Vision LA ’15 : Climate Action Arts Festival – online exhibition day ten

Today’s post comes a day late, as I am reporting on the Sustainability Capstone presentations that the seniors just gave Thursday evening. In this class, taught by Claudia Hernandez Romero, students reflect on their studies over the past three and a half years with a particular focus on an aspect of sustainability that informs their practice as an artist or designer.

Myriam Diaz, Communication Arts major, discussed Sustainability in Graphic Design: Considerations for Moving Beyond Materials. She recognized a lack of consideration of sustainability in her field and researched firms that have sustainable practices both in their material choices (inks and papers) and types of clients they serve. Read her full paper here.

Jacob Hoffman, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, talked about sustainable lighting options. He presented a clear and thorough explanation of the evolution of light bulb technology, and why compact fluorescent lamps are a poor choice with their toxic mercury levels, arguing for LED lamps which are not only free of toxins now that manufacturers have eliminated lead from the materials used to make them, but also last up to 10 years. Read his full paper here.
Emily Isham, Fine Arts Painting major discussed anthropocentrism in land art. She argued that the mostly male practitioners displayed a sense of entitlement and male privilege, not unlike colonialists expanding west. Artists like Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson’s large scale interventions into the landscape were the opposite of the return to nature they claimed to be pursuing, because the artists were inflicting their will on the earth, and disregarding the ecosystems. Read her full paper here.
Seung Ah Lee, Fashion Design major argued for Slow Fashion, which minimizes the negative impact on environment and human health. This movement is not a trend, like fast fashion, which is cheaply and poorly made clothes that become too quickly disposable. Read her full paper here.
Darien Noguchi, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, redesigned homeless shelters in his native Hawaii with the goal of designing for healing and permanence. His proposal included not only housing, but also job training, creative arts, gardening and therapy. Read his full paper here.
In his presentation, Impact free ride: Sustainable Surfboard Manufacturing, Pedro Rolim Girao, Product Design major discussed the toxicity and environmental health impact of materials commonly used in to make surfboards: Polyurethane foam (oil based plastic), fiberglass and polyester resin coating. He then research alternatives such as polystyrene and epoxy resin, which is just a little less harmful, wood treated with natural oils, which is heavier to ride and not abundant enough for the demand, unless using bamboo. More sustainable and experimental were hollow core paper structures, Algae oil core (currently begin developed at UC San Diego) and mushroom cores grown into a mold and then baked to stop biological process all of which would also be biodegradable. Read his full paper here.
Zhixin Rong, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, discussed the importance of harnessing wind power as a
cleaner energy because it used no fossil fuels, conserves water and produces no air pollution. Read her full paper here.
Khanhlin Su, Fashion Design, asked Is 3D printing the answer to sustainability? She presented some examples of 3D printed clothing from couture fashion, then argued for using it to produce more wearable clothing, either as adornments or full shirts. One unique aspect of her proposal was that fashion could become printed on demand at home after consumers buy the design, as opposed to factories fabricating a ton of clothes that may not get bought and worn, ultimately cutting down on landfills and the carbon footprint of clothing factories and shipping. Read her full paper here.
Although environmental sustainability is especially important to island communities because of sea levels rising, Tamara Suprobo Putri, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, focused on cultural sustainability in her presentation about vernacular architecture being integrated into modern architecture in her home country of Indonesia. Read her full paper here.
Using biomimicry, inspired by indigenous animals and plants such as a Tuccan’s beak, cockroach’s coat, fig leave, and orchid roots, Michelle Tiet, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, designed a water filtration and storage system that could hopefully solve the drought in Sao Paolo, Brazil, or even Southern California. Read her full paper here.
Also an Architecture/Landscape/Interiors major, Raymond Tran, argued that photo realistic CAD renderings can persuade otherwise skeptical clients, and subsequently generate desire for more sustainable architecture and public spaces, like the Highline in NYCRead his full paper here.


This post is a part of the Otis online Exhibition for Vision LA ’15 Climate Action Arts Festival.