Historic Germantown resident and urban farmer (Jasmine Thompson of Philly Forests) speaking on some of the challenges of farming in Philadelphia County at our annual harvest dinner in 2019.

Sally Blagg is an American full service design firm, working in partnership with our clients to create communities that support sustainable growth and regional 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 guiding interdisciplinary teams of experts through our process to explore solutions to the structural challenges within their environments; our goal is to rebuild sustainable ecosystems across the Americas.

Our curated teams of subject matter experts utilize the ‘critical’ studies of cultural traditions 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. Sally Blagg’s subject matter experts are either contracted from the communities where we work, or project contractors are asked to take residence in the 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. The work of our design teams is guided by the traditions of American southeastern cultural ‘families’ like that of the Maya, the Ani-Suali and the Sara.  Through a combination of controlled burning and clearing the Sara, for instance, laid out a “heterogeneous mosaic” of patches in various stages of ecological succession to create food forests for their communities in lieu of the agricultural influences of the eastern agricultural complex. Their deeply spiritual mountain culture existed outside the trade lines of the more known indigenous traditions for centuries. We see this as a model design that prioritizes the preservation of cultural landscapes over the potential for profits from industrial commercial exchange. We believe this is the future of American fine art, material culture, architecture as well as urban and regional design.

Since November 2016, the firm began work towards building a regional office in the Historic Germantown section of the World Heritage City of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Sally Blagg’s pro-bono work in under-resourced areas of Philadelphia is centered around individual families having access to the resources and relationships they need to reclaim their narratives. We believe 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. Through the efforts of our principal curator, his mother and grandmother(s) before him, Sally Blagg 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.

Sally Blagg has provided over $10M in pro bono work for merchants, artists, institutions and municipal departments experiencing financial hardships in the City of Philadelphia since 2016. This winter (2021) Sally Blagg will release a Philadelphia Report in preparation for a five-year initiative that will engage community in regional festivities around the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

“Sally Blagg uses research and principles of urban planning to describe narratives and reinvent places. They find solutions to economic growth.”

Okoa Kinsey

“Sally Blagg focuses on guiding changes in community policy and creating a clear sense of visibility for urban communities”

Jonathan Sutton

“Sally Blagg is on a special mission to rebuild and change the world. They have a deep insight of the principles and values of each community they work with.”

Dr. Henry Louis Taylor


The Soil is the Cure!

Residents, merchants and community leaders in America’s low-density neighborhoods and municipalities, once treated as areas with low economic strength by European scholars and the settler state, are working to court ‘urban Indian’ families with interest Read more…

Dr. Fontaine’s Rules

In our work we have found a wealth of knowledge ‘lost’ texts, maps, artwork and manuscripts, as the works and stories of scholars are passed up for ‘more appealing’ historical characters and their work. One Read more…

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5520 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144

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David Rose
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