Rhode Island School of Design to Address Climate Change at Democratic National Convention

Aug. 26, 2008

PROVIDENCE, RI /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ - The city of Denver and the Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) have selected Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to present a showcase during the August nominating convention based on the school's innovative approach to addressing the challenges of climate change through design.

RISD's Partly Sunny—"Designs to Change the Forecast," showcases innovative ideas, projects and policies that address six areas that have the potential for significant environmental benefit: buildings, food, energy, greening cities, water, and transportation—to demonstrate what can be done now to address the challenges posed by climate change. Partly Sunny will officially open on August 24, in conjunction with the Denver's green programs for that day.

"If we are to avert the most significant effects of climate change," says Partly Sunny director Charlie Cannon. "We can't just talk about the weather-we have to act." RISD's exhibition promises to convey two important points to visitors: that responsibility lies with both individuals and governments, and that procrastinating is not an option. As the events and the projects collected in Partly Sunny indicate, forward-thinking designers, scientists and engineers are giving us the tools we need to address climate change; now it's up to us to commit to adopting them.

Ranging in scale from individual lifestyle choices to national policies, more than 30 projects were examined and selected for RISD's exhibition to showcase at the Denver Pavilions, along the 16th Street pedestrian district downtown. At the policy level, for instance, a display explaining the London congestion pricing program illustrates how a toll for driving in the central city has reduced traffic and emissions while raising revenue to improve public transportation. A nonprofit venture, The Urban Farm, is featured because of the benefits of raising produce on vacant lots around the city; and building projects highlighted include One Bryant Plaza, one of the greenest office buildings in the world, set to open in New York City in 2009.

The project is a multi-departmental initiative, with students in five different design disciplines working to curate, design and produce the exhibition. Students who participated in a research seminar, sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture and led by RISD's Cannon, selected projects for the exhibition, while students in Ootje Oxenaar's studio in Graphic Design created a visual identity scheme for the exhibition.

Kallie Weinkle (Furniture Design 2008) chose the event as the focus for her degree project, using reclaimed wood from discarded shipping pallets to create a table that will serve as a central meeting and activity point for Partly Sunny. Consisting of six separate trapezoidal units, the table can be configured into a variety of shapes and can accommodate more than 40 people for salons, discussions, dinners, and letter writing campaigns. "I wanted to highlight the beauty of what we think of as waste," explains Weinkle.

The table will play a key role at an August 25 panel discussion, co-hosted by Dialog:City and the University of Colorado Denver. The panel, called The Green Constitutional Congress, was initiated by Partly Sunny to discuss how to develop broad public demand for bold action on climate change. Hosted by Bruce Mau, participants include David Orr, Senator Gary Hart, Majora Carter, and Cannon. The discussion will take place from 6-8PM and is free and open to the public. RSVP address and additional information can be found at http://partlysunny.risd.edu/.

Partly Sunny is part of Dialog:City—an event converging art, democracy and digital media—is an official public program of the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee,  presented by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. Partly Sunny is one of nine site-specific interactive public art and design initiatives that will be presented concurrently at different locations throughout the city. The exhibitions and installations are intended to encourage creative interaction and discourse on a number of timely topics.

For more information about Partly Sunny, visit: http://partlysunny.risd.edu/.

About RISD
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent art and design college in the country. Today, with more than 22,000 alumni, the college enrolls roughly 2,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students from the United States and almost 50 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture, and design disciplines, and art education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns, as well as international exchange programs. Each year, RISD hosts prominent and accomplished artists, critics, and authors to its campus. Included within the college is The RISD Museum of Art, which houses a world-class collection of art objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and art of all periods from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as the latest in contemporary art. For more information, go to www.risd.edu.

Source: Rhode Island School of Design

For additional information, contact Jaime Marland of the Rhode Island School of Design: (401) 427-6954 or [email protected].

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