• 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.

    They’ve shared their work with us, and we’ve run a co-design session as a way of creating a better sense of the potential for sustainable fibers production in general, and successful business scenarios for local fibers professionals here in Savannah.

    Who would have know that fibers could be so incredibly diverse! Dog beds, cat toys, wall hangings, clothing, accessories, wall decor—an impressive collection, in deed! Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot, and we’ve come to appreciate the challenges confronting anyone interested in creating a small production line of fibers-based goods. We’ve also learned a lot about how many of these young entrepreneurially-minded students are interested in truly sustainable solutions for their product lines, and we now know better what kind of real-world barriers they are confronted with in that pursuit.

    Often, students from SCAD come here, learn and develop impressive skill sets and take them to other cities. As a means of helping Savannah’s economy and community to grow, we are trying to find ways to encourage some of these students to keep their talents here. How can we make Savannah more attractive to them!?

    Through this initial assessment, we have learned that there are many more potential opportunities than we had ever imagined.  We have found that there are great amounts of materials and resources available to students. With this information, we are looking forward to opportunities to build sustainable business models for SCAD graduates and the fibers students we are currently working with.

    Moving forward, we will be taking a deeper look into the Savannah local business landscape, working with the fibers students to communicate sustainable practices and identifying key players to ensure our success. Keep an eye out every Friday for updates as we move through the quarter, towards our big unveiling.

     

  • 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.

    Over two previous quarters, classes have worked alongside Accelerate Savannah, a group of individuals who’ve dedicated their collective energy to nurturing the emergence of a sustainable, equitable economy here in Savannah. For quick back story on what we mean by that you can check out two earlier posts here and here.

    The first 2 classes explored different facets of the city of Savannah, and generated numerous propositions for city residents and leaders to consider. This quarter, we’re looking a little closer to home—we’ve turned to another part of our own art and design campus. We’ve partnered with a Fibers Studio Production class at SCAD led by Professor Jessica Smith with the goal of exploring the opportunities for small business growth within the textiles industry in Savannah that would create ‘green’ jobs, and support ecologically sustainable production practices. We’ve been inspired in equal part by local pioneers like Haberdashery Eco-Apparel, and larger-scale initiatives farther afield like Fibershed.

    The individuals photographed above are all ambitious, entrepreneurially-minded fiber artists completing their degrees at SCAD. When they complete their degrees they may leave Savannah, or they may stay. Most would agree that Savannah would be a better place if at least one of them stayed, and we’d like to suggest that the more sustainably-oriented that one individual is, and the more inclined she is to employee, train and empower the local workforce, the more significant that benefit to Savannah would be.

    And what about nurturing demand for locally sourced, locally manufactured organic textiles? Savannah has a rich agricultural past; why not a rich and sustainable agricultural future fueled in part by a thriving textiles sector?

    Stay tuned. While the individuals pictured above are moving full speed ahead in developing their very own production models, the 6 individuals below are immersing themselves in these possibilities. In the weeks to come, you never know what will happen.

  • 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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  • Next Steps Toward a Green Economy

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    By Scott Boylston

    For five months over the course of the last year, two SCAD Sustainable Practices in Design classes have worked with members of Accelerate Savannah to further their endeavor of fostering the growth of Savannah’s green collar economy. Accelerate Savannah’s intent is to help create, retain and grow sustainability-focused jobs in the region. Primary objectives of this effort include creating an inclusive economy that empowers the chronically underemployed, and permanently retaining some of the creative energy that passes through local colleges and universities.

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  • seed till fork

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    by Kelly Vormelker

    Approximately one year ago, I competed my Masters in Design for Sustainability at SCAD. My final project focused on the relationships between small local farms and restaurants. Since graduating, I have continued to work within the local food scene of Savannah. I have continued my work at local 11ten, a restaurant that sources the majority of its product from local farms, I became a market manager at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market and I represent Savannah River Farms by selling their all natural beef, pork, poultry and lamb to local restaurants. I am excited to be a part of this changing scene and I continually look for ways to work within and improve it.

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  • A Saga for Savannah

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    By Nicole Andrews, Jerome Elder, Liz Lukken and Santiago Castillo

    When determining how to define SA/GA for the community of Savannah, we drew inspiration from the origin of the word saga. The term saga was used to refer to Scandinavian epics that depicted battles, victories, feats, and journeys. Having knowledge that the word refers to an epic tale of victories, we wanted to encapsulate the spirit of Savannah’s rich cultural history into what defines SA/GA.

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  • Modeling Opportunities for a Sustainable Economy

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    By Jorie Ballun, Caleb Sexton, and Hina Shahid

    During tour mid term presentation our team had outlined a process for Accelerate Savannah to develop sample ‘initiatives.’ The first step being selection of key partners, the second step was to identify the opportunity, model the opportunity, develop contracts and fifth step; recruitment of associates.

    The three identified sectors were food, energy, and craft. The three sectors were chosen based on the need and awareness in the community, and the energy already existing in the Savannah community in these sectors. These three sectors exhibited the most potential for green job development and placement. These sectors have the potential to grow and expand locally providing opportunities for green work force development and incubation of enterprise. Our team set out to map one initiative as an opportunity in each sector from a project depth perspective in terms of Savannah’s existing infrastructure, the businesses and entities.

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