Friday, March 27, 2020

Stay Home - Save Lives

Sparkflight Studios in virtual mode!
Though we find ourselves in challenging times, we are reminded of all the beautiful ways in which we honor one another. Washing our hands and covering our sneezes have become small acts of kindness. We are growing resilient in our steadfast ways to help one another. Here at Sparkflight Studios, we too are doing our part to slow the spread of the virus. 

As the construction industry is an essential part of infrastructure and services, we will remain open for business. Rest assured that the Sparkflight team is working safely from home, meeting regularly as a team, and all our projects are continuing to move forward. We are quite tech-savvy, so it is almost business as usual. We can consult remotely if and when the need arises.

In the sincere effort to responsibly bring our services to you, we have enacted the following protocols to avoid any unnecessary complications or disruptions:

  • We respectfully request access to the Sparkflight Studios office to be limited to employees only.
  • Please address all deliveries to 1489 W Warm Springs Rd, Ste 110 Henderson, NV 89014. The available window for in-person drop-off is M-F, 10 am - 1 pm.
  • Field visits for projects in construction are limited. We have encouraged any employee who feels sick to self-isolate. We will maintain safe distances of 6 feet apart or more. Groups of participants will not exceed 10 and will be as small as possible.
  • Project meetings will be held virtually whenever possible.
Our commitment remains to fully support you with our intense listening and problem-solving, combined with our creative spark. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. 

With the situation changing shape daily, uncertainty and anxiety can be a close companion. For anyone who is affected with COVID-19 in a personal way, our thoughts are with you. We send you and your community warm wishes of health, healing, and safety.

Sparkflight Studios

Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

"I Have a Dream" 1963

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

- MLK Strength to Love, 1963

For reflection...
Equal Justice Initiative
Community Remembrance Project
Bryan Stevenson, creator

Community Remembrance Project

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Maxxing the Mix

The Parks at Walter Reed
Our mission at Sparkflight Studios is to "design for humans," to create spaces for our neighbors that produce positive social impact. To that end, we are actively pursuing and passionate about mixed-use, multi-family affordable housing projects. These types of projects encompass what it means to truly design for the betterment of our communities. By developing an area that is a self-sustaining business and residential destination not totally reliant on cars/parking for its clientele, we are providing much-needed affordable housing while supporting economic development by bringing businesses a built-in customer base.

These projects are starting to be built across the country, with promising results. According to the Multi-Housing News website: "Developers from market-rate to affordable housing are identifying ways to create mixed-income and mixed-use developments that promote diversity, equity and integration." One such project is the redevelopment of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. to The Parks at Walter Reed, a $1 billion mixed-use, 66-acre project. While these types of projects come with their challenges, real estate developers are starting to see the social and economic benefits of developing multi-income communities.

Recently, Anne Johnson participated in the 2019 AIA Blueprint for Better Housing to design a mixed-use site to solve housing needs in our community. In October, she led her group to present a project that not only addressed the affordable housing and economic development needs of the area, but it took it to the next level to fully maximize its potential for an enduring and valuable contribution. It did this by designing with the "triple bottom line" of sustainability in mind: people, planet, and profit. The project envisioned sustainability strategies that would produce solar energy, allow the development to grow its own food, reuse its gray water, and encourage public transit, among others. 

Creating healthy, efficient, and regenerative spaces that give more than they take and create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them are the principles of the International Living Future Institute's Living Building Challenge, a certification program for designing to make the world a better place. Living Buildings are resilient, self-sufficient, and serve as teaching tools and sources of inspiration. As sustainability is a core value for Sparkflight Studios, pursuing this certification for our projects is a natural step up for our team and one we encourage others to pursue as well.

To read more about mixed-income, mixed-use communities, click here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Wishing You Happy Holidays and a Wonderful 2020

Credit: Mario Aachen
The holidays are here! It's a wonderful time to be with loved ones, exchange presents, and share in the joy of the season. Sadly, some families spend the holidays without gifts and sometimes even a hot meal or a warm place to sleep. It's easy to get swept up in all of the shopping and gift-giving frenzy, but taking the time to give back to our community can be the greatest gift of all. This holiday season, consider donating your time or resources to organizations that help our neighbors who are less fortunate.

Here is a list of charities and non-profits where your support can truly make a difference:
The true spirit of the holiday season comes from giving thanks and giving back by lending a helping hand to those in need. Give this season a whole new meaning by making the world a little brighter for others.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year

Friday, November 29, 2019

#GivingTuesday 2019

Giving Tuesday has become a tradition for Sparkflight Studios.  What better way to finish off a Thanksgiving holiday enjoying time with family and friends than to extend that gratitude into a gift for your community?

This year we're pleased to highlight a few community partners:

Family Promise of Las Vegas

UNLV - College of Fine Arts

Desert Research Institute - DRI

It is always difficult to choose recipients when there are so many good causes in need.  If you face this challenge as well, take a look at an article by Nurith Aizenman on KNPR's website: Why Giving Tuesday Raises an Uncomfortable Moral Dilemma.

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. 
– Maya Angelou  

Friday, November 22, 2019

Update! 2019 AIA Blueprint for Better Housing

Rendering of the proposed mixed-use site
In September, we introduced Sparkflight Studios' involvement in the 2019 AIA Blueprint for Better Housing, a mission to solve housing needs in our community. Anne was invited to be the Team Coordinator of the Multi-Family Mixed-Use group. She worked diligently with her team and alongside the charrette participants and members of the local community to create a design that was presented to AIA Las Vegas in October.

The team proposed a 381,000-SF mixed-use, mixed-income development on the west side of Martin Luther King Boulevard, south of Lake Mead Boulevard, in the 89106 zip code. The team chose this site due to the economic disparity between this zip code and the rest of our city, with a diaspora of community members seeking opportunity elsewhere. This community has an intense desire to preserve its heritage and build a vibrant future for its children; Anne and the rest of the dedicated charrette team worked hard to come up with unique and beneficial solutions to do just that.

Aerial view of the proposed mixed-use site
The team saw the potential for a self-sustaining, "business-residential-services" destination hub not totally reliant on cars or parking for its clientele. They designed a transit-center and mixed-income, multi-family residential center that would create its own foot traffic to sustain local, neighborhood-based businesses in an enterprise-focused, incubator environment.

The design concept was titled "Something to Come Home To," with four conceptual cornerstones: Economic Viability, Community Vitality, Sustainability, and Enjoyment. The mixed-use space would incorporate elements such as ample green space and plazas, solar panels, vibrant shops and restaurants, commercial offices, daycare facilities, event space, roof gardens, affordable housing, and an RTC transit hub. The center would be a multi-generational space for everyone to enjoy. 

A dynamic retail environment with common areas
This proposed model supports economic success by bringing customers and businesses together while meeting the local housing need. As community members, architects, and dreamers, the team envisioned a new path for an energetic, sustainable community. Something to come home to.

A walkable and bikeable development to enjoy

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Girls Day & Boys Nite Out Success

One of the many activity stations

On October 5th, Sparkflight Studios sponsored the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada at their annual Girls Day & Boys Nite Out. The event's goal was to create a fulfilling and exciting experience for the children, giving them the attention they deserve and leaving them with the confidence to grow and strive for the best future possible. And with one-on-one mentor support and 38 unique stations for all kinds of food, sports, fun activities, giveaways, and meet-and-greets with first responders, they definitely succeeded. Sparkflight Studios is proud to have been a part of this event, which hosted a record number of children and raised more funds than ever before, ensuring that the children and Youth Development Professionals in our community continue to receive their much-deserved support year-round.  We invite you to participate as a mentor, or with a gift, in 2020!

A happy child with her mentor