• 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.

    It is difficult to capture the full essence in words of the impact BRP is having on the lives of those who we have worked with in the Dominican Republic, and also all the students who volunteered ­­their time to giving back. Venture Trip 04, in November 2014, contained the largest group of student volunteers BRP has had thus far.

    After working with the BRP once before in 2013, I wanted to volunteer for a second time in order to gather research for my Final MA project in Design for Sustainability, but I gained much more. Returning to the Dominican Republic and getting a chance to reconnect with kids I had already worked with, BRP staff, and the local culture was an amazing experience. Returning to one of the villages where we did work previously was an unreal feeling.

    I was beyond grateful to have another opportunity to be immersed in the culture, and return to the laughter and smiles of the children. This venture trip helped to reinforce what I’ve been learning so far at SCAD, also gained knowledge from the internship that I can use in my career. I definitely encourage all students to consider applying for future venture trips. Once again I was truly humbled by my experience there, I’m now able to both focus on the bigger picture and appreciate the small things in life. I left the Dominican Republic with a new view on life, new friendships, and a greater passion for giving back selflessly.

    Prior to each venture trip, all student volunteers have the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas for projects and workshops for their upcoming trip. All funds raised go directly to materials that are used for those projects and workshops, so each student and donor are able to see exactly how their money is used to help improve the lives of others. On our most recent venture trip the projects consisted of co-designing and rebuilding a home from the ground up, co-designing and building a playground, conducting jewelry workshops, co-designing backpacks, photography and documentation, and building vertical gardens.

    In my next blog I will provided a day by day break down of each project and our final products. If you would like to become a part of the movement feel free to visit Batey Rehab Project (BRP) to learn more, donate to the cause, or sign up to volunteer. As a student it was refreshing to be in a real life situation where teamwork and communication were the keys to us succeeding.

     

  • 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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  • 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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