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The Grand Finale at South Park Community Center

There is no doubt in my mind that Saturday and this Design Your Neighborhood was anything but a huge success, in terms of transformation of our project room and of the amazing youth I had the privilege to work with.

These last three months have been filled with lessons, both personal and practical, fieldtrips, a seemingly endless supply of granola bars and oranges, and lots and lots of paint. And now it’s over. But what have been our biggest takeaways during our time together?

At the grand celebration and unveiling of the teen room at the South Park Community Center, after some mingling and excited chitter flurrying around the room we gathered inside where SAM’s Sarah Bloom began with opening remarks. Following a brief presentation by Satpreet of the overview of DYN’s purpose, before pictures, and the design process, the youth did group presentations and spoke about their influences on the room, how many of them felt Olson Kundig was their favorite fieldtrip, and some even spoke on their encouraged desire to pursue a career in design.

Afterwards, alongside Gwen, I was honored to present our parting gifts to these young adults, which including the toolkits given to them in the beginning, a certificate of completion from Seattle Parks & Rec, a coloring book and dual tipped coloring pencils, and personalized business cards designed by Satpreet.

The transformation pictures as you will find below are sure to blow your mind. As Chris Landingin, the amazing carpenter from Batt + Lear  who helped the youth transform the looming hulk of a cabinet into a dynamic mobile desk and storage space noted (and I’m paraphrasing here): A lot of amazing work was done by such a small group — I couldn’t agree more, Chris.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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You should be as proud as all of us are for the hard work and long hours you put in. You were all so incredibly meticulous and thoughtful down to the smallest of details. We look forward to see where life will take you after this program and how you will find elements of design in your everyday lives and think critically about your life and the world around you. Thank you for your time and dedication to this project!

Thank you to our partners Olson Kundig, Seattle Architecture Foundation, and FLOR for donating carpet tiles. Additional thanks to the artists at Bemis Building, Schemata Workshop, Chris Landingin, Tracy Tyau, South Park Community Center, Cherryl Jackson-Williams, volunteers from SAM, and to all in attendance Saturday.

Please stay connected for a video to follow shortly from our videographer, Aaron Bourget, and when Design Your Neighborhood returns this summer!

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