Thursday, April 21, 2022

Building a Healthy World

Image Credit: NASA. Taken from Emergence Magazine: Ten Love Letters to the Earth by Thich Nhất Hanh.

In honor of Earth Day this week, we would like to share with you our passion for creating healthy, equitable, and community-centered design. In our practice areas (Multifamily, Commercial, Interiors, and Public Art) we approach every project with this care and sensitivity.

This stems from one of our core beliefs that a healthy, sustainable world is possible. As design professionals, it is our job to ensure that the spaces we live, work, and play support our health. Organizations like the Healthy Building Network are raising their voice and partnering with communities to advocate for a built environment in which all people are free of chemicals that harm us. To make spaces where we breathe easy, think clearly, and feel more creative requires research and community buy-in.

According to the HBN, of roughly 85,000 chemicals available in the market, few are adequately tested for human health impacts. Hazardous chemicals are widespread and can be found in our water, air, food, and products we use every day. These chemicals migrate into our bodies, our children’s bodies, and our pets and wildlife, costing us our health, the loss of millions of IQ points, and contributing to climate change.

We know that making positive change takes time, but always begins with this one step. This Earth Day, take a step to protect our environment and build a healthier world — whether this be by composting, recycling, repurposing, carpooling, or choosing metal straws over plastic ones (to save the turtles, of course!). Visit recreation.gov and explore ways you can help protect our federal public lands and waters.

Bonus: Take a look at Emergence Magazine's tribute to Thich Nhất Hanh (affectionately called Thầy, or "Teacher") in his Ten Love Letters to the Earth; link here. Nhất Hanh recently passed in January of this year, whom we remember in our "way of breathing and walking."

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Places of Learning Inspire Us!

Battle Born Academy. Image by Sparkflight Studios © All Rights Reserved.

Here at Sparkflight, we design spaces of learning and play for children and families in need as part of our commitment to the community. Our joy is collaborating with educators to discover how the built environment can support their educational mission. We partner with developers who serve students that qualify for the National School Lunch Program and Title 1. Our services range from entitlements and pre-design to permitting and construction administration. We are available to advise charter founders and boards as they embark on the development process.

Battle Born Academy
Our most recent project is with Battle Born Academy, a school focused on project-based learning. Its founders strongly believe that all children can and will love school when strong academic supports are combined with student-led inquiry, a focus on social-emotional learning, and strong values that create a community of learners and leaders. Sparkflight developed concepts for the conversion of a 30-year-old 17,000 SF warehouse building, including daylit and garden spaces. This school is projected to serve 540 students in East Las Vegas at full build-out and is planned to open in the upcoming year.

Futuro Academy. Image by Sparkflight Studios © All Rights Reserved.

Futuro Academy
Operated as a tuition-free school, Futuro Academy developed over six years through multiple phases and ongoing projects for the 46,000 SF school. Sparkflight guided the design process to transform a former grocery store on approximately 4.6 acres of land. Resources include daylit classrooms, a health center, and a multi-purpose room with an adjacent food service area. This project serves 586 students.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

From the Archives: Sparkflight's Public Art Proposals

(Left to Right) quantum (Sugar Land, TX), Through Her Eyes (Henderson, NV), "Typographical" Map (Henderson, NV). Imagery © Sparkflight Studios.

Here at Sparkflight, one of our passions is public art. We believe in its power to delight, invite reflection, speak of cultural truths, and spark curiosity. Here are a few of our past proposals that we are excited to share with you. Though never constructed, they are a part of our never-ending investigations into creating compelling works of art that inspire.

Imagery © Sparkflight Studios.

quantum (2019)

The City of Sugar Land, Texas requested proposals for an atrium public art piece that will be suspended in City Hall's atrium to commemorate the City's 60th Anniversary. Our proposal, called quantum, is inspired by the historical richness of Sugar Land and seeks to understand its history through the lens of memory, collective hope, and heritage. Every angle presents to the viewer a new dynamic between the elements, mirroring the ever-changing aspect of life and events. The cylindrical elements represent the refinery’s chimneys as a symbol of place. These elements house the blue light signifying the rivers and the lakes. All situated in the same horizontal plane, they form a virtual “demarcation line” that signifies the present. This plane, like the horizon, is a reference for the viewer as vantage point is changed. Spheres of light inhabit the time-grid in various ways as capsules of past and future experiences. Spheres of the past are represented with reduced luminescence, signifying atonement for the past, forgetfulness, and forgiveness. Spheres representing the future are with increased luminesce, signifying hope, faith, and a desire for a bright future.

Imagery © Sparkflight Studios.

Through Her Eyes (2021)

The City of Henderson requested proposals for the design and fabrication of a series of public art pieces that will focus on representing aspects of the history of Townsite Henderson through three-dimensional art. Our team’s interest was in exploring a connection between everyday objects used by residents of Henderson during the WWII era and people today. Through Her Eyes is inspired by items used for work at the Basic Magnesium Plant. Multiple issues of the “Basic Bombardier” and Irene Rostine’s 2013 Master’s Thesis with the stories of WWII “Magnesium Maggies” inspired this artwork concept. Several utilitarian objects used by female plant workers were explored, including typewriters, phones, gas masks, protective goggles, asbestos gloves, and ingot handlers. Our team identified Thelma Oldfield, or “Chlorine Kate,” as the first woman promoted to “man’s work” in the Chlorine cell building. Her rubber safety boots establish a physical connection between the present to the past, a way to stand in her shoes and imagine her perspective.

Imagery © Sparkflight Studios.
"Typographical" Map (2021)

A play on topology and typography, this artwork concept is inspired by a discovered 1942 map of the Basic Townsite, resources from the UNLV Special Collections and Archives, and the 2017 Henderson Historic Resources Survey. The map is overlaid with local printed matter from the war era, including the Basic Magnesium plant newsletters “The Big Job” and “Basic Bombardier.” Overlay text includes Magnesium’s symbol Mg and the atomic number 12. The 3-dimensional map includes the 1942 townsite, shared emergency phone locations, the BMI plant boundary, and landmark streets and highways that still exist today. Henderson exists because it supplied Magnesium and the establishment of the BMI munitions factory during WWII. This 3-dimensional topographical map from the WWII era is placed in the context of the contemporary downtown. Gazing across the map from the civic core allows for reflection on the genesis as a “company town,” orientation for walking tours, and a perspective on Henderson’s expansion as it heads toward the Centennial in 2053.

Friday, February 25, 2022

WikiHouse Skylark - New Prefabricated Building System

Farmhouse in Warwickshire, UK (2017). Photo © Architecture 00.

According to the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, carbon neutrality by 2050 is the world’s most urgent mission.

Buildings generate nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions. In response, WikiHouse has developed a mission to “put the knowledge & tools to build beautiful, zero-carbon buildings into the hands of every citizen, community and business.”

How it Works
Designer Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere. Watch Alastair Parvin’s TED Talk, here.

The big idea behind WikiHouse is the power of 'many small'. WikiHouse isn't made by just one company in one large, centralized factory, but by a distributed network of small, local fabricators and assemblers, collaborating on common, shared design solutions. So it's not just about building homes: it's also about building local economic capacity, everywhere.

WikiHouse is creating the infrastructure to tool-up communities and small businesses to build the homes we need. They are doing this by empowering local CNC fabricators to cut and assemble your ‘kit-of-parts’. While still in Beta, WikiHouse Skylark is quickly tooling-up online resources to make projects feasible, affordable, and transparent.

Watch the video below for WikiHouse's largest project to date being constructed at The Gantry at Here East and the big ideas behind the project by Hawkins\Brown.


Resources
Check out Skylark’s series of ‘Guides’, here.

We also find WikiHouse’s 'Place Design Principles' a fascinating basic checklist for designing high-quality buildings and places. Modeled after the 1977 seminal text, A Pattern Language, it is a great place to begin and consider when putting pen to paper. If budget allows, they take it one step further and provide a 'Generous Homes Checklist' to remind designers about the things that bring delight and comfort in your home.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Wetlands: Hands On! (W.H.O.)

 

The Nature Conservancy in Nevada. Image credit © Simon Williams.

Wetlands: Hands On! (W.H.O.) is a stewardship program at the Clark County Wetlands Park involving more than 5,000 community volunteers since 2013. Volunteers participated in monthly projects including picking up trash and debris, removing graffiti, painting, removing invasive plants, trail maintenance, and restoration. Dozens of southern Nevada organizations, clubs, businesses, and agencies have participated.

The next W.H.O. stewardship opportunity is this Saturday, 2/12/22, from 9 AM - 11 AM. Sign-up link here: who.ccwetlandspark.com.

Additional contact information
7050 Wetlands Park Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89122
(702) 455-7522
wetlands@clarkcountynv.gov

More February programs may be found by clicking here.

Monday, January 17, 2022

City Of Las Vegas Hosts Black History Month Events

 

City Of Las Vegas Hosts Black History Month Events (Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2022)

Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Let us take inspiration from that beloved man, and commit to nonviolence and always protect the dignity of others! "We cannot walk alone."

City Of Las Vegas Hosts Black History Month Events

Jan. 16-Feb. 26, 2022


Peace Week 2022: Extending the Dream Celebration

“Inspiring the Movement through Change”

Sunday, Jan. 16, 3 to 5 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

West Las Vegas Library Theatre, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd.

Peace Week 2022 will honor, pay tribute and celebrate the life, legacy and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more information, call the West Las Vegas Library at 702-507-3989 or the Doolittle Senior Center at 702-229-6125.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth League Basketball Tournament

Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 20-22; 4 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.

Free and open to selected schools and youth programs.

Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St.

A single-elimination youth basketball tournament will be held in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Participants will qualify through their respective schools or youth programs. For additional information, contact Willie Dunn at 702-229-6374 or Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642.


Stay Prepared for School Fair and Health Fair

Saturday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.

Free and open to the public.

Doolittle Community Center, 1950 N. J St.

Grade school children will have the opportunity to receive school supplies and other resources to prepare them for success in the second half of the school year. Enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, refreshments, face painting and more. For more information, contact Latonya Lomax at 702-229-2425 or Trine Morris at 702-229-1732.


Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance 6th Annual Conference:

Monday-Tuesday, Jan. 24-25, 8 a.m. to noon each day.

Free and open to the public; online event registration is required.

This is a virtual event.

The Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is hosting a free, two-day virtual conference with national experts, legislators, school administrators, law enforcement, educators, social services providers, clinicians, advocates and other community stakeholders. This is an action-focused convening to discuss educational equity, racial justice, adults as youth allies, and critical education policy issues. The Las Vegas My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is a cross-sectoral collaborative comprised of three task forces that work to engage the community, promote optimal educational outcomes and improve law enforcement systems and programs. Online registration is required at https://cityoflasvegas.link/LVMBK2022. For more information, call 702-229-4075.


African American Trailblazer Service Awards

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Free and open to the public, but space is limited and advance RSVP is required.

Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers, 495 S. Main St., second floor.

Join in honoring African American leaders in the Las Vegas community that have made significant contributions to the vibrant fabric of the city. Contact Hallema Bailey West at 702-229-3401 to RSVP.


Sixth Annual Generation-2-Generation Old School Ball Game

Saturday, Feb. 5, noon.

Free and open to the public.

Kianga Isoke Palacio Park, 951 W. Lake Mead Blvd.

Come cheer on the youth of East Palo Alto Pitching as they take on a group of adults in a fun-filled softball game. Hot dogs and refreshments will be served while supplies last. For more information, call Savonta Manor at 702-229-1642 or Stephanie Lowery at 702-229-6125.


Good Time Catfish Fry

Thursday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m.

Cost: $10 lunch per person.

Doolittle Senior Center, 1930 N. J St.

Register in advance to enjoy this old-fashioned fish fry — a time to gather, socialize and enjoy food that nourishes the soul. Space is limited; call 702-229-6125 for information and registration.


Visit here to view the official city of Las Vegas Black History Month Events.


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Sparkflight Studios has Relocated in Henderson!

© Sparkflight Studios

With great excitement, Sparkflight Studios is pleased to announce that we have relocated to a new office space in Henderson! 

The new office includes: increased square footage, separate conference room with future audio-visual set-up, and warehouse space for ideation, mock-up, and build-outs to support our creative projects as artists and architects.

A special thank you to College H.U.N.K.S. for excellent and professional service (Eulalio, Jordan, and Quincy). Enjoy the photo collages from the momentous day, and early shots of the new space!

© Sparkflight Studios

Check back soon for more images when we're all settled-in. Please note that our mailing address has remained the same: 

1489 W Warm Springs Rd, Ste 110

Henderson, NV 89014

Drop-off times: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Mon - Fri