of our project we have encountered some repetitive insights; people don’t know the value of reclaimed materials; artists are afraid of handling them; and the value of Savannah is rarely communicated through the souvenirs that the stores sell. Based on this information we decided to develop a competition, challenging each of these aspects. Our goal was to prototype what can become an annual competition. But mostly we were very curious to see what amazing ideas our participant would come up with.

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  • Doing Good with Wood

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    By Xiaotong Du

    Nowadays, it’s common for us to notice that people are surrounded by artificial objects. We play video games or connect with friends through computers and mobile phones on a daily basis. We tend to be intuitive to touch the man-made high-tech products with confidence.

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  • Co-Creating Solutions

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    By Jee Eun Lee

    On January 31st, our class invited five stakeholders of Savannah’s material reclamation and maker communities to present to them insights from our secondary and primary research. We previously met and interviewed each of them individually (and many others) so this was our opportunity to meet as a group and listen to their opinions, thoughts and ideas about our insights.

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  • Is Community Based in Geographic Location?

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    By Mary Rodes, Rina Strydom, and Ivonne Zuniga

    If you look for the word community in a dictionary, the main two definitions that pop are:

    • A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
    • A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

    Community has been a key word in our project, mentioned many times in the group meetings, however, recently the question arose: What kind of community are we talking about?

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  • Every Nail Counts

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    By Ivonne Zuniga

    As a part of our research before starting this new project, the team and I joined this quarter’s ‘community champion’ Emergent Structures at the Lumberyard, a property that soon will be donated to them, for an afternoon of manual work. The work was mostly about de nailing the pieces of wood that they recover from past deconstructions.

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  • Midtown’s PopUp and Block Party

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    By Chari Sathyanarayanan

    To reach a happy ending everything has to start with a good beginning. And good beginnings can sprout up everywhere. Our final solutions for this quarter aimed at helping the community in Midtown celebrate a new beginning of neighborliness.

    Our work in helping build a resilient midtown community led to 10 different concepts that were shared with the community over the last several weeks, which led the community especially excited about 3 solutions. The continuous interactions with the Midtown residents and the new Midtown neighborhood association acted as a catalyst for a block party initiative to emerge. So, we considered how the block party—which was beautifully planned by the newly minted neighborhood association—could provide a platform for our final  concepts. Our class split into 3 subteams and worked to implement each of these three concepts.

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  • Midtown Sustainists: Our Journey So Far

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    By Neha Tadepalli & Luisa Solano

    Our very intent is to bring people together. In the beginning and our goal toward the end: help bring about a social change that makes community members come together, believe, and dream together. We aim to be a catalyst for the community that is not only to be resilient but to stand “together” and have shared values within Midtown, Savannah. With this in mind, we share with you our journey through our process, interactions with the community members and our ideas that are currently being prototyped and brought to life.

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  • Midtown Sustainists: How Does a Space Make us Feel?

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    By Aswini Iyer and Slesha Dahake

    Hello everyone. We are students studying at SCAD and we have few thoughts to share about the built environment. We’ve had discussions in one of my classes about the importance of public spaces. This triggered a thought in me about how human behaviour is affected by the built environment. The built environment can be categorised into sub categories like public space and private space. First, let’s explore what is defined as a public space. A public space is defined as any commonly shared space that is created for the open usage of the community. Few examples of typical public spaces are monuments, parks. Whereas a private space is more confined to personal use like residences, self owned backyards, etc. Both these spaces are usually built with few specific activities in mind. But it does not necessarily serve only those assigned purposes.

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