Local design is most sustainable when it’s an educational process, nurturing new sensibilities from the inside out, rather than from the outside in.
...The work that is possible for a designer to do in a rural community is completely different than what’s possible in any city or design firm. Design as a means to overcome challenges is nonexistent, so the possibilities to inspire change abound. But design is also misunderstood and scoffed at as “fancy stuff for rich people.” That’s why we decided to move to Bertie County permanently and create a design-build high-school curriculum with Dr. Zullinger. We didn’t want to just be “creative consultants.” We wanted to build something from within and teach the young people of eastern North Carolina that design is first and foremost a sensibility that allows individuals to solve problems in different ways [my emphasis].
...Local design has an identity beyond a program’s branding because it has an ownership by real people and it requires person-to-person communication. Local design is wood and metal and eye contact and handshakes.