Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Sustainable" Creation

Last week I had the privilege of attending one of the most inspiring, insightful conferences around. No, it was not another design conference where we got together to talk fonts, paper and alternative printing options...this was a conference about world change! The Global Forum 2009 : Business as an Agent of World Benefits...pretty heavy stuff.

As I sat through lectures, round table brainstorms and paper discussions one thing I took away is that each of us, little by little can add up to greatness. By doing one small thing, having one conversation, taking time to read and question, expanding our thoughts, sharing your vision...the GLOBAL world can only be a better place. (Oh and don’t forget the idea of sustainability in everything you consume and design moving forward...I almost forgot.)

During the conference there were many ideas on display, lots of public-sharing and enthusiasm of new ideas. What if there was an “American Idol” of the most sustainable organization in the world? Do you think millions of people would tune in and vote? What if there was a government mandate, a tax credit program for businesses to do good? Would executives set aside more time in their days to give back? What if there were temporary places; spaces that could exist to become a hub of inner-city community wellness? Would residents flock to the possibilities or look the other way? My mind was swirling of open ended thoughts, how could I get my arms around everything?

Then I came upon a really great visual, an idea, a design solution. Cleveland Institute of Art; environmental design student, Abby Bickel ( had put much thought into the idea of “architecture as a catalyst for change”...what’s not to love, I had to share.

Her project, appropriately titled “Socialscape” hits on the idea of developing a central space for human interaction as well as community growth, making neighborhoods “sustain.” “With Socialscape, I conceptualized an experience that would provoke our senses and encourage social interactions, strengthen the community, provide a way for us to collectively identify ourselves as individuals within the larger context to our urban landscape and ultimately improve the quality of our lives,” explained Bickel.

Amy told the story as if the space might exist in Lincoln Park in the heart of Tremont...Cleveland. Take a peak at Amy’s extensive renderings, she makes it very easy to want to pitch in and make socialscape truly exist as more than a great idea.

Cleveland is filled with big thinkers, (hence hosting a GLOBAL conference here) artists, designers, philosophers, educators and more. This conference was only a catalyst for discussion. Tap into your sphere and have those discussions of greatness, of growth, of world change. You’d be surprised how others are interested too.

Thanks to Amy for allowing me to share her idea with you. Amy, I look forward to attending the “socialscape” opening, I promise to help, I love your concept! Keep up the wonderful sustainable creative work.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours yet! Very heavy topic indeed. The more I learn the more I know sustainability is something worth being extremely passionate about. Thanks 'I heart Cleveland' for continuing to open my mind.

June 10, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Dru McKeown said...

I would have loved to go to that forum. How did you find out about it?

June 10, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

Thanks for the kind words. It was a great experience.
I learned about the conference because I am on an email list from Case Western. it wasn't well publicized locally, but had attendees from all over the world. Look for it next year!

June 10, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

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