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Ebony Office Interiors LLC Blog - Between the Lines

The “Between the Lines” News Blog. is a series of collected and reproduced articles from industry publications. These stories are provided in this brief format to keep you current on important and interesting industry information. You can receive more detailed information by accessing the URL provided in each article brief. You may unsubscribe by e-mailing or phoning our office.

One Man's Trash is another man's project
By: Edie Cohen - Interior Design  -  9/7/2010

Is there anything good to say about the economic downturn and its effects on design? In a word, yes. At HLW in Los Angeles, the slump provided a self-starting stimulus package for pro bono work. "We had the chance to reach out to the community by donating 1 percent of our time to nonprofits," managing principal Chari Jalali says. So she put out an RFP, in effect, to her colleagues. And Shiva Mandell wasted not a moment in proposing Trash for Teaching as a beneficiary. (Then an associate at HLW, he's now a project coordinator for Interior Design Hall of Fame member Clive Wilkinson.)

Per the mission statement of the six-year-old organization, it "collects clean and safe cast-off materials from manufacturing processes and repurposes them as educational resources." Specifically for art classes. Here are the various ways that T4T works. At headquarters, 4,000 square feet in a 1920's factory, elementary-school art teachers can buy the donated material to take back with them, lead a class on a field trip to paint or sculpt right there, or attend a workshop to hone their own skills. "It's about supercharging the curriculum," Mandell says. But T4T doesn't limit its efforts to work in situ. Founders Steve and Kathy Stanton, he's a trained architect who manufactures candy boxes in the remainder of the building also developed an outreach program. First, the couple purchased a decommissioned postal truck, retrofitted it as a mobile classroom, and modified the engine to run on vegetable oil. An adapted passenger van soon followed. The Treasure Trucks, as they're called, roll up to public schools to offer a substitute for art programs obliterated by budget cuts.

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