San Francisco Experts in Sustainable Design Share their Vision with the Next Generation
Unique High School Program Connects Students with Leading Local Voices and the Power of Place
San Francisco – A renowned group of San Francisco architects, authors, and sustainability experts will anchor a unique three-day educational program this week that connects graduating high school seniors with the structures, systems, and environment of their City.
The students are from San Francisco Waldorf High School’s History of Architecture class, one of several required courses designed to help seniors understand their emerging place in the world. Featured speakers include Wendy Bertrand, architect and author of the award-winning memoir, Enamored with Place, and Eric Corey Freed, founder of organicARCHITECT and expert in biomimicry architecture, a design discipline that relies on nature’s patterning and strategies to guide sustainability.
Noted Freed: “We’ve left this world a mess for the next generation, so the very least we can do is to help motivate and inspire young people to work toward making the world a better place. I am excited to see what they come up with!”
Setting out by bike, bus, and on foot, students will explore San Francisco’s innovative public spaces, urban gardens, and the mid-Market mix of revitalized and blighted commercial buildings. The agenda includes an ecological and social bike tour with Chris Carlson, author and founder of Critical Mass, and a natural history walking tour with writer Joel Pomerantz. Students will also meet architects at Smith Group JJR, one of the leading sustainable design firms in the U.S., and tour the historic and LEED-Gold certified Bentley Reserve.
On Day Two, students will travel to Hayes Valley to visit David Winslow, a lead planner in the City’s efforts to create a network of Living Alleys in the Market-Octavia area. Benjamin Osgood, Senior Vice President of Tenant Representation at Dunhill Partners West will talk to students about workplace sustainability and technology. And students will see sustainable design in practice at the Glide’s rooftop garden, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Transbay Tower, and the new Eco-Center at Heron’s Head Park.
“There is no better place than San Francisco for young people to explore the convergence of issues around design, sustainability, and social responsibility,” noted architecture teacher Peggy Fok. “Architecture and design are at the heart of our civic conversation, and this generation will be instrumental in keeping our City vibrant and livable. I am grateful to the inspiring local leaders who are sharing their expertise and enthusiasm.”
San Francisco Waldorf High School students attend the city’s only LEED Gold-certified school. Once an AT&T call center, the building was transformed by architect and Waldorf parent David Bushnell in 2011. The design of the school building itself is used in the architecture, green building, and environmental studies classes. The outings are sponsored by the Outdoor Classroom Initiative, a school program that helps brings students together with natural areas and community.