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

Friday, September 20, 2019

2019 AIA Blueprint for Better Housing

At the halfway point of the charrette
This year AIA Las Vegas put a call out to our professional community to coordinate a Blueprint for Better Housing.  This is our local chapter's response to a national project Blueprint for Better that challenges architects to work closely with community leaders to "...tackle key issues from rising water levels and more frequent natural disasters, to diverse housing needs and the increased urgency for sustainable design."

After coordination with community stakeholders, the AIA identified three housing categories: Multi-family Mixed Use, Workforce Housing, and Micro Housing.  Key locations within the city were targeted as virtual project sites, and an all-day visioning charrette was held in late August.  Happily, our design teams, six total, consisted of a mix of non-architects like business owners, bankers, government employees, developers--and a few architects and landscape architects too.  This event was just the start of weeks of accelerated research, proposals, number-crunching, and designing.

Anne was invited to lead a Multi-family Mixed Use group, and has been actively continuing the efforts for our site with the charrette participants, members of the local community, and our office team.  Sparkflight Studios is invigorated by this experience of listening and learning, and shaping form in response to community needs.  It's what we love to do!
  • Can a mixed use development be a catalyst for local business incubation? Yes!
  • Can urban housing have access to green space and fresh produce? Yes!
  • Can a triple bottom line* for sustainability drive a development? Yes!

* Triple bottom line is people, planet, and profit.  

The AIA Las Vegas will present the groups' conclusions in late October.
Look for additional posts with the developing project!

Preparing our presentation after a 12-hour day

Friday, July 12, 2019

Water Street is Lit!

Water Street District Canopy Sign

Water Street District has arrived on the scene, and Sparkflight Studios worked closely with the City of Henderson to prepare a dramatic, LED-lit sign next to the City of Henderson Events Plaza.  This 4′-6″ tall sign is rendered in an Art Deco font in keeping with the area’s style from the Basic Townsite era.  It features channel letters facing each side of Water Street with pre-programmed seasonal options like St. Patricks Day, Winterfest, Industrial Days, and of course, “Go Knights!”

Rendering in red; Water Street District Canopy Sign

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer Brain Boosts

Just when vacation mindset was kicking in this year, we got to exercise our brains instead.  June was full of learning opportunities with the AIA National Convention and Graphisoft Archicad's international conference both here in Vegas.  There were lectures, showrooms, technical trainings, and of course networking.

Our team especially enjoyed the Archicad Key Client Conference! We learned new software tips, met fellow users from across the globe, and saw previews of where the tool is heading.  The BIMx viewer and construction tool continues to get better, displaying our 2D drawings with the model to improve the construction team's understanding of design intent and aiding coordination.  It's all good--especially the interoperability with Rhino for modeling.  And don't forget the cool T-shirts.
We're fans!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

Thank you to all those who have served and paid the ultimate price.  We remember them, and their families, this Memorial Day.

See our tribute on Water Street...