Monthly Archives: November 2008

Tree Museum by Ilkka Halso

I make plans and construct visually buildings, which protect nature from threats of pollution and what is more important, from actions of man himself.I visualize shelters, massive buildings where big ecosystems could be stored as at present. These massive building protect forests, lakes and rivers from pollution and what is more important from actions of man himself. At the same time I study different aspects of man’s relation to nature as rare unique endangered place.

While putting nature into a museum you have to take under consideration aspect of audience/ consumer. Nature becomes joyride for tourists or beautiful landscape turns into a meditative theatre show.


Click here to see the artist’s pdf on the project

Click here to visit Ilkka Halso’s website.

Design without Borders: Designing for Social Justice


Design without Borders is a non-profit program linking design skills to efforts for development and humanitarian aid.

Design without Borders is founded on the belief that design and designers can make a significant contribution towards a better and more sustainable society. The program aims at utilizing the creative and analytical skills of industrial designers to develop solutions that promote long-term development and increases the quality of emergency aid. 

Design without Borders also aims to support local product development competency and raise awareness of design as a tool for development.


Design without Borders participates in projects where the need for its involvement is expressed by relevant organizations or institutions.

Design without Borders collaborates closely with international and national partners on projects within the following areas: 
• Humanitarian response 
• Industrial development 
• Environmental challenges 
• Health and mobility 
• Urban development

Our project involvements focuses on four key areas: 
1) To identify and express design needs in cooperation with partners. 
2) To procure suitable designers. 
3) To participate in obtaining funding for projects. 
4) Professional follow-up of the project in the area of design.

Norwegian designers work on the projects in collaboration with designers from the countries where the projects are carried out. The designers are individually selected, ensuring a match between the requirements of each project, to the skills and experience of the design team.


Design without Borders was initiated in 2001 as a joint venture between Norsk Form (the Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway) and the design office of Peter Opsvik.

In 2001, the program initiated a co-operation with Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala. The aims of the joint program, Design without Borders – Guatemala, are parallel to the aims of the program in general. In the case of the projects in Guatemala, Landívar and Norsk Form have jointly selected project partners among institutions in Guatemala that have expressed an interest in design support to their activities.Based on positive results from the work in Guatemala, a similar program was established between Makerere University and Norsk Form in 2005. Design without Borders -¬ Uganda facilitates the exchange of skills between Norwegian and Ugandan professionals. It will contribute to the efforts of the Makerere to develop tangible links with both large scale and small scale industries in Uganda in order to solve technological and management challenges in industries.

Artevist is “the place for activism inspired graphic design, discussion and eco-friendlier T-shirts”.

From their website:

Artevist is for people who love T-shirts: wearing them, designing them, and talking about them. Most importantly, it’s a place for people who believe that T-shirts are a great way to communicate one’s views and in some very small, individual way, move others to action. Artevist is for those who believe real change will only occur when activism is fashionably ‘in’ and complacency is decidedly ‘out’.

I’ve always loved awesome T-shirt graphics, but let’s face it, very few have much meaning or purpose and most want to sell you something. With so much happening in the world today, it seemed the opportunity to use design to really communicate important themes was being lost.

There are plenty of individual artists and organizations producing great work, yet finding one online source for a variety of activist-inspired design is surprisingly difficult. Nor is it easy to find great designs paired with high quality, eco-friendly materials and production. That perfect combination of message, design and product eluded me, and so, Artevist was born.

Artevist is a community where artists can come together to share their ideas on BIG issues and create wearable art with meaning and purpose. The BIG issues can be local or global (everything is related) and they can span themes such as: AIDS, climate change, consumerism, extinction, human rights and pollution. It’s also a place where nonprofit organizations and artists meet, and produce work that helps spread their message to a larger audience.

The concept is simple. Artists compete in open, peer-review T-shirt design contests. All Artevist members can vote for their favourites and leave comments. The most popular submissions are reproduced on organic Tees (bamboo, hemp or cotton), which are ecologically and ethically produced and sourced. See Our T-shirts

Artevist, however, is more than Tees. It’s a Forum where the community can learn, share and discuss. It’s relevant Newsand Events, and it’s a Classifieds section where nonprofits and artists alike can find people and materials to help them with their projects.

We’re a for-profit company, but without any aspirations or intentions of becoming a mega-brand. We think the world needs more art, not more brands. We’ll be donating a good portion of sales to environmental and social causes and are now looking into various options.

So look around. Participate. Enjoy!

Nature and Art in San Diego


Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet is organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), in partnership with the international conservation organization Rare.

This picture is of Xu Bing, an artist i particularly like. But here is some more information from the exhibition website:

Human/Nature is a pioneering artist residency and collaborative exhibition project that, for the first time on this scale, uses contemporary art to investigate the relationships between fragile natural environments and the human communities that depend upon them. This collaborative multi-year exhibition project sent eight leading artists to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe to create new work informed and inspired by their experiences in these diverse cultural and natural regions. The exhibition features new commissioned, site-specific works by Mark Dion, Ann Hamilton, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Rigo 23, Dario Robleto, Diana Thater, and Xu Bing created in response to their travels to these threatened sites.

MCASD David C. Copley Director Hugh M. Davies remarked, “This dynamic group of groundbreaking contemporary artists continually creates thoughtful works that push the boundaries of what art is. For Human/Nature, the artists are producing engaging works that prompt viewers to question their relationships to the world in which we live.”

The artists each traveled to a World Heritage site of their choice and completed two or more mini-residencies, creating works based on their experiences. Through a wide range of works that cross all media, Human/Nature encourages global support for the protection of cultural and biological diversity and provokes new questions regarding conservation, cultural understanding, and artistic inspiration.

“If we are going to effect change, it must be a concerted effort between people in the arts, in the sciences, and people working directly towards a better future for our planet. This is where Human/Nature positions itself as a model for change: artists working together with the communities and individuals most concerned with the fate of these World Heritage sites. These collaborations create hope for the future,” stated Jacquelynn Baas, director emeritus of BAM/PFA.

“Some of the world’s most remote developing areas contain the highest levels of natural resources—the forests, species, and waterways that provide global life support and whose loss will impact all of our futures,” said Brett Jenks, president and CEO of Rare. “One of our biggest challenges is bringing the natural and cultural riches of these faraway communities to life for audiences here in the U.S., so we are grateful to the artists in this exhibition and to the museums who are making this possible. I look forward to expanding the dialogue with new audiences on the future of our planet.”

Check out the article on Tree Hugger by clicking here.

Ecodesign is not a trend, it’s an industrial necessity

Rome based designer Marco Capellini has become a well-known name in the Latin ecodesign movement.

Creator of the organization Remade, which promotes design with recycled materials in seven countries; and Matrec, an online resource for recycled materials, Capellini was in Buenos Aires for a conference organized by the city’s Metropolitan Design Center.

After his presentation, he spoke with TreeHugger about the evolution of green design. In response to those who still refer to the green movement as a trend, Capellini says, “the consideration of the environment in the design process is not a fashion, it has become an industrial problem and will not go away.” 

Click here to read the Interview

NYC’s Great White Way Is Going Green

Mayor Michael Bloomberg — with the help of green friends like ”Wicked” witch Elphaba — launched the ”Broadway Goes Green” initiative Tuesday that includes plans to use energy-saving bulbs and recycle stage sets.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce Broadway’s carbon footprint, a measure of greenhouse gases produced by human activity.

Ten theaters already have replaced some 10,000 bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. And within the next 12 months, all of Broadway’s theaters will have made the switch.

”By this time next year, the lights on Broadway will burn just as bright, but the energy bills and our city’s carbon output will be lower,” Bloomberg said. ”This commitment will raise the level of awareness for everyone involved in these shows including the audiences and that’s going to have an impact that reverberates far beyond the Big Apple.”

Under the plan, theaters will strive to use environmentally friendly materials in scenery; recycle and reuse props; and wash costumes in cold water and use rechargeable batteries in sound equipment when possible.

Patrons also will be asked to do their part. Theaters will give out cards with tips on steps they can take at home to help save the environment.

The initiative is part of the mayor’s PlanNYC goal to reduce the city’s carbon footprint 30 percent by 2030.

On the Net:

See the Original Article on the New York Times Website by Clicking here. 

Call for Visual Artist/MacArthur Park

Call for Visual Artist/MacArthur Park

LA Commons, Mama’s Hot Tamales, CARECEN, and the Miguel Contreras Learning Center are collaborating on a unique project to engage an artist/designer to work with a Core Youth Arts Team (15-25 years old) to design an art installation on the West 7th Street in MacArthur Park.

The Role the Lead Artist/Designer in this project will be:

  1. To participate in story/image gathering process with the group to incorporate within the designs for the installation.
  2. To mentor the Core Youth Arts Team to foster youth in the development of skills in image making and design.
  3. To create the overall visual identity and cohesiveness for the installation project.

February – April 2009

Artist Qualifications

  1. Experience in three dimensional visual arts and installation.
  2. Experience working with youth and community.
  3. Familiarity with the MacArthur Park neighborhood

$2000 stipend for Lead Artist will be payable in thirds at the beginning, middle and conclusion of the project. In addition, there is a budget for project materials and the youth arts team will receive stipends for their work.

To Apply
Please submit these materials via email by December 8th, 2008

  1. Current resume and contact information
  2. 5-7 Work Samples on disc or via email
  3. Artist statement of why you are interested in this project

Please send or email to:
Beth Peterson
Community Arts Program Director
LA Commons
4343 Leimert Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
Phone: 323-620-6822

LA Commons engages communities in the collective creation of art for public spaces that tells their unique stories and serves as the basis for interaction, dialogue and a better understanding of Los Angeles.

A project of Community Partners

Performing-arts groups are nervous about the future


Nervously awaiting the next act in the current economic crisis, arts leaders hope area residents will view the performing arts as a valuable way to escape the stresses of today’s world.

There is concern that the second half of the 2008-09 arts season could spell serious financial trouble for struggling arts groups if families and individuals cut tickets to arts events from strained budgets.

The Full story appears in the Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana

Sustentable ’08: 11/28 until 12/2 at the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden

Original by Paula Alvarado, Buenos Aires on 11.26.08 for Treehugger

From November 28 until December 2 the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden will host Sustentable ’08, the first edition of an annual festival entirely dedicated to sustainable design.

The event will present over 100 environmentally and socially responsible objects created by Argentinean designers, and will offer a set of conferences and workshops for both professionals and general audiences, all with free entry.

Find out about the designers and the program of conferences in the extended.

The event 

Even though there have been some events on sustainable design before (see our coverage of Design Connection and the green section at Puro Diseno fair), this one comes with in a time of many projects and people that are revolving around the subject of sustainability in Argentina.

Much undeveloped than in the States or Europe, it seems 2009 will be the year green finally jumps to a larger audience than the small group of us that have been quietly watching this grow.

The organizers of the event, Ana Lisa Alperovich and Rodrigo Valdivielso, are hoping this will be a conversation starter for many designers that are not involved in the subject and for the audience in general, which is why they have opened the event to everyone with free entry.

The designers

The products that will be presented in the exhibition cover different categories and are a good representation of the actual state of ecodesign in Argentina.

There will be different kinds of products for the home like the Nuke efficient and non contaminant stove, Tribalia’s knitted rugs and accessories, Arqom’s furniture, andMinima Huella’s glasses from bottles and cardboard benches.

Arqom’s Nativo bench.

In clothing and accessories the festival will feature 12-Na garments with reinvented clothes, Indarra’s solar jacket and sustainable fabrics pieces, Manto’s traditional weavings made modern, recycled fibers Cargabags, advertising banners bags by Baumm, tires accessories by Neumatica, repurposed tights bags by Mestiza, andbonded leather bags by Gruba.


There will be jewelry by Silvina Romero and Tota Reciclados; and toys byVacavaliente and Maminas.

The conferences and workshops

The entire program of conferences for the festival can be found online at theSustentable website.

All presentations and workshops are free of charge and no need for inscription, just show up at the right time and you’re done. There are talks about bioclimatic architecture, solar cooking, visual pollution, clean energies, organic gardening, sustainable textiles, local resources, organic eating and solar collectors, among others.

Some interesting people that will offer the talks are El Viaje de Odiseo and their anti-plastic-bags campaign, Miki Friedenbach, and the fellows from Xcruza studio and their solar cooker.

The workshops include one about advertising banners reuse by Baumm, another about discarded textiles design by Silvina Romero, another about composting and organic gardening, and one more about PET bottles reuse.

Remember, it’s all happening this weekend, from November 28 to December 2, from 11 am to 7 pm, at the Buenos Aires Botanical Garden (good opportunity to visit this beautiful green space located in Santa Fe Av. 3951; subway line D, Plaza Italia Station). Free parking for bikes is offered at the entry.

(Disclaimer: this writer voluntarily contributed with the organization of this event).

Sustentable ’08