Stephanie Reid believes that successful design is empathetic. Understanding the people around her and the way they navigate the world is what fuels her growth as a designer.
The project brief was to create a retreat for the charity Sistema, who tackle social inequality using musical education. The response, ‘Elevate’, focuses on empathy towards its context and its inhabitants. It is based in Balloch, in the Loch Lomond National Park. Serenity rules in this place, which is relatively unchanged by the passing of time. Beyond this little town, the influence of time is merciless. The modern world is a clamour of excitement and outrage ceaselessly mingled.
Balloch´s connection to Loch Lomond makes it a perfect home for any institution seeking comfortable quiet without solitude or isolation; a careful balance which a retreat must possess. The site is worth guarding against the ruthless progress of the modern world, but protecting the site does not mean allowing it to stand still. ‘Elevate’ intends to guide Balloch’s evolution toward true sustainability. It aims to utilise the advantages offered by the site, and in return provide the site with a sustainable role to play for benefit of the community.
In summary, the goal is the elevation of the site, and of the experience Sistema is able to offer to its students. Sistema seeks positive social change and uses music as a tool to achieve this goal, making its message to the world of as unending value as the hills and valleys of the National Park.