I recently had the opportunity to travel to the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands, Kauaʻi, and visit Lāwa`i Kai, also known as Allerton Garden. Having spent time at the Allerton Gardens in Monticello, IL, it was incredible to see and learn about this other magical place – where nature and human creativity come together.
1. Pineapple statue 2. Diana’s Fountain and reflection pool 3. Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla) as seen in Jurassic Park 4. Bronze Mermaid 5.Buddha statue amid golden bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) 6. Rooster and rooster statues 7. Allerton residence featuring wraparound lanai
Allerton Garden is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), a not-for-profit institution dedicated to tropical plant research, conservation, and education. NTBG also sponsors the Breadfruit Institute, which promotes the use of breadfruit for food and reforestation.
hackerspaces, community-operated physical places where people share their interest in tinkering with technology, meet and work on their projects, and learn with each other, have been around many years. they emerge from and enable DIY culture. they have been growing in popularity for the past decade.
i was first introduced to makerspace at the CU fab lab, which offers open times as well as classes – and the nearby IDEA store is a great place to find materials. makerspaces in academic, school, and public libraries are growing rapidly too. ‘Iolani Sullivan Center is an awesome example.
here are a few makerspace sources to keep handy:
makerspaces align with the STEAM movement and with standards like NGSS – particularly the science and engineering dimension focused on engaging in practices to build, deepen, and apply knowledge.
sometimes making can even take place on the move. earlier this year, i had the opportunity to engage in some problem-based learning onboard the 42-foot research vessel, Kaholo. ahoy!
this fall, mit media lab hosted their first hacking arts festival to explore the intersection of arts, entertainment, technology and entrepreneurship involving lots of creative types – artists, designers, musicians, students, etc.
many fun sessions emerged featuring music, fashion, film, food, and more! check out the fantastic fermentophone, a multi-sensory installation in which an algorithmically generated musical composition is performed by living cultures of bacteria and yeast.
Librarians are charged to develop collections and provide access to materials. Weeding is an essential aspect of this process. While specific criteria vary, weeding policies are usually based on circulation, physical condition, and accuracy. In order to reduce waste, discarded books are often resold, donated, or recycled. As LJ reported, Dalhousie University Libraries recently partnered with a local community resource center to repurpose their discards in an innovative way.
The Blockhouse School Project is based on principles of permaculture: caring for the earth and people via sustainable systems. Dal delivered 10,000 discarded books to the Blockhouse School to use in insulating the building. They were stacked into a wall of books and covered with a mixture of clay, sand, and straw.
Blockhouse School also hosted a New Life for Old Books exhibit and asked community members to develop more repurposing ideas via art, craft, garden, construction, installations, performance — anything else you can think of!