SHiFT 2016- Day 2 | Eastman Innovation Lab

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SHiFT design camp

SHiFT 2016- Day 2

13 June 2016

If haven’t guessed yet,today is all about one of the biggest themes here at Shift, Community. Who’s yours? Where is it? How to do you begin to build it? Who do you build it with? All good questions. Today was about discovering the answers.

We began today with a large breakfast and hot coffee. Finding out today was going to be labor intensive; I wasn’t surprised by how large the 2nd helping line had gotten to.  Scott Boylston (a previous professor of mine from SCAD) began to speak not just about building a community but how to build a sustainable one. This sustainability would apply to both the internal working and collaboration of the physical community, but also in how ones’ community can maintain sustainability with the environment that surrounds
it.  After listening to Scott, now I truly see that in order for a community of any size or kind to survive, it will need to develop sustainably both internally and externally.

After breakfast, the camper went to community area to begin their build. Now for a few years, campers would cut apart wooden pallets apart and make simple “L” shaped seating for the campfire conversation. With one of the overarching themes being “To get out of your comfort zone”, the camp decided to change the rules. Each team was given material and tools and told do design their own custom seating. Owen Foster has said in the past that EVERYTHING has a story and that story needs to be told. Well, so building a chair, in the woods, with a bunch of strangers, with found materials in the Alabama summer heat wasn’t enough, now the chair needs a story as well. Some students would look around at each other at such a dynamic task at hand. Me, I was smiling and excited to experience one of the best team building exercises I have come across in a very long time. No trust
falls to be found here that’s for sure… and the temperature was quickly reaching the upper 90’s.

Oh did I mention that you also had to present your build concept to the rest of the camp? Yes you did. What was interesting was that they called them performances and not presentation. I never realized how such a small shift in your mindset could make such a big difference when sharing design concepts. Then again, isn’t that what this is all about… a series of small shifts in order to make a larger one.

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