Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ready, Set, Build!

In addition to "50 Shades of Green," [see below], Productive Collective is also embarking on a project through the Gateway Initiative at the Boston Architectural College. The Gateway Initiative pairs groups of BAC students with non-profits who need design work, research, or a small build project - but don't have the funds to hire traditional professionals. Our students, working in teams with a faculty adviser, work on the project through the semester [sometimes beyond], and our community clients end up with a product they can use - and leverage for future funding to hire professional designers, raise money for improvements and programming, etc. This Spring, the Gateway Initiative is running 19 projects with 102 students - and Productive Collective is part of the party!

Productive Collective's Gateway project, led by PC members Dan Weissman and Marilyn Moedinger, is a collaboration with Codman Academy Public Charter School in Dorchester, which is the only public school in the state paired with a community health center. Working with Codman [and another Gateway team, led by Elizabeth Christoforetti and Jon Evans of Utile], we will help Codman identify zones on their campus fit for urban agriculture installations, install an indoor aquaponics system [with 50 tilapia!], and engage high school students in caring for these systems and installations. BAC students in the "50 Shades" workshop and across the two Gateway projects, totaling about 20 students, will be working with each other at strategic points during the semester, with the goal of producing a series of reports based on research and design completed this semester. If this sounds a bit chaotic, well, it kind of is - as we chart new territories and new methods of collaboration and research, we'll be learning all along the way.

This semester's work will be a huge boost to PC's research, and the best part? Student and community involvement throughout the whole process! Stay tuned...

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