Graphic design students in the “Mutant Design” class at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia collectively created an award winning campaign for the international competition INDEX: | AIGA Aspen Design Challenge “Designing Water’s Future.” This project tackles the larger environmental issue of the global water crisis by focusing in specifically on the local water crisis here in Los Angeles.
As one of seven finalists, the Rethink Your Green campaign brought the designers to workshops in Aspen, Colorado and Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition, their project was presented at the Code 09 exhibition in Copenhagen.
The group of students involved in the project, led by instructor Louise Sandhaus, include art directors Michelle Park and Manuel Garcia as well as team members Eileen Hsu, Pouya Jahanshahi, Masato Nakada, Joe Prichard, and Maece Seirafi-Najar. They discovered that, remarkably, approximately 60% of total water resources in the dry climate of LA feeds landscaping. Interestingly, the students also learned that home owners often mistakenly believe that their green, lush lawns are actually environmentally friendly, when, in fact, the opposite proves true because of the waste of water.
The students developed their campaign to reach home owners with the clear message of “rethinking” their lawns and of the empowering solution to replace them with California native gardens as a more sustainable alternative that better fits the LA climate. To convey their message of reform gently, the students created unique, positive designs in various media including posters, brochures, a website and a mobile application.
Not surprisingly, these students report gaining significant experience through the process of developing their ideas and through attending the finalist workshops for the competition. The art directors, Michelle Park and Manny Garcia, currently describe the details of their experiences in an interesting ongoing four part blog on GOOD.
By increasing public consciousness, articulating clear alternate options, and giving the power to the people to make change, Rethink Your Green displays a perfect example of how design can positively impact the environment. So, for example, when you are considering going to the popular Go Green Expo at the LA Convention Center this weekend, keep in mind that great design can make a significant impact.
For more information, visit: www.RethinkYourGreen.com