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Community Impact

Jun 01, 2018

Student Design Day

SDD Livingwithwater

Image courtesy of BSA staff

Living with Water

Seventh and eighth graders from the Rising Tide Charter School in Plymouth recently spent a morning at BSA Space exploring rising tides. The students are part of a club that focuses on issues of climate change. They came to Boston to learn about--and learn how to design for--sea level rise. Using the NatureStructure exhibition currently in the gallery and illustrations from the 2015 Living with Water international design competition as elements of research, students learned how architects and designers are using their unique skills to identify ways to keep Boston thriving as the water rises. Students learned about a range of techniques for managing Boston's physical environment during a wetter future, including adaptive reuse of existing infrastructure and the introduction of innovative design types. Later, students were presented with a design challenge to reimagine the "front lawn" at BSA Space, which abuts Fort Point Channel. These 12-14 year olds came up with ingenious solutions. Examples included allowing filtered water into the site to become a pool from which to watch movies; creating a tiered community garden with a deck, greenspace and playground; and using the tides to power an onsite water feature. Students understood that climate change and sea level rise are complex matters that must be tackled through a variety of solutions, approaches, and disciplines.

Students were asked to answer a few questions at the end of the workshop. One student summed up their learning best: "Before coming to this workshop I thought we could just put up a wall and be done. Now I think we actually need to plan out how to solve rising tides."