Meet Everyday Heroes
Adam Nuru and
All kids deserve a clean safe place to play, enjoy the outdoors and explore their surroundings. When SFHDC approached Sameena Sitabkhan, Director of B.Lab at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, about designing and building a new active community space at our Bayview Commons residential development, Sameena and her B.Lab students were excited about the challenge.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an opportunity for her students to stretch their architectural muscles while giving back to the community. After the pandemic brought normal activities to a dramatic halt, it would have been easy for Sameena to delay the project and have her students work in a more virtual and theoretical environment during the lockdown through the University’s virtual learning program. But she and her students recognized that this safe outdoor space was now even more vital to the community and pressed on, determined to complete the new playground when it was needed most.
At the start of the project, Sameena had five students. After the design process, three graduated, leaving the burden to complete the project on the two remaining students, Adam Nuru and Markish Siojo. In a normal year, the fall semester would bring fresh students to fill any loss for B.Lab graduates, but 2020 was far from normal in so many ways. Adam and Markish pressed on–two students undertaking the work of an entire class. On top of that, the pandemic had shut down their access to the school’s shop, limiting access to a handful of students at a time. Inspired by Sameena’s perseverance, Adam and Markish worked tirelessly to bring an intergenerational playground to the community at Bayview Commons.
The completed project was a collaboration between SFHDC, Mission Housing, and B.Lab, part of Academy of Art University’s architecture program.
In addition to Adam Nuru and Markish Siojo, the following students were involved in the design of the space: Dylan Ingle, Fabio Lemos, Xiaohuan Corona Gao. Congratulations to all involved for demonstrating the inspiration and determination needed to provide the community with a safe and family-friendly way to exercise, explore and play during these challenging times.