Sally Blagg is an American urban design firm, working in partnership with municipal governments and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to execute strategic plans for sustainable growth and economic development. Our design work is guided by an in-house network of subject matter experts from the fields of post-colonial urban history, aquatic ecosystems, critical ethnography, landscape architecture, carbon farming and more. Clients are invested in our process of building interdisciplinary teams of experts around solutions to structural challenges related to the built environment. Together, we are rebuilding sustainable ecosystems across the Americas.
We believe that beaten paths through well-manicured grass tells us more about the desired routes of curious college students than the pre-determined concrete and clay brick walkways laid out in campus master plans. Our curated teams of subject matter experts utilize critical ethnography as a tool to ensure sustainable outcomes for project partners as well as the people actively living, working and spending leisure time in the built environments we serve. This means that Sally Blagg expertise is either contracted from the communities where we work, or project contractors are asked to take residence in those communities we serve.
Our design ethos, in the American market, is guided by a foundational understanding of the pre-colonial relationships between indigenous people and the natural world. Our principal curator selected the firm’s name as an ode to the Sara tribe of his matrilineal ancestor (Sally Blagg). The Sara are one of the first tribal family groups of the piedmont and Appalachian regions of present-day North Carolina and Virginia. Many of their descendants, at least a generation removed from pre-industrial agrarian tradition, are silent partners in an evergreen process of aligning economics and sustainable design through policy and sustainable investment.
The work of our design teams is guided by the tradition of American southeastern tribes like the Sara who, through a combination of controlled burning and clearing, laid out a “heterogeneous mosaic” of patches in various stages of ecological succession to create food forests for their communities in lieu of Mayan and Aztec agricultural influence. Their mountain culture existed, for centuries, outside of the trade lines of the eastern agricultural complex. We see this model of design, that prioritizes the preservation of cultural landscapes over the potential for profits from industrial commercial exchange, as the future of American architecture and urban design.
Sally Blagg, through the work and efforts of our principal curator, his mother and grandmother(s) before him, has taken a hands-on approach to studying the emigration of tribal cultures from ancestral lands to industrial cities. Our work has provided guidance for municipal governments, institutions and individual business communities in a manner that has remained consistent, even in our pro-bono work with institutions and municipalities experiencing financial hardships.
In November 2016 we began work towards building a regional office in the Historic Germantown section of the World Heritage City of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Our pro-bono work in an under resourced Philadelphia is centered around individual families having access to the few resources and relationships that they need to reclaim their narratives. We believe that communities that see themselves as valuable assets in the stories about urban environmental change are more likely to become engaged in the partnership design process of urban and regional planning.
Let the future still be sweetened with the honey of the past.Paul Lawrence Dunbar
The first mathematicians were the priestly calendar makers who calculated the onset of the seasons.Lancelot Hogben
When the rain falls, it don’t fall on one man’s housetop, remember that!Bob Marley