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Design Studies is a Fair Trade Workplace

October 9, 2009

The Department of Design Studies recently applied to FTAANZ (the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand) to become cirtified as a Fair Trade Workplace. Yesterday, we received a letter and cirtificate (posted on the board outside the office) stating that we have met all of the requirements and will be added to their list of Fair Trade Workplaces. This is a fitting conclusion to a semester in which we focussed on supporting and promoting Fair Trade and the Trade Aid shop.


Last Lecture and Tutorial Plans

October 9, 2009

Since the hand-in date for the Climate Change Awareness project is on the last day of classes (16 October), there will not be an opportunity for us to show and discuss the final submission with the class. For this reason, we will use the last lecture on Monday 12 October to hear short presentations from each of the groups about their project. Everyone should plan on attending, and groups should be prepared to provide a brief (3-5 minute) summary of their project. This is a chance to get useful feedback before the hand-in. If you want to show images, please provide these to Mark or Tracey in advance, or bring them on a USB drive to the class. Please remember that you will have one week after the hand-in date to record your peer assesment in Assessi.

Although you will need time during the last tutorials next week to complete your submission, we will use some of the time to complete the course evaluation (about 10:00) and have a brief discussion about you experience of the course. This formal and informal feedback is really helpful and we appreciate your comments. Please feel free to provide additional comments to Mark and Tracey by email, or to your class rep.

Mark McGuire:

Tracey Gardner:

Climate Change Art and Action

October 7, 2009

Many artists are using their art to draw attention to climate change. David Buckland’s ice texts document, and comment on, melting polar ice. Brazilian artist, Nele Azevedo’s installations of men sculped from ice sit thoughtfully as they melt in the hot sun. In Los Angeles, dozens of large globes have been painted and decorated by artists and school children to produce Cool Globes, a large public art exhibit about global warming. Eve Mosher’s High Waterline Project shows New York City residents how rising ocean levels would change their city. This video shows how the work allows her to engage with people as she makes her mark. In this beautiful video, Freida, a Greenpeace campaigner, tells the story of the reduction in Arctic ice from a personal perspective. Franke James uses her blog to provide an ongoing account of how she has changed her lifestyle in an effort to do her part to reduce CO2 emissions. The designers of the 100 Months Website have taken a more objective, scientific approach, by presenting the science behind Global Warming and alerting visitors to the little time that remains to address the problem. Street events, like this one outside a Wellington branch of the ANZ bank protesting unsustainable logging in South East Asia, can be a creative and effective way to highlight a specific issue. Greenpeace’s recent act of civil disobedience to draw attention to “Fonterra’s Climate Crime” attracted plenty of news coverage as well as some criticism. Some organizations, such as Act for Climate Change, and Beyond Talk, advocate direct action as a necessary way to work for real change. The activities that they promote contrast sharply with safer,  uncontraversial strategies, such as the Portland project to arrange kayaks to form a floating number 350 on 24 October.

Dunedin meeting 5:30PM 13 Oct.

October 7, 2009

The group that is organizing the Summer Spring Food Festival at the Farmers Market on 24 October (and other events) will be meeting on Tuesday 13 October at 5.30pm at the Centre for Science Communication, 303a Great King Street.

Jeanette Fitzsimmons: “Is emissions trading really the answer?” 1PM Friday 9th October

October 7, 2009

Jeanette Fitzsimmons will give a talk, “Is emissions trading really the answer?”, at 1PM on Friday 9th October in the Archway 1 Lecture Theatre. She will discuss the Green Party Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill.  You can read their Submission Guide for the Bill here.

Free “Age of Stupid” Screening 7PM 14 Oct.

October 7, 2009

There will be a FREE screening of the film, “Age of Stupid” at 7:00PM on Wednesday 14th October in the College of Education Auditorium, Union St East (see this flyer). This is an independent screening by the New Zealand Youth Delegation,  a group of passionate young people who are going to Copenhagen in December to represent the youths views on climate change.

Climate Change, Art, and Performance

September 30, 2009

Two examples of ads that use animals to highlight the dangers of climate change illustrate very different approaches. This 30 second animation is in a cartoon style while this one-minute commercial uses a more realistic style and delivers a bleaker message. The Blue Man Group incorporates this multimedia piece into their live performances. Improv Everywhere is known for their public events that involve large numbers of volunteers, like an the freeze that was staged at Grand Central Station in New York. They don’t plan these events to communicate a message or to suppoet a cause, but we can learn from their techniques. The Yes Men design their pranks to expose and embarrass coporate leaders and unethical corporate practices. Their projects include imitation websites, such as this one for Halliburton, and fake products, such as the survivaball, and related promotions. A recent project involved the design and distribution of a fake edition of the New York Post, which they used to communicate factual information about the possible effects of Climate Change on New York. The Yes Men have also launched the Fix the World Challenge, which invites anyone to come up with an action using their tactics and upload a video of the result. Mark Jenkins, who is known for his street art installations, teamed up with Greenpeace to produce a series of works to draw attention to homelessness among polar bears.