Thanks to everyone who commented or gave some thought to the question I raised a few days back about the role art and design can play in social justice. This is something I'm working to explore in my own work, both in and out of the classroom. In fact, at the time I posted the question here, my teaching partner, Stephanie, and I were actually formulating some ideas for a quick studio project that I'd like to share with you today.
Here's the abbreviated project statement:
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that recently hit Haiti, we cannot help but think how fortunate we are to have shelter that offers protection from outside elements and, equally important, affords us with a sense of security.
In this first project, we ask you to examine ways in which you can provide peace of mind within a public space using only found objects. The goal here isn’t merely to provide cover, but to explore the notion of how interiors shape experience. Over the next week and a half, working in teams, you will consider the notion of interiority, process solutions and outcomes, and design a shelter for a given activity. Your will then construct your design vision in the lobby of Gatewood Friday, January 29th.
With a few additional requirements along the way (met by a few additional moans and groans) the students developed five shelters for five activities (sleeping, studying, snacking, sketching and socializing) using only five found objects (no money could be spent), two fasteners and no power tools. I'm quite pleased with the results, which you can see more of here.
photo courtesy of cassandra gustafson