Design Build Competition

How it all started:

I was chatting with my friend Guinn at the SCAD alumni concert in May and we were talking about the Humane Society’s current fundraising goals and upcoming events. I mentioned something about a project from my undergrad in which our studio had to design and build doghouses. We showed these off in front of the school during a football game (the school was in the parking lot of the stadium). We invited the local shelter to bring a few dogs out and presto we had a great little crowd gathered to see what we were up to. While I don’t remember if any dogs were adopted that day we successful created a nice little buzz and sold a few of the doghouses.

This of course sparked the idea to try to do something similar here. Could we get people to use reclaimed materials to build dog houses and cat structures? Could we then auction these off to raise money for the Humane Society? What if we made a whole day event for it with live music, food, drinks, dog adoptions, etc?

After that night it took me a couple of weeks to get in touch with Kelly Nelson, community outreach manager for the Savannah Humane Society. She loved the idea and basically told me to go full steam ahead. That made it real and that made me realize if this is going to happen I need help and lots of it.

Key Players:

Of course I started with my professor Scott Boylston, president and creator of Emergent Structures. I wanted to find out if this made sense, seemed doable, and if Emergent Structures wanted to be a part of this. He was very encouraging and thought it was a great project for Emergent Structures to participate in.

Next I went to the group at Southern Pine Company to see if they would be interested in participating and hosting the event in the back lot (after our first event there in May was a huge success). Of course they said yes and work began in the back to clean it up some more.

Of course food and drink are a huge aspect of any event and that’s where Rene Teran from Well FED comes in. He did a remarkable job last time getting food and drink donated for the night and he is well on his way to outdo himself again.

Savannah is a town full of artists (mostly due to Savannah College of Art and Design, but also because Savannah just has that fun, funky character), so naturally we wanted to include art during the event as last time we had several artists creating large paintings throughout the night. This time it needed to be a little different and related to the mission – raise money for the Humane Society. After chatting with Jose Ray about the idea and then Ben Mattern, these two were connected to create basic dog house structures that can be painted by a group of artists during the event. These dog houses will then be auctioned off later in the night.

While not finalized yet we will also have several local bands performing throughout the night.

The Community:

The local Savannah community is extremely important for the success of this entire project. They will be providing the dog houses and cat structures for the auction, as well as bidding on the items. All the food and drink vendors participating are local restaurants and businesses, and all the bands are from Savannah.

And of course all proceeds will be directly benefiting the local Savannah Humane Society.

How does it all relate:

The next big question (and therefore next to be written blog post) is how does this all relate to my thesis topic and mission?

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