Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lights, Camera, Action!

The greatest and latest update with the Greenhouse Project, besides receiving the IKEA grant, is the involvement of a phenomenal film crew from SCAD. Jennifer Bird and Luke McMahon are bringing their camera and editing skills together as Directors of Photography, to create a video about the project for a new fundraising campaign.

They have been conducting interviews, visiting the sites and becoming consumed in the world of sustainable design.  They say they like the story we have to tell and you know what, I couldn’t agree more!

Additional film students have been collaborating on this project as well: Devin Lawrence: Sound; Taylor Jenkins: Sound, Gaffer;  Emily Van Horn: First Assistant Camera; Meagan Hodge: Director (yep, that’s right folks!)

Old and new footage of Emergent Structures, as well as the apprenticeship program DESIGNability, have been gathered and are on the way to being edited. The final video will tell the story from the beginning days of Emergent Structures to their selection of this project and finally the designs of the new greenhouse.  Multidisciplinary opportunities have expanded to not only include SCAD and Savannah High School, but also Savannah Technical College!

It’s amazing how construction has not even begun  for this project and the cross collaboration between multiple sectors is flourishing.  Everyone is so eager to take part in creating the story that brings to light the needs of Chatham County and for me, it’s all still a dream!  Stay tuned, for the final video and updates along the way!  And don’t forget: support local film professionals…video feed from your cell phone does not count as real footage!!


Get out of the pool and into the greenhouse

Hey everyone! The countdown is ON.  Two weeks left to collect my thoughts and regurgitate it into a successful project.  And of course, at the end of any design project, new discoveries are made they make you want to throw out everything you’ve been putting your heart and soul into and change direction.

Well, not me!  Or atleast, I just have to tell myself that!

I ran across this design: Garden Pool…an un-used in-ground pool converted into a viable greenhouse.  Genius! Who needs to be in a chlorinated body of water soaking up harmful UV rays anyway??  Take a look see, and pass this along to anyone that might be interested in producing their own food, growing fish, trying out shelfponics and saving money!! Warning: the website is a little tricky to navigate, but there are some good tutorials to further explain design details.  Enjoy! More project updates soon!

If all buildings had websites…

Plain and simple, sustainable solutions stir the pot.  The majority of people are hesitant to change, but have begun to demand that their products, housing and day to day choices change first.  Consumers want to know where a product originates from and who is behind the design.  The act of purchasing, investing and living have become a symbolic reflection of who they are; so I believe that this demand for “transparency” is a positive outcome of current day green washing.

With LEED certification of buildings, a new market of transparency has infiltrated the architecture industry.

We can now calculate energy and waste production and even quantify the scale of human happiness that takes place within these structures.  These findings are exposed to all occupants, investors and the public eye. Some people might say this is exposure is too much, that boundaries are being ignored.

I say, it just makes sense.  Let me know that at 2:00 p.m. this room is using this much energy, let me know that the design of a new governmental building is going to save our community x amount of dollars.  We have a choice of which home, building, restaurant or facility we occupy our time in, so why not get all the facts first?

The Genzyme Building in Massachusetts, was essentially designed from the inside out.

It is 12 stories of natural ventilation, water reuse and 18 garden spaces.

The building expresses the company’s core values of innovation, transparency and collaboration.  And here is a beautiful, interactive website that exposes multiple aspects of the design.  Just think, if all buildings had websites, would our sustainable choices become easier?  Or more complicated?

Majora Carter. An urban visionary.

“Shifting charity into enterprise”

It’s amazing how quickly her voice, excitement and perseverance can change everything that you were thinking at one precise moment.   I like to watch her talks on every couple of months, to remind myself WHY I am doing what I am doing.  If you haven’t seen her Ted Talks, shame on you. Watch them, again and again.

She was the executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, a non-profit focused on public advocacy and environmental solutions.  They create green jobs, train individuals for these jobs and push for improvements on air quality in urban communities.  She now has a staff and consulting firm, Majora Carter Group, that help visions become a reality.  This is just one of the amazing human beings in this world really making a difference.

Collaboration with Wooden Sheep

Here’s a the first built project with Savannah High and Wooden sheep in a little more detail.  I posted a couple of more pictures on Southern Pine’s blog

Or click here too!