Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sprouts of Hope: Sustainability Quilt Project

Adding Detail to Our Quilt

By Maya

At our 6th quilt meeting with Clara, we began to add detail to the city. Windows, clotheslines, gardens, and wind turbines went up on the rooftops. Kaya created a peace dove representing the many peace dove parades we have been a part of through Roots and Shoots. The dove flies with a banner behind her with the words of our Sprouts of Hope motto written on it,

“Have a dream. Make a difference.”

Risa created a bike path that zigs and zags through the air — a way for us to make visual our hope that people will figure out all sorts of new ways to move around the city.

I designed a compost heap full of worms and decomposing food. The mound symbolizes our efforts to get composting into the Cambridge public school cafeterias, so that they can be sustainable in disposing of the tons of food waste. And we put solar blinds on a few of the buildings to show how glad we are that our new public library in Cambridge was built in ways that are so energy efficient.

Clara assembled the portraits we had made and showed up how they will look along the rim of the quilt. She added a thin blue boarder where we are planning to write some form of a story. We made portraits of inspiring environmentalists. Risa did one of Bill McKibben, Clara did one of Wangari Maathai, and I did one of Jane Goodall. All the portraits came out great, and will hopefully be easily recognizable.

Our next step is coming up with a title — possibly in the form of a question — that embodies the message of the quilt. The quilt is coming along nicely, but there is still a lot of work to do to develop our futuristic sustainable city.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sprouts of Hope: Sustainability Quilt Project

Starting To Make Our "Real" Quilt

By Lilly

As the Sprouts move further into our project with Clara, we have started putting together the pieces that will be in the final quilt. On our fifth visit with to the studio, we began putting together the final draft of the city we had been brainstorming ideas about the week before. The result was a much more organized and thought-through version of the city.

We kept many elements, such as the rooftop gardens, and a swinging chimpanzee (in honor of Dr. Jane Goodall, who founded Roots & Shoots) and an aquarium, all of which now look a bit different than when we sketched them in earlier versions.

This time we thought long and hard about where on the quilt everything would look best and how all of the different pieces can work together. We are using lots of very interesting fabric for the different buildings.

We have yet to incorporate into our final quilt some details, such as our clotheslines and bike path. We also plan on putting in some new elements that were not part of our brainstorms, such as a Peace Dove parade, a Roots & Shoots activity we enjoy doing, and composting, a program we helped to start in our public schools.

During the past few weeks we have been revising and improving our quilt city to try and make it the best it can be and to really get our ideas for a better and more sustainable future across to those who will one day look at it.

As we continue making our quilt, we will be thinking more and more about the possibilities for the sustainable future of our world. We hope our quilt will inspire others in the same way. Here's a look at how we constructed our buildings.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sprouts of Hope: Sustainability Quilt Project

Sustainability As We See It

By Kaya

On our fourth visit to Clara’s studio, the Sprouts of Hope began to make our ideas come alive in a rough outline of the sustainability quilt.

Looking at the “sketch quilts” from our last visit, we adapted ideas we liked from our old sketches and transferred them onto our new larger sketch — moving us a step closer to making the real quilt.

We created buildings with trees and mushrooms, flowers on rooftops and fish swimming, and even seaweed in the windows.

While we used our earlier ideas, we also came up with new ones along the way—with various visions of how we wish our city could be in the future with sustainability as its core value. Risa designed a bike path that goes across buildings and a steady flow of purple bicycles are riding on it. Toward the top of it you can see our Sprouts of Hope motto "Have a Dream, Make a Difference."

Lilly created laundry lines that hang between buildings with all kinds of clothes being air-dried on them rather than using a lot of energy with a dryer. In the upper part of the quilt we put a large sun, a way to illuminate the idea of solar power.

Around the edge of this central piece of our quilt is where we will put our self-portraits along with portraits of people who devote their lives to environmental sustainability. Of course, Dr. Jane Goodall will be one of the people we feature on our quilt. And in her honor, we also include a chimpanzee as a way to express our appreciation for her on-going efforts to save chimpanzees. And there will be wind turbines.

We have accomplished plenty! At last, our ideas are coming together in ways that give us a good sense of what our quilt will look like when we finish. Soon, we will start work on the final version of our sustainability quilt and through it share with others our idea of a more utopian “greener” society!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sprouts of Hope Quilt Project

Conceiving Our Urban Sustainable Space

By Eliza

During our third visit with Clara, the Sprouts really got the ball rolling, and we thought about what messages we want our quilt to spread. We talked about what sustainability means to us, and Clara presented some ideas to us.

Here's her sketch:

The idea of innovation and green cities interested us, and we decided to try to draft some possible ideas for a quilt displaying the idea of a green city.

Kaya and Risa made a patch with bicycles and buildings with rooftop gardens, as well as different forms of alternative energy such as solar power and wind power.

Maya and I made a design with skyscrapers, as well. Our quilt had a tree with a chimpanzee swinging from it, and the roots planted firmly into the ground – similar to the familiar Roots & Shoots symbol.

Melissa’s design was focused on the idea of the seventh generation.

We discussed the possibility of making windows of the skyscrapersin our quilt depict other aspects of sustainability, such as compact florescent light bulbs (CFLS).

We also talked about the idea of having some kind of earth in our quilt – maybe with bikes going around it. We are excited to narrow down our ideas next week and come up with a plan for exactly what our quilt will look like!