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.