December 1st, 2023
Designed with Them, for Them
Brooke Freeman pours her heart into her work as a landscape architect and project associate at Out Teach. It’s her first job out of college, but you wouldn’t know it. Her ability to design outdoor spaces that celebrate and reflect the student communities they serve is a testament to her love of the work.
Here’s one example. Recently at L.P. Miles Elementary School, Brooke and her team hosted a Design and Dine event, where teachers gathered to share their goals and ideas for their future space. One of the educators’ goals was to, “ raise awareness of African-American scientists, farmers, and horticulturalists.”
Her idea catalyzed the design of three signs celebrating African American icons in science and horticulture. According to Brooke, the key to building lasting relationships with the schools, teachers and students we serve is to “Listen, listen, listen. And make it happen.” It’s how she centers their needs and goals in the process.
Brooke led her first ever Big Dig with Out Teach, leading 150 volunteers from Cox Enterprises. Her passion for creating meaningful spaces converged with the dreams and hopes of teachers and students at LP Miles, leading to the design of a dynamic outdoor learning lab. Every inch is thoughtful and practical, keeping in mind the children and educators that watched eagerly as it was built. The project not only sets the foundation for doing learning differently at the school, but it also serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and vision.
Brooke’s design features raised veggie beds, a butterfly garden, an homage to African-American scientists in horticulture, flexible seating, a white board, welcome signage in diverse languages, a harvest station, bird houses, a little library, weather board and more. It’s her first design that has been brought to life, but it will not be her last.