At Snowdrop, we aim to design and manufacture simple modular homes. We envision these homes to help address the inadequacies of current disaster relief efforts and community building projects, both domestic and international. We believe in creating environments that meet peoples’ needs for shelter, energy, water, health, and agriculture, enabling them to spend their free time being more productive members of society. This blog series reflects what we have accomplished thus far and how we plan to advance our mission in the future. Follow us on our journey!
Snowdrop’s Extension Services include Cinematography, Photography, Model Making, and Teaching. These services are offered by core team members to generate additional revenue for the main project. 100% of Snowdrop’s Extension Services profits go into research, implementation, or equipment that align with project goals to create sustainable solutions for disaster relief activities or developing country communities.
For the past five weeks, three members of the Snowdrop team, Rick Fairhurst, Chirac Ndetan, and Mark DePaul, spent each Saturday working for a local summer program called “The Young Architects Workshop (YAW),” located at the Gateway Arts Center in West Hyattsville. Rick, having taught the year before, was invited back as a guest instructor. Being a huge advocate for Arckit, a modular component system, and its use in education, he introduced the students to Arckit, taught them how to think/design with energy efficiency in mind, and helped them build their own models. Chirac and Mark provided Snowdrop Extension Services to photo and video document the students and their efforts. The result was a new website for the workshop and a refreshed brand for the program, which should help to jump start its expansion next year.
YAW is a community arts center-based program that exposes high school students to the field of architecture. The program was created in 2014 by architectural designer and educator Marcus Monroe to promote diversity in design. Currently based in Hyattsville, Maryland, YAW has become an incubator in the field, challenging young minds to use critical design thinking when developing creative and thoughtful solutions to solve social issues in nearby communities.
Held each year in late spring, YAW is a multi-week, design-intensive studio that teaches students problem solving, freehand sketching, 3D modeling, physical model construction, and presentation/group skills. It is a wonderful experience for high school students to tackle real work projects relevant to the local community. The program ends with a presentation to community partners, local professionals, friends, and family. YAW is funded through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Division of the Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George's County (see link below). As a result, there is no studio fee and accepted students are paid a stipend upon completion. With more funding, YAW hopes to develop a partnership with Arckit so that it can order new kits each year and gift them to future students who complete the program.
This year, nine students were tasked with the challenge of designing a transitional home for domestic violence survivors. The program partnered with a local shelter who served as the client and provided key insights to occupant needs. Mid-way through the program, the students formed three teams, each of which was responsible for building a physical model using Arckit and drawing out a 3D computer representation using Google Sketchup.
With three successful years under his belt, Marcus is interested in expanding and growing the program. He reached out and contracted our Extension Services Team to develop a new YAW website, refresh the program’s brand, and photo and video document the students’ projects and overall program experience. For five weeks, Snowdrop’s Extension Services team worked with Marcus to make his vision come to life.
With the help of Snowdrop’s Extension Services team, YAW hopes to expand the program from one to four sites by 2019, recruit teams of two architectural design professionals per site, and establish mission partnerships with like-minded businesses and organizations. Over the next few months, we will be working out a professional contract to link our services not only to YAW but also the entire Gateway Arts Center.
If you like what Snowdrop is all about, spread the word by sharing this page or telling others. If you would like to learn more about our project and follow us on our journey, check out the link below. If you’d like to volunteer or work for us, stay tuned for opportunities to get involved. If you want to help us fund the implementation of tangible solutions on the ground, consider donating below. Whatever your capacity is, do that. Work with us and make a lasting impact on our world.
All profits will go into research, implementation or the purchase of equipment that aligns with project goals to create sustainable solutions for disaster relief or communities of developing countries.
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below or through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.