Yearly Archives: 2008

Seoul Design Olympiad

For One more week, the Seoul Design Olympiad continues. The goal is to promote Seoul as the center of World Design, and for 21 days (14 of which are gone) this festival is celebrating the commitment to transform Seoul into an eco-friendly metropolis. The theme is “Design is Air”, talking about out connection to nature, and this centrality represents the “spirit of design in the 21st century.” They too are focusing on convergence. I have to give credit to the Indy Convergence (going into it’s second year in Indianapolis, and our second year of participation, this february) for inspiring the CSPA to use that word instead of conference, but it is nice to see it take focus away from conference. 

If you’re in Seoul, you may already be there. But if you aren’t, this project, which some claim to be the largest plastic art installation (someone has called Guinness) is pretty great. We picked up on it from

With bright plastic garbage collected in September, the Jamsil sports complex, where the SDO is occurring, has been transformed. 

Click here to check out the article on treehugger

Job Openings with the Arts:Earth Partnership

Arts / Environmental Program Administrator

Electric Lodge Visual and Performing Arts Center, Venice, CA.

Salary: $25 per hour / 10 hours per week. (flexible schedule)

Do you love the Arts and the Environment? If so, this job may be for you…

The principal responsibility of this part-time position is to administrate a new ‘green standards’ program called Arts:Earth Partnership for cultural facilities, art galleries, performing arts companies and individual artists.

The successful candidate will serve as the main contact for both the general public and for AEP members who might have a question about the program as well as keeping the website up to date, managing the Materials & Exchange Bulletin Board and keeping track of the facility auditing process and needs.

This is a growth position as hours and responsibility will grow as the program expands.

Requires: High school graduation or the equivalent.  A passion for the environment. Two years of recent, paid progressively responsible work experience in cultural programming, environmental programming or facilities operations. A degree in the arts, cultural programming, environmental sciences or a closely related field is highly desirable. Ability to handle most office software and manage websites a big plus. Good customer service skills and phone manners a must.

Application deadline5:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7th, 2008.

Please send resume and cover letter expressing interest to: or mail to:

Electric Lodge c/o AEP
1416 Electric Avenue
Venice, CA. 90291


Arts & Cultural Facility “Green Standards” Auditor

Electric Lodge Visual and Performing Arts Center, Venice, CA.

Salary: $80 per site visit  (1-3 hours per visit) (flexible schedule)

Do you love the Arts and the Environment? If so, this job may be for you…

The principal responsibility of this ‘As-Needed’ position is to audit cultural facilities, art galleries, dance studios, individual artist studios and offices to advise them on how they can gain compliance with Arts:Earth Partnership requirements necessary to become a member.

The successful candidate will be trained on Arts:Earth Partnership guidelines and sustainable practices and audit facilities that wish to join the Arts:Earth Partnership. Auditors will have an initial site visit at which they assess the facility and provide a to-do list for membership. Once the facility is in compliance the auditor returns to validate and hand them their AEP materials or advise them on what they still need to do.

Requires: High school graduation or the equivalent. A passion for the environment. We are looking for regional auditors who use hybrid or alternative fueled vehicles or prefer to use alternative transportation to and from facilities such as bus, bike or foot. Experience in environmental sciences or the eco-auditing of facilities or a related field is preferred but not required. Good customer service skills and professional appearance a must.

Application deadline5:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 7th, 2008.

Please send resume and cover letter expressing interest to: or mail to:

Electric Lodge c/o AEP
1416 Electric Avenue
Venice, CA. 90291

Thank Heavens for Local Law 86

This Post was originally posted to Mike Lawler’s ecoTheaer blog on July 19, 2007. We are reposting it here to share this ecoTheater classic with new readers while MIke continues to regain his health. You can read his blog about his ongoing battle with cancer, The “C” Word, by clicking here.

In New York City there is a law called local law 86. Passed in 2005, it has just now taken effect, and is responsible for at least one thing in the green theater movement so far: convincing (through brute force, I suppose) Theatre For A New Audience (TFANA) to build their new space in Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural Center to meet Silver LEED status or better. Local law 86 states simply that any non City building (whether new construction or renovation) that receives either 50% of its capital or $10 million or more from NYC’s treasury is subject to the constraints of the ordinance, which requires compliance with USGBC’s LEED rating system. (It may be of note, that ALL city agency buildings are now required to meet this standard.)

I say that it convinced the historically vagabond theater company because that’s exactly what TFANA Managing Director Dorothy Ryan told me just yesterday. “Our [initial] attitude was probably, well, if the up front cost isn’t too high we’ll certainly look at it,” she said. “But other than that [green building] is a luxury.” Fortunately, with the help of city funds, and local law 86, Ryan and the rest of TFANA have come to see the advantages of building green. “The really good part of this story,” Ryan told me, “is that the more we’ve paid attention, the more we’ve learned, the more that we’ve really explored this, [green building] is something that our team has really embraced in a very genuine way.”

Ryan’s admission of TFANA’s initial unwillingness seems to be further indication of a preexisting attitude in the arts. While the typical reaction to green building that theaters and their directors seem to have (so far we can cite Portland Center Stage, American Players Theatre, and TFANA–all initially opposed to green building) may be understandable for the frequently cash-strapped arts organization mindset, it is nevertheless slightly bothersome. 

So, what is it? In the simplest of terms, it is the money. Michael Broh, production manager of American Players Theatre (APT), told me recently that though everyone involved with their new theater project is happy to consider the green building option, “if it came down to building a less sustainable building, or not building at all,” he said, “I think we would build the less sustainable one.” It is here that APT and I do not see eye to eye. The benefits, in my way of thinking, of adding an indoor space and possibly extending their operating season and expanding their repertoire, are not worth adding another conventional building (or two) to the world to further pollute and contaminate. Isn’t the business of theater dirty enough? Must we add more of them? There must come a time when the artists (and, frankly, business folks) running the theaters own up to their responsibility to their communities the way they would expect any other business entity to do so. With the attitudes that seem to exist–the notion that there just isn’t enough money to build green, to build conscientiously–one can only come to this conclusion: the driving force behind these projects is nothing but self-interest, and perhaps greed.


I am convinced that if more theater managers were either forced (as in the case of Dorothy Ryan and TFANA), or just took the time, to consider the long-term advantages of building green, most of them would come to the same sort of revelations that the folks at TFANA did. Perhaps all municipalities can follow in the footsteps of local law 86–there is nothing like folks with money (be they governments or rich benefactors) putting worthy conditions on the money they dole out.

When you look at the Green Theatre Initiative in Stage Directions…

I also suggest you take a look on the article about keeping up your lighting Inventory on page 16. Keeping Up Appearances by Brent Steiner talks about how to maintain your old lights in good working order. Why is this important in terms of sustainability? First of all it will save you money on new inventory or major repairs to existing inventory. Second of all a well maintained light is a more efficient light and if you’re optics are clean and properly focused you’ll increase efficacy, meaning you’ll get more punch out of the front of the light. Third you’ll increase the safety; a short in a connector or carbon build up could hurt an electrician, start a fire or even case issues back at the rack (again getting to the issue of major repairs). Small investments of time could save you lots of money on inventory, lamps and energy, all things that we want to be conserving in theater production. It also gives you a good idea of what to do with the lights and parts you can’t use and longer (a hint, most all of lights, especially old ones, are recyclable).

I would also point you towards the idea of sharing inventory with local venues. An inventory sharing program could save you even more if managed right as then you have a greater investment in the condition of your inventory and more hands to help keep it up… as well as less things to break and get stored in the attic.

And don’t forget to check out the Article about GTI, Green Support by Mike Lawler, on page 30.  You can see Mike and Gideon’s recent work here in our Archives and link to their projects.


Stage Directions October 2008 Edition

Keeping Up Appearances by Brent Steiner

Green Support  by Mike Lawler (about Gideon)

Mike Lawle’rs EcoTheater Blog

Green Theater Initaitive (Gideon’s Organization)

Graphic Design and Printing Resources

We recently found Renourish ( From their site: “Renourish is a resource for the graphic design industry. When green design is usually discussed, most people think of buildings, products or even cars, but what about packaging? Shouldn’t magazines, business cards, brochures and websites be green? At renourish, we’re helping to start the conversation on green graphic design by providing defintions, tips, and links to sustainable resources designers can use to make their work a little greener.”

While Renourish is an excellent resource for graphic designers, it is also a resource for those of us that require graphic design. I’m a big advocate of graphic design and using graphic designers. They are experts in clear and inventive communication from way-finding (signage) to brochures and on and on, visual coding is an important part of an effective communication strategy. Reframe that as a marketing strategy and you’ve got why we think this is going to be a great resource for you an your practices. If you’re looking for sustainable choices for printers, papers, inks and so on, please check them out. We’ll put a link up and you’ll always have a way to find them.

At Fermyn Woods and Sudborough Green Lodge

William Shaw over at Arts & Ecology just posted that Richard Woods’ installation Stone Clad Cottages opened this past Saturday at Fermynwoods, near Kettering, Northamptonshire, Uk. The project is quite interesting as it re-engages people in their relationship to their surroundings, which fits nicely in Fernynwoods goal to give people a place enjoy contemporary art in tranquil indoor and garden settings. Give it a look…


“The Sudborough Green Lodge cottages are currently been renovated by the Forestry Commission for our partnership projects with them. Based at these cottages will be an exciting programme bringing professional artists to Fermyn Woods to create new works, undertake research, explore new ideas, and lead on education projects. The cottages will create accommodation and working space once they have been restored by this summer.

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art’s interest in the environment (both rural and urban), engagement with the community and contemporary practice will develop in our new venue.

To date an inspiring schedule of artists has been drawn up, including Richard Woods who covers buildings in daring retro designs, and who will be wrapping the cottages and Jacques Nimki, who researches plant life and will be investigating the most wonderful array of weeds currently inhabiting the cottage gardens and the SSI wild flower meadow. He will also be working with children from Woodnewton School in Corby.”

As someone who’s artistic practice is heavily invested in lighting phenomenology, I’m interested to see what comes of Kurt Laurenz Theinert’s residency in the spring.