Overwhelming Opportunities.

It’s been a busy week and a half of community involvement, networking opportunities and thesis directions.

December 8th and 9th I participated in a Community Design Charrette at and for Creative Coast. After a restructuring of the organization they opened up their new space at 15 West York Street for a brainstorming session about what the space should be and what it can provide the design community of Savannah. There were a lot of great ideas about the physical space as well as the services and connections that can be facilitated by Creative Coast. I’m really looking forward to what will be happening there over the next few months and into the future. I’m also looking at how the Creative Coast could be a factor/supporter/facilitator during my thesis process. I made at least three or four great connections to other individuals while participating in the charrette.

Thursday December 9th I spent a few hours with AWOL (All Walks of Life Inc.) an organization that provides arts and technology education for at-risk youths in Savannah. Murray Wilson showed me the operation and provided a great explanation of the pros, cons and elements involved. He created the Goon Squad three years ago to help three issues he saw in the community: computers going to the landfill, youth in need of technology skills and knowledge, and low-income families lacking technology access. Lack of technology access equals lack of job opportunities, as all city jobs and many other job applications must be completed online. This Thursday December 16th I’m going to help with the latest computer giveaway. Their goal is to give out 100 computers and I’m excited to be apart of that.

Saturday December 11th I met with Ramsey Khalidi founder of Southern Pine Company. He believes in and has been participating in conservation through reclaiming, preserving and supplying old-growth wood for over twenty-five years as well as salvage of entire buildings, fixtures, furniture and equipment. Ramsey also believes in supporting emerging artists and organizations, and provides the time and space they need for incubation. I compared his goals and aspirations to that of Create Here in Chattanooga and after showing him the organization’s website he said, “looks a lot like our future!” I think I could easily spend hours rummaging around through his warehouse thinking of new uses for all the amazing stuff he has collected and I’m sure I will at some point in the near future. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Ramsey and develop a project, projects or organization structure based on material reclamation and creative reuse. So many ideas there to sort through still.

Tuesday December 14th I met with Garrison Marr at Step Up Savannah. While I knew they had a Construction Apprenticeship Program already developed the information is a little difficult to find on the website and not very thorough so I wasn’t aware of it’s scale or impact. After meeting with Garrison it seems like the perfect structure that is already working well and they are already interested in developing additional programs. I mentioned the idea of a deconstruction curriculum or a program to develop skills and processes for material reuse. These seem to be right on track with the direction they are headed and ties into the Chatham County Green Initiatives. Another project in the works is a bicycle reuse campaign and a design studio with SCAD and Savannah Technical College to design and build cargo trailers for carrying more load for those that use a bike as their only or main transportation. The idea is these will be designed to use reclaimed materials and create a small business opportunity in town.

I have also been learning first hand how difficult and time consuming organizing an event can be. I took on the responsibility to coordinate the venue for a film screening for Emerging Professionals. Apparently I should have started a month earlier. There are options available, but getting the correct option with the correct amount of fee and equipment is tricky. I’m working on learning some patience.

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