Something is Budding at Brentwood

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - By: Emma M, Hope ‘19

Indubitably, the Brentwood campus is a beautiful environment, with lush plant life and captivating, ecologically-inspired architecture. From the Millennium Trail, to the myriad of trees and flowers that dot our plazas, to our oceanfront location, there is a focus on connecting nature to our daily lives. However, it may surprise you that in spite of our naturalist setting, there is no student garden on campus. 

To remedy this, several staff members, and Mr John Luna’s Design 11 elective are developing a proposal for a edible and decorative garden here on campus. Our class has worked all year to develop our ability to think as designers, building on our foundational skills and learning how to properly attack a problem. 

Some of our previous projects included designing a multipurpose backpack, and ideating the schematic for a 500 square-feet urban home. With this new prompt in mind, the class has been delving into the positive effects, the possible negatives, and examples of best practices, using the information we gather to outline what the garden would need.

So far we have had a presentation from Mrs. Richardson, the BEAT (Brentwood Environmental Action Team) staff leader, regarding the cautionary tale of the previous garden. After hearing about the unfortunate demise of the previous project, it became clear that for this venture to be successful we need to develop a brand that will generate student and staff buy in. 

It’s unanimous throughout the class that there would have to be architectural elements that serve as areas to relax and unwind; we want it to be a beautiful space that students would visit in the summer months to enjoy fresh blackberries and the wonderful view. Furthermore, the space could present an interesting educational opportunity, some applications include teaching about growth cycles in biology, or providing a hands-on approach to agricultural education in social studies.

For many students in this year’s Design 11 elective, the class has been a wonderfully unique experience, with Mr Luna’s daily eloquence, the many rigorous class debates, and solving these interesting, real-life problems. And since we’re occasionally as hard to control as a pack of wild animals, we’re beginning to deeply appreciate our teacher’s patience and persistence. Luckily for Mr Luna, throughout these last few, sunny, spring weeks, we have thoroughly devoted our attention to making this hypothetical garden a charming reality. 

Emma M, Hope ‘19

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