Week 10 - And Beyond / by Caroline Ingalls

Eat Street Markets, Brisbane, Australia. Photo ©2014 Caroline Ingalls

The past couple months have been quite a whirlwind, so that is why I unfortunately am just getting back to the blog until now, I must confess. In that time frame, I completed my master’s degree in Design for Sustainability (yay!), spent the most incredible ten days in the beautiful country of South Africa, one week in Europe, and a few more weeks back home in California catching up with friends and family. Now I am back in Savannah working for Gulfstream Aerospace as an intern in the sustainability department. I am really looking forward to what this year brings. Last year was fantastic having the opportunity to travel across the globe from Australia to Africa, immersing myself in the sustainability industry and not to forget, spend some quality time riding my horse. I learned so much while experiencing different cultures and discovering why I am so passionate about sustainability and design. Things are looking very bright for the coming year.

Having the opportunity to work on a project like Boxport was especially valuable because it forced me to get out in to the community, meet new people and share my ideas. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I will not deny that I expected to get a good amount of mixed feelings on the idea, but I have to say about ninety percent of the people I presented the project to loved it. The other ten percent gave me great constructive feedback that I will most definitely be taking in to account for how Boxport can be better. All in all, I feel very lucky that it was so well received, but there is still a long way to go for a project like that to take flight. Thinking about the whole experience, I remembered that my ultimate goal with Boxport was to plant the seed for the idea and inspire as many people as I could. I am positive that I achieved that goal.

The Watershed, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. A large warehouse full of pop-up shops with local craft and design, representing Cape Town's designFuture. Photo ©2014 Caroline Ingalls

I have so much excitement for our city of Savannah after firsthand experiencing what other cities in and out of the United States are doing to promote themselves as well as contribute to their communities. It is very pleasing to see that the strategies that they are utilizing are very design driven. In Brisbane, Australia, I went to a marketplace completely made up of repurposed shipping containers, with local art, food, music, craft and design. It is a new type of destination that people of all ages can enjoy, and the place was packed every night. In San Francisco, California, I visited Proxy, which is a similar concept to Brisbane and Boxport with the use of shipping containers to promote commerce, community and culture in one. Then in Cape Town, South Africa (which topped my travels this year), I was just plain blown away. Cape Town is well deserving of their current title of World Design Capital, and it was great to be there while they are holding it. It is a remarkable city almost all by its lonesome way down there in the bottom of the southern hemisphere. Everything in Cape Town was so carefully and thoughtfully designed. It is truly a place that breathes inspiration, and it is constantly growing. A lot of things in Cape Town reminded of the opportunity that lies in Savannah. Cape Town was not much of a city until some entrepreneurs brought ideas back from their travels and simply made it happen. They said ‘this is awesome, we need this in Cape Town’ and they did it.

I cannot stress enough that that is exactly what we need to do in Savannah. We have some great features already, but we must never stop innovating. Savannah is a city of innovation. That is why we are so historic; it is because we were (and are) always innovating. Cotton, steam ships and architecture, and now flight, cargo and food, just to name a few. We are so powerful, creative, smart and ridiculously appreciative of our past. Let’s keep this going and make things happen, just like the Cape Town creatives.