Kae Schwalber

Kae Schwalber

Anchorage, AK, US



“Apiary” is our answer to Disney’s Imagineers competition. We were asked to revitalize a “ghost town”. We chose to revitalize East St. Louis due to its high level of condemned buildings, poverty, and forced segregation.

 Our concept was formed on the idea of vibrancy through self expression. Our research and interviews found that due to rampant poverty and crime as well as poor government oversight, the youth lack safe places to learn and create. We were told by citizens that a major issue was the limited access to clean, safe, and affordable housing and business space due to the high level of crime. We knew it was important to incorporate existing businesses if this community was to be sustainable. We also wanted to create a disability inclusive space as most people experience some level of disability in their lifetime. 

     Given these problems, we created a 2 step solution. The first is a space for youth and youth centered nonprofits to congregate, and the second being modular units that are affordable and could be used as the community needs. We believe this project has the ability to amplify the fortitude, skill, and passion the residents already exude. 

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: East Saint Louis, IL, US
My Role: As the team leader, I was in charge of organizing my 3 teammates as well as gathering research about the location, contacting and interviewing ESTL residents, brainstorming and designing the “Comb” units, and creating the under drawings for the Apiary co
Additional Credits: Katie Ehrlich, Irina Pavlova, Kevin Schneider