• It’s What You Make of It

    By Scott Boylston (Images and junkwood bowtie: Adrian Perez) No news here: we love junk. We love to see people play with junk; to transform junk. In fact, we love it so much, we’ve partnered with Savannah’s Habitat for Humanity to create the This Ain’t Junk Repurposing Competition.

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  • All in a Day’s Work

    By Scott Boylston Snow in Savannah. That was the least newsworthy event that took place at the material harvest center this past Saturday. Over 50 volunteers and 10 carpenter apprentices gathered in the large parking lot outside the warehouse to denail materials that were reclaimed from the first phase of the Savannah Gardens redevelopment project. […]

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  • ‘Pulling’ for Shuman Elementary School

    By Scott Boylston We’re starting 2011 with a bang…and plenty of pulls. On Saturday, January 22nd,  Emergent Structures and the Girls Scouts of Historic Georgia (GSHG) are coordinating a major denailing event. Studs and tongue-and-groove paneling from Phase One of the Savannah Gardens redevelopment will be the subject of our attention. The material is left […]

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  • For instance, in Savannah… (part 3)

    Steven Zimmerman and Ken Bruzenak, students from an MFA Graphic Design course at SCAD, uncovered and recorded stories of innovative material reclamation occurring in Savannah, Georgia. This is the third of three stories. By Steven Zimmerman and Ken Bruzenak The First Baptist Church, a half-block sized Greek Revival structure built in 1833, is located on […]

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  • For instance, in Savannah… (part 2)

    Steven Zimmerman and Ken Bruzenak, students from an MFA Graphic Design course at SCAD, uncovered and recorded stories of innovative material reclamation occurring in Savannah, Georgia. This is the second of three stories. By Steven Zimmerman and Ken Bruzenak On East 35th Street in Savannah there is a worn and dirty block long building that […]

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  • For instance, in Savannah… (part 1)

    Earlier this year, two students from an MFA Graphic Design course at SCAD, Steven Zimmerman and Ken Bruzenak, endeavored to uncover and record stories of innovative material reclamation occurring in Savannah, Georgia. Their final project is a beautiful printed piece that includes LEED-specific information on building material reclamation, insights into the reclamation process, a directory […]

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  • Another Person’s Treasure

    By Kathleen Fritz One of the most difficult things that a designer or artist encounters during a demonstration is when the piece you’re working on gets sold right from underneath of you before making those finishing touches.  Well that is what happened at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, 1900 East Victory Drive, Savannah,  some time […]

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  • Hundreds of Studs Stripped Bare in Broad Daylight!

    By Scott Boylston What happens when over 80 people convene under sprawling live oaks to jubilantly strip studs as drums and fiddles whirl upon the wind? Everyone smiles. Thanks to an amazing group of volunteers that converged on the former site of Strathmore Estates in East Savannah, Emergent Structures was able to de-nail 770 studs […]

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  • Putting Pressure Back on the Trusses

    By Scott Boylston Our last post on the Girl Scouts project provided a total number of trusses harvested over the three day event this past July. That number was 62. What we haven’t been able to report until now was that the Girl Scouts weren’t done after that 3 day weekend; over the course of […]

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  • Refreshing Opportunities

    by Ted Cheecharoen, Colleen Heine, Ken Holmes, and Yahayra Rosario-Cora (AKA Team Strippers) About a month ago, during our conversation with a landscaping professional, she referred to Whitemarsh Plaza as a “lifeless” place; at the beginning of all of this, we would have agreed. On the first visit of the SCAD Sustainable Practices in Design […]

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  • Opening the Door to a Festival of Opportunities

    By Scott Boylston Almost 10 weeks ago, a graduate Sustainable Practices in Design class at SCAD visited a generic strip mall on Whitemarsh Island. We went to visit Wendy Armstrong of Thrive Take Out Cafe to talk about the possibility of creating an outdoor eating area made from building materials reclaimed from Savannah Gardens. You […]

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  • Hot Times with the Girl Scouts

    By Scott Boylston We have a whole lot of numbers to share with you about the amount of materials that we helped the Girl Scouts harvest over the weekend from a site otherwise scheduled for the landfill, but we’ll start here: Day One of the Girl Scouts Volunteer Building Material Harvest: 95º, one short of […]

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  • Been Busy: Initiative 4

    By Scott Boylston Two buildings on the site of Savannah Gardens will give way this weekend to the whim of Girl Scouts. The reclaimed materials will be used for an eco-camp on Rose Dhu Island, a magnificent piece of land surrounded by meandering rivers. The eco-camp is intended to enhance girls’ knowledge of and appreciation […]

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  • Been Busy: Initiative 3

    By Scott Boylston INITIATIVE THREE :: Outdoor Eating Area Wendy Armstrong, owner of Thrive Carry Out Cafe , expressed interest in creating an outdoor eating area for Whitemarsh Plaza, a nondescript commercial mall on one of the islands east of Savannah, and only about 4 miles from Savannah Gardens. Thrive is Savannah’s first Green Certified […]

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  • Been Busy: Initiative 2

    By Scott Boylston The first law of thermodynamics is founded on the observation that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed; human energy certainly fits within that framework. So, as the energy dedicated to developing Emergent Structures projects and collaborations increases, the energy dedicated to blog writing (blogergy?) has a […]

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  • In the Zone

    By Scott Boylston We’re looking forward to our summer. The old saying goes, you get what you ask for, and yes, we most definitely have. We have complexity, oh yes we do. But along with the complexity—along with this wild collaborative network we’ve nurtured—we have excitement, and meaning, and passionate interest from those throughout the […]

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  • The Patience of Good Ideas

    By Scott Boylston Emergent Structure’s second post declared, “…Pastor Johnnie Powers is what the Emergent Structures Project is about.” Discussions on social innovation center around uncorking the tacit knowledge of communities, and tapping into the creative power that exists within the basic building blocks of informal human interaction. Mr. Powers is surely unique, but he is […]

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  • Faith Without Works is Dead: Hunting for Solutions

    By Summer Constantino Armed with a growing knowledge of reclaimed materials, and with fierce determination, my partner in a winter quarter Sustainable Practices in Design class at SCAD, Katie Coulburn, and I decided to design a meaningful method of including heartpine from the old buildings at Savannah Gardens into the redevelopment of new homes on […]

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  • The Decade of What’s Next

    By Kathleen Fritz This decade has already been memorialized on talk shows and blogs with the populous not knowing what to call it. Some are playing number games like “The Aughts” or “The Y2K’s”, but others are looking into what this first decade of the new millennium actually meant. Some are suggesting the “Post 9/11 […]

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  • School House Rock…and roll?

    “It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization.”  — Maria Montessori By Scott Boylston Re-using an old building (and installing efficiency retro-fits) can be more sustainable than building a new one, and that’s true even if it […]

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  • Go, Green Girls, Go!

    By Scott Boylston I am a Girl Scout. I’m not just a believer; not just a supporter; not just willing to do anything I can to make sure that the Girls Scouts get all the reclaimed materials they need to build their eco-village on the magnificent island of Rose Dhu; I am one of them, […]

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  • Building/Community

    By Scott Boylston The Emergent Structures Project is about sustainability, and for many people that means it’s about material reclamation, and little else. But, of course it’s about much more. It’s about people,  communities, commonalities, and collaboration. The house above was built with brick from demolition sites around West Savannah, starting in 1964.The large-scale demolition […]

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