Art, Design, and Environment
This is a senior level seminar about the culture of graphic design and its relationship to the culture at large. Through readings and in depth discussions we will explore the discourse of design from the 1950s to the present. Readings, presentations and discussions will cover philosophical, historical, social, political, cultural, environmental and ethical aspects of professional design practice.
We travel to spend a weekend at the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans in Puerto Peñasco Sonora to learn about the flora and fauna of the estuaries and tide pools and create art and design for CEDO’s environmental education programming.
“Our trip to CEDO was a truly incredible, and at times, surreal experience. Finding colorful nudibranchs, hidden away in the tidepools; watching fiddler crabs scuttle across the estuary mud. The CEDO trip opened my eyes to a world I was unfamiliar with. Prior to this trip, I had never left the United States. Even before arriving in Puerto Peñasco, the differences in United States and Mexican culture immediately became apparent. Driving through Sonoyta and seeing the vendors at the side of the road, women and children selling food from the median- it’s a far more personal experience than reading about it or catching glimpses of it on television. It is genuinely heart-warming to visit the oyster farm at the edge of the estuary, to see how this community can connect with the environment. Sleeping beneath the stars at the facility itself, waking up to a view of the ocean, and separating myself from a world so connected to technology have given me an altered outlook on my own life. Despite spending only one weekend there, it absolutely reignited my love and passion for nature. It inspired the same wonder in me that I held when I told my mom at age four that I wanted to be an underwater-ologist, and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget.”
“Our trip to Puerto Peñasco to the CEDO field station was a welcome escape from our urban, technological lens. Driving just across the border you are instantly struck by the differentness between cultures. Visiting the oyster-farming cooperative that hugs the estuary border, we got to see just how close the relationship between the land and the community is, but also how often that relationship is disregarded. Sitting on the sandy cliff we enjoyed oysters caught by the women who own and run the oyster farm restaurant. Their livelihood relies on the health of the estuary. In symbiotic relationship the women and CEDO work to educate and protect the space. Journeying into the estuary itself, we encountered crabs, birds, eels, and dance in the mud flats to raise the shrimp out of their hiding spots. But this place is not untouched by the hand of man-made materials. Climbing the dunes at the outer edge our bare feet were confronted by empty cans and glass bottles, constant reminders of where our waste ends up.”