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Project 3

Systems solutions for Thrive School

a sustainable community resource center
System solutions for Thrive School

System Description 3

Rich Pictures 6

System Archetypes 11

Living Building
Challenge 13

Implementation 17

Feedback 19
MCAD SD-6510-10: SYSTEMS THINKING / WEEK 15 / 05.06.16 3

Thrive School building
web /

media office

During my reflection on the Eco-lodge system as managment

micro busine
a means of restoration and healing in Project 1, renewable
I became curious about exploring the concept energy
Eco renewable
of a community training center permanently Local lodge energy
embedded in the overall concept of an effective community
Eco-lodge framework. The original Thrive School
sub-system model demonstrated the role of the equipment
sustainable maintenance


Eco-lodge-sponsored community center. The


si o n a
concept was influenced still further by a recent fish-farming sustainable Thrive

tin g in
trip to Kenya where I saw this type of school in agriculture School

o fe s
action. m

o rr e
o w s t r a d

land preservation &
management Wildlife

guide wildlife
services preservation
& management

Original sub-system model.

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Approach #1 Approach #2 Approach #3

The creation and operation of the The effects on the population The construction of the school
Inputs Education Living Building Challenge
Outputs Empowerment

(See this diagram from Project 2 below and more on (See this diagram from Project 2 below and more on (You will see this starting on page 12)
pages 6-9 and 11) pages 8-9 and 11)

comes from
area 1 S1
DAY 01



S2 S4


comes from

area 2


S1 T1
Teachers T2
DAY 02

pass on
to learners
S2 T2
Could the
DAY 365

School be
replicated or
Teachers trade
learners and S1 T1
DAY 04

from individual
specialties or
disciplines S2 T2

New students
Students full of S1 go to Thrive
knowledge go home to Area 1 School?
their communties now community
DAY 06

as teachers and dance S2

enthusiastically about C
what theyve learned. C
Area 2 C
community C
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Modular & Mobile Stage 1

Thrive School? Modular


nest and pack
This big idea came during Project 2 - a training for relocation ud e
St ffic
center that could be both modular and mobile so O
that it would be able to relocate to another area
or region. y
Some of these back burner ideas have been hen
tc 1st
fueled by projects like:


o omm
o Stage 3
The Farmery ro
sssr b
laas LLaab
( CCl

an Modular
G-Pod Ve r components
( unpack for
new setup

USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015

Stage 2 Thrive School
The second idea that goes along with the moves to new Training
modular / mobile concept (and begs for further location center
in a box
exploration) is to include exhibit elements - large
easy to understand infographic elements that
can inform guests even when no one is speaking. Classroom / New
Lab Location

The following project explores those concepts.

MCAD SD-6510-10: SYSTEMS THINKING / WEEK 15 / 05.06.16 6


What Are Rich Pictures? Four Phases

Rich pictures are sketches used to tell the messy I also explored four different phases of the Thrive consider things that they may have never
story of whats really going on within and around School: thought of before like urban food production and
a system of interest. The kinesthetic interac- forestry cash crops.
tion of pencil to paper engages the mind in a 1. Design phase - This includes empathizing
unique way and causes the designer to engage with a client and users that are on the other side 3. Use phase - During my time in Kenya I learned
and empathize with all actors on a deeper more of the world. For the solution to be truly useful that, unfortunately, the prevailing paradigm is
meaningful level. (and to avoid a design for instead of a design one of development for a growth economy with
with situation) we need lots of input from that little regard to the long-term cost in biodiversity
side so it can be truly collaborative. and resources.
2. Build phase - We will have to consider what 4. End-of-Life phase - The entire project must
I chose to focus on the Thrive School model to materials are even available in Kenya and then all continue to benefit its ecosystem and cultural
illustrate all the facets of the system. You will of the considerations for shipping context even when its first usefulness has come
see CATWOE represented in the subject matter. materials in (including import taxes). We want to to an end. This means that all pieces and parts
CATWOE stands for: use materials to show strategies that locals can must be able to be completely re-assigned, re-
incorporate easily but also inspire them to used, recycled or composted as nutrients for life.

C Client - CCK and their training center.

A Actors - Teachers, learners, community, government, industry, and CCK staff.

T Transformation - The training center provides a place for learning.

W Worldview - view of development, and view of a thriving circular economy.

O Owner - CCK and their benefactors

E Environment - Moffat College and Kenyan ecosystems.

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This is a snapshot of some of poverty
the typical challenges that plague lack of
developing countries and the financial education foreign
context in which an Eco-lodge aid
and associated thrive school poaching
might find itself. As you can government
see the issues are very aid
complex and messy. poisoning
expand loss of
tourism monocrops
land loss of
pest war
development infestation

soil disease
deforestation erosion
Archetypes pesticides /
loss of herbicides
ground contamination
1. Shifting the burden to water of ground
intervener (addiction) water
weather farmers
2. Eroding Goals (drift to low patterns drought use
performance) fertilizer

3. Tragedy of Commons low crop

yield mortality
4. Limits to Growth
MCAD SD-6510-10: SYSTEMS THINKING / WEEK 15 / 05.06.16 12

Possible Solutions
Shifting the burden to intervener Eroding Goals (or drift to low perfor- Tragedy of Commons
(addiction) mance)
Educate and exhort users by:
- A constant flow of information such as the
Focus on long-term re-structuring not I will discuss three solutions related to actual long-term effects of deforestation or
short-term relief. This is especially true in sustainable agriculture methods taught by the benefits of Eco-tourism and sustainable
working with displaced peoples of war or Foundations for Farming within the context wildlife management.
natural disaster. After the relief agencies of the resource center.
have done their specialized work, - Changing current paradigms such as the
communities need long term development Keep performance standards governments and cultures definition of
which includes things like education and absolute. Four over-arching principles gov- development.
low-or-no-interest loans for micro- ern all methods. They are:
businesses. Rules and regulations by the
- To Standard government and by the local
- On Time community initiatives that include
Beware of symptom-relieving - Zero Waste (or waste = food) graduated sanctions for rule violators.
policies. This is an extremely delicate - With Joy
matter. Global Economist, Dambisa Moyo
(born in Zambia) describes a schism taking Outside accountability. Teachers and
place between the West and the Rest. neighbors provide outside accountability Limits to Growth
She says developing countries need as they are watching the farmer to see if he
economic stimulation - not aid. Many follows the methods. Focus on renewable sources for things like
countries are growing resentful of aid from building materials and cooking fuel.
western superpowers when strings are Reward better performance. In this way
attached, when paternalistic countries standards are enhanced by best actual Slowing the growth by reducing the gain
come in and dictate to beneficiary countries performance. I believe that this happens around a reinforcing loop such as producing
how they should live and govern naturally for the farmer that practices wealth from raising cattle (leading to over-
themselves. You can read more here: Foundations for Farming principles because grazing) or fishing (leading to over fishing). his crops are consistently 300% increase in
yield compared to his neighbors!
System solutions for Thrive School

Living Building
Challenge 3.0
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The Living Building Challenge is a philosophy, Above the meeting room there will be an open 04. Human Powered Living
certification, and advocacy tool created by the office / studio / loft for up to eight staff mem-
International Living Future Institute. There are bers, an additional uni-sex restroom, and a The center will feature sheltered bike racks,
seven main categories, or petals, that are fea- small kitchenette and copier station. a bike maintenance mini-shop, showers and
tured and some have sub-categories included changing rooms for workers and an elec-
within. It is important to note that the LBC is tric-vehicle charging station.
not a net neutral program but a net positive
one. The goal is to design buildings and cam- Place
puses that are truly alive and benefit the envi-
ronment, culture, and economy by being there. Water
01. Limits To Growth

Specific Project Parameters The center will be located on an existing 05. Net Positive Water
college campus and will not contribute to
The CCK training center is presently located on urban sprawl. It will not be near any wetland, 100% of the facilities needs will come from
the campus of Moffat College in Kijabe, Kenya. virgin prairie, or old-growth forest. It will en- harvested rainwater and/or closed-loop
However, there may come a day when Moffat hance indigenous biodiversity. No petrochem- system without the use of chemicals. Storm
needs to use that plot for something else. ical fertilizers or pesticides will be used in the water and regular water discharge (including
Therefore, the training center needs to be both operation or maintenance of the landscape. grey water) will be treated via Bio Box. Berms
modular and mobile. and swales and permeable pavers in the land-
02. Urban Agriculture scape will ensure ground infiltration.
It needs to accommodate fifty people in a
large, multi-functional meeting room with The structure of the center will support food Toilets will be Clivus Mutrum composting
desks and chairs. The room needs to be production appropriate to its scale in the form toilets.
equipped with A/V equipment for video presen- of living rooftop gardens or walls.
tations. It also needs an adjoining kitchen with
service counter for meals. Mens and womens
restrooms should also be included on the 03. Habitat Exchange
ground floor. The meeting room should be very
open, make use of lots of natural lighting, and A one-acre portion of land will be dedicated in
should spill out onto a surrounding semi- perpetuity as a wildlife preservation.
sheltered deck or veranda.
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08. Healthy Interior Environment 12. Responsible Industry

There will be proper exhaust in the kitchen, All timber will be FSC certified. The project
bathrooms, and any janitorial areas and only team will incorporate at least one Declare la-
06. Net Positive Energy plant-friendly cleaning chemicals will be used beled product and will send information on the
on site. Declare program to at least 10 manufacturers
105% of the facilities energy needs will be not currently using it.
supplied by on-site renewable energy such as
PV solar or Vortex wind generators without the 09. Biophilic Environment
use of combustion. 13. Living Economy Sourcing
Through various schemes the facility will
The project will also include on-site storage nurture the wonder and interaction of humans 20% of materials will come from within 500
with batteries, enough to ensure emergency with nature. (ie. an indoor waterfall during km of site or closer.
lighting and refrigeration. May incorporate a rains, interior living walls, a treehouse canopy An additional 30% of materials will come
vehicle-to-house (V2H) energy scheme such environment, etc.) from 1,000 km of site or closer.
as that of Nissan LEAF or Tesla.
An additional 25% of materials will come
Daylighting, LED lights and solar-powered su- from 5,000 km of site.
per-efficient fridges will cut down on the need Materials 25% of materials will come from any loca-
for electricity. Cooking in the kitchen will be by tion.
fireless cooking baskets and/or solar cookers. Consultants will come from eMi, which is
Water will be heated by solar water heater. 10. Red List located just across the border in Uganda.
Shading and directed breezes will replace any
need for air-conditioning. No materials on the red list will be used includ-
ing PVC, Asbestos, Cadmium, Mercury, Lead, 14. Net Positive Waste
Pthalates, Arsenic, Bisphenol A (BPA), Formal-
dehyde, etc. The project team will strive to reduce or elim-
Health & Happiness inate the production of waste during design,
11. Embodied Carbon Footprint construction, operation, and end of life.
07. Civilized Environment Because the structure must be mobile, it will
A one-time carbon offset in ILFIs Carbon be designed and built in modular components
Exchange. Or the project team may choose that will take into consideration shipping
The facility will have a combination of open air,
instead to be especially mindful of embodied constraints.
operable glass windows, and shutters to allow
for fresh air and controlling strong breezes. energy in material, shipping weight and
distance as they relate to CO2 emissions.
MCAD SD-6510-10: SYSTEMS THINKING / WEEK 15 / 05.06.16 16

Also, construction may take place in a factory 17. Equitable Investment There will also be regular training classes
setting where construction can be carefully available. These classes will incorporate
planned and executed with minimal waste. Because CCK is a charitable organization it is lab-type learning sessions and video for easy
Steel will be 100% recycled (and recyclable). exempt from setting aside and donating a half comprehension and assimilation. There will be
Roof may be constructed with wood framing a cent or more for every dollar of total project an annual open day for the public. An
and used plastic water bottles. If a geodesic cost to a charity of its choosing. educational component could be incorporated
structure is used, struts will be made from into CCKs existing website for the purpose of
bamboo and treated with life-friendly chem- online learning and professional development.
icals so that the struts can be completely
18. Just Organizations
The project team will be transparent in its
Lastly, there will be a plan in place to manage disclosure of business practices of the
all waste for recycling and composting. major organizations involved. At least one of
the team members will have a JUST label for
their organization.

15. Human Scale & Humane Places
The project will be designed for humans not
19. Beauty & Spirit
automobiles. There will be no parking at the
site. All paths will be permeable. The project will contain design features intend-
ed solely for human delight and the celebration
of local culture, including public art.
16. Universal Access to Nature &
Place 20. Inspiration & Education
The site will be ADA accessible. Reasonable The facility will function as both a visitor center
steps will be taken to make sure that the public and a classroom with interpretive signage
realm is provided for and enhanced through that teaches visitors and occupants about the
sheltered benches on the street side, and project. This signage could be in the form of
public art or gardens. three-dimensional infographics.
System solutions for Thrive School

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I have already begun to assemble a team of This may be jumping the gun a bit but I cant
collaborators. Stateside I have an architect, a help but be influenced by these amazing
building contractor, a geographer, and a polit- structures that really seem to fit a similar
ical science major. On the Kenya side I have a context:
female Kenyan forestry expert, a male Kenyan
environmental scientist and agriculture spe-
cialist, and an American agro-forestry special-
ist. I plan to work with both teams back and 1 The USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo
forth as I go forward into my thesis project. 2015, designed by Biber Architects
As we are following Stanford D. Schools boot-
camp bootleg, we are in the empathize and
define modes right now. Much of that has
been accomplished through interviews with 2 The Osthang Project:
CCK staff and this project. In the short time I
International Summer School,
was there I tried to immerse myself as much Darmstadt, Germany
as possible in the environment of both users
- the CCK staff members and the farmers who
come to learn. The meeting we had with an
English-Kenyan man named Simon revealed a
great deal about the worldview of the culture
and the political system of the country.

Moving forward it will be the job of our team to

develop an actionable problem statement: our
point of view. This will be our guiding statement
that focuses on specific users, and the insights
and needs that we uncovered during the
empathize mode.
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CCK - Care of Creation Kenya Tragedy of the Commons - this is whats called
A like-minded friend of mine was kind enough an archetype. It describes a behavior of expan-
to read over my project and critique it. The Declare project - A nutrition-label for prod- sion and consumption that is self-perpetuat-
first recommendation he made was to create ucts providing a clear, elegant and informative ing. Over-fishing is one example. Fisherman
a glossary of terms because he was unfamiliar method to disclose ingredients. see that its in their best interest to expand
with many of the acronyms and terms I had their capability to catch more fish because
used. Here is what else he said: Fireless Cooker - This is a super-insulated they make more money. The added pressure
basket in which you can place a pre-heated pot of beating the competition puts a strain on
...And a few ideas you might want to consider: (of rice for example) so that it will remain at the fish population until its completely gone.
the same temperature and finish cooking. Fuel The decimation of bison herds during West-
For the plant-friendly cleaning chemicals, consumption is cut by at least two-thirds. You ward Expansion of frontier America is another
maybe they could make their own vinegar? can read more about it here: example.
Its a pretty simple process; let some fruit
juice sit in a jar with a starter culture (and
theyd probably want to distill it if theyre ILFI - The International Living Future Institute.
going to use it to clean). And it also makes They work with Cascadia Green Building Council
a healthy drink / preventative medicine. to develop the Living Building Challenge.
Speaking of which...
Maybe this school could teach fermen-
tation for food preservation and health JUST label - This is a label developed by ILFI
tonics? that helps consumers identify responsible and
transparent organizations, institutions, and
For the building design: have you consid-
corporations that promote social justice.
ered a plywood conic? or a dragon skin
pavilion? (I dont know how mobile they
eMi - Stands for Engineering Ministries Inter-
are, but they seem well-suited for the
naitonal, a faith-based organization similar to
project. I can imagine a dragon-skin design
Mass Design.
with built-in planters in every section! That
would be cool.)