Re-thinking Campus Design

What does it mean to be sustainable? Students in the design program Green Materials spent the fall quarter trying to answer that question. Faculty Anthony Tindill, Bob Leverich, Gretchen Van Dusen and Rob Knapp encouraged the students to consider sustainability in the very real context of design modifications to the campus. They asked the students to look around at the spaces and facilities comprising Evergreen, and to find ways in which the campus could be made more functional for the community. They began the investigation individually, and then came together in studio groups to propose redesigns for a project called “Valuing What We Have.” Through it all, they were encouraged to answer real world questions such as where would the materials come from, how would they fare in the Pacific Northwest environment, how would the proposed change be constructed, and who would maintain it into the future.

Green Materials Presentation-DW-3A student group in the program Green Materials: Art, Science and Construction presents a proposal to turn the walkway between the CAB and the CRC into a SkyGarden, where food is grown in beds on the walkway. The proposal was one of several campus re-design projects created for the class assignment called "Valuing What We Have."

Green Materials Presentation-DW-3A student group in the program Green Materials: Art, Science and Construction presents a proposal to turn the walkway between the CAB and the CRC into a SkyGarden, where food is grown in beds on the walkway. The proposal was one of several campus re-design projects created for the class assignment called “Valuing What We Have.” — Shauna Bittle photo

Students display their understanding of the key word "Sustainability" in posters hung around the program studio. -- Shauna Bittle photo

Students display their understanding of the key word “Sustainability” in posters hung around the program studio. — Shauna Bittle photo

Final proposals were presented not only to faculty and classmates, but to architectural and design professionals as well. Among those present were the campus director of facilities Jeanne Rynne, college engineer Rich Davis, and director of sustainability Scott Morgan. This experienced panel gave feedback on how the proposals may thrive or fail in the real world, and gave advice on adaptations that might make them feasible to implement in the future. Rynne and Davis were impressed with the students astute assessment of the challenges facing the campus, and said that it was possible that student proposals could inspire campus modifications down the line. In this One Minute Evergreen, they talk about the inspiration they took from the Green Materials fall presentations.

 

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