Category Archives: Adaptive Reuse

well, well, well….I’m Back!

Yes, ladies and gents.  It has been a while since I have posted any updates, hellos or how are you’s.

Well, here’s for an update….go big or go home right?

As you all know, I designed an off-the grid greenhouse for the students involved in the apprenticeship program, DESIGNability, which will expand their annual growth capacity, incorporate additional learning opportunities in construction and expose students to the importance of reclaiming materials.  Of course you all knew that!!!

Well, here’s the REAL news…..this small detail of my M.A. final project has been chosen by local-Savannah non-profit Emergent Structures, to be built, constructed and usable in the near future!

Yes, my designs will actually come to life with reclaimed window sash, un-wanted brick and even some hydro-ponic tomatoes (well, eventually).

IKEA, the scandinavian furniture company, has awarded Emergent Structures a $9,000.00 (big money honey!) contribution to fund another phenomenal project focused on adaptive re-use of material…enter stage left: Savannah High School’s Greenhouse Program and me, the humble designer.

So, hang on to your britches.  Meagan will have lots of updates coming to you in the near future and Happy New Year EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Window Sash, Polyethylene and Brick…Oh My!

Hello all. So here are a couple of images of the next big project for the apprenticeship!!! These are the conceptual drawings thus far.  They will be edited, refined and rendered oh in the next 7 days!!!  The final designs will be submitted to multiple funding opportunities to help support this dream become a reality!

This “educational” greenhouse incorporates modern technology with old and new gardening techniques.  The Savannah High Greenhouse Project will be using this facility for annual production of produce and plants.  Multiple educational projects will take place on site ranging from basic horticultural skills, reclamation of construction materials, compost production from all waste and carpentry projects.  Students will be able to participate in every phase of the construction: design, material preparation, on-site build and garden preparation.  And this isn’t just for the kids…entities such as Savannah Urban Gardens,  Well Fed Savannah, Savannah Technical College, Harambee House, Wooden Sheep, Southern Pine and Dilated Spectrum will all have a chance to get their hands dirty in this project!

Off the grid greenhouse to include…

  • Vertical growth of cucumbers and tomatoes
  • Horizontal lettuce growth with vermicompost system: Yay worms!
  • Rain collection with irrigation system powered by solar energy
  • Passive cooling and heating techniques incorporating a double envelope cavity
  • Permeable brick paver foundation
  • Reclaimed window sash, studs, timber and brick
  • Solexx Polyethylene 5mm rolled roofing panels
  • Solar powered vent openers
Feedback is encouraged!!!! What is missing, what else should be incorporated?  Sorry, no private hot tub will be included with this project.

Ongoing Progress…

Every Thursday, I have the opportunity to work with students on Southern Pine’s site.  Sometimes it’s for one hour sometimes two, but no matter what I always laugh.  We helped out good ole Wooden Sheep and denailed some Jotoba (brazillian cherry) wood  that once was a flooring, headed to the dump, then brought on a detour to Southern Pine.  Since the board feet is primarily short runs, Eric at Wooden Sheep has designed chopping boards and is starting to assemble them.

Today, I heard one of the teachers kindly request one of the students to pull up his pants.  She joked, I keep telling you, no one wants to see what’s in those pants on a jobsite.  In the middle of his whispering repetitive rapping, he softly responded ‘okay’, smiled behind the safety goggles and set down the wavering hammer, that really was only a tool for him to sing with.  I learned later that he attended Summer camp with AWOL and was involved in recording a song with rapper Kid Syc.  He told me that he will continue to only practice until he can make enough money to attend camp again.  They say this student is categorized as a MID: Mild Intellectual Disability, which doesn’t mean much to me.  I just know he wears sweet kicks and has a gentle smile.

Here’s a little bit of what we are up too…..p.s. I am not allowed to photograph these students.  someone, somewhere has labeled them as something and request no photographs.

Design for social awareness with Russian prison jargon

Yep, I said it.

Russian Prison Jargon.

I firmly believe that to design is to constantly educate.  Education should come full circle through beginning draft stages, ideation, implementation and end of life.  Every hand or mind it touches along the way should learn something.  That is good design.

And apparently so are i-pad bags constructed by Russian prisoners.  And also controversial. Is a program like this giving criminals too many options?  Are they aware of their guilt with every seam they sew on the messenger bags?

Silly questions really, but it’s also silly that a positive program that reinstates labor skill and sense of well being took so long to be implemented?

Organic cotton, recycled PVC billboards, water based inks….okay I’ll stop rambling because I need to go look at the bags that are almost as tough & hard as people who make them”.