There is some very exciting news that the idea for Boxport is continuing on. The graduate Sustainable Practices in Design class at SCAD has accepted the challenge of diving head first in to the project during the Spring 2015 quarter. It has so much potential to be something spectacular in Savannah, so it is incredible to have a group of such talented creative minds put their ideas towards the concept. There will be architecture students, design for sustainability students, and a service design student collaborating with each other in the class. With those diverse areas of focus, the triple bottom line aspects of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic benefit will all have the opportunity to flourish.
This past week, we had the pleasure of talking with Ryan Gravel, who is a Senior Urban Designer at Perkins + Will and is the original idea behind the Atlanta Beltline. Mr. Gravel did the proposed concept for the Beltline as his master's thesis at Georgia Tech in 1999. Since then, the Beltline has taken off and is rapidly transforming and revitalizing the city of Atlanta. We were able to gather some wonderful insight from Mr. Gravel on how to take a positively impactful concept to something that could be implemented. He helped us to really understand how essential ideas like Boxport and the Beltline are for the benefit of cities. They come from within our communities, developed from the heart and are representations of the voices of those communities. They are designed to be inclusive, educational, inspiring, healthy, supportive, and the adjectives can go on. It is never about making money or a name. It is about accommodating the needs that present themselves within communities. An opportunity for a healthier, happier, and better quality of life.
After speaking with Mr. Gravel, I have some great confidence moving forward, and I know that this class will take Boxport to the next level in an unbelievable way; no way that I could have done on my own. I am moving back to southern California shortly to be closer to family and my home, so I am thrilled that I am able to see Boxport embark on its next step. As I have said earlier, I do not want this to be my project. Sure, I developed the idea for my Final Project class, but I believe it really came from Savannah, and I want nothing more than to see Savannah take it to its potential. If I have mapped it out correctly, I think it will create a pretty spectacular network of people here, because every last person in this city has the opportunity to be a part of it. If that's not social equity, then I am not sure what is!