Partnership in Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS) has been selected to show student work at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) from May 18th at 6pm to May 21st at 7pm. Videos, graphics and products will be displayed during NY’s Design Week. The theme of the ICFF booth is Homelessness, Natural Disasters and Climate Change and the exhibition is open to all disciplines.


The landscape of homelessness has been broadened and made more complex by the impact of climate change. Deep social forces of course have long ensured that “some kinds of people” experience intolerable (and preventable) suffering on the streets of our most affluent cities. We are used to seeing “other kinds of people”, elsewhere, dispossessed and displaced. Yet, in an era of Katrina and Sandy, of rapid socio-environmental change, these “other kinds of people” are becoming “us”.

As an ever widening range of coast and low lying communities have found themselves effected by climate change we can see vulnerabilities emerge and states of homeless-ness be experienced in the most surprising places. This exhibit considers the diverse ways in which the tools of design can compliment and contribute to broader forms of social and ecological change to address the challenges posed by a warming world.

Climate change poses problems for us. But many active people and dynamic communities are already finding creative and imaginative ways to design for social and ecological resilience. And in doing this, they are finding ways to overcome the broader array of social and ecological challenges we face in our daily lives.

Works Included:

image-12Marrow Table – Pratt Institute

Work by: Sierra Yip-Bannicq, Pratt Institute

The Marrow Table uses a system of modular aluminum brackets that connect the crossbars and legs. The design was conceptualized to make use of the same bracket for a table with any size; the brackets can be used for a small side table or a large dining room table.  The brackets allow for easy customizable table dimensions in addition to easy user assembly. The table frame is exceptionally lightweight can be easily disassembled; each material can be quickly separated, making the table easy to pack up and move around.

image-11Post-sandy Topographies – Pratt Institute

Work by: Sheenae Kim, Megan Hurford, Jenna Steinbeck, Fajer Alqattan, Trey Lindsay, John Redington

Is a set of studies that map geospatial conditions and speculative scenarios in the new york city region following the destruction caused by the storm. Models document the damage in the immediate aftermath, project temporary and permanent relocation scenarios of residential populations and businesses in the flood zone, and imagine more extreme zoning scenarios that would permanently alter the built landscape. The work was completed as part of a seminar/workshop titled critical geography and techniques of representation taught in the fall of 2012 by Alexandra Barker and Alihan Polat. Students used GIS software and a range of open source and empirical data sets to generate their results. More information at http://www.Pratt-arch851e.Org/

rebootSM_Page_1Pals Student Poster Exhibit – Various Schools

In September 2010, thirty-three academic leaders from 33 independent colleges of art and design came together to create a new vision for design education that responds to the complex nature of our world. Each PALS “fellow” has been appointed by the president of their institution to participate in a collaborative effort to link the resources of independent art and design colleges around the critical environmental, social and human centered design issues that face us. Together we are responding the the question, “how do we ensure that our students are prepared to create a healthy, just and sustainable future?” the pals-aashe exhibition “creating sustainability” represents the work of student artists and designers from 12 of the PALS member schools. The projects are based around five key themes; water, energy, materials, social equity and health.

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image-12Bootstrap – Pacific Northwest College of Art

Work by: Sarah Cloutier

‘Bootstrap’ is a small, uncluttered structure on four wheels designed as a prototype for a series of tiny, mobile, affordable and efficient homes for the homeless. Designed by PNCA illustration major Sarah Cloutier, the Bootstrap is large enough for a small mattress, sleeping bag and additional belongings, which can be affixed to the interior with a series of hooks above the permanent shelf. Features include canvas panniers on the roof collect rainwater and debris; paneled wood floor and a small shelf for cooking and storing belongings; a candle stove, large water jug, a carefully designed sink that drains onto a waste container with a water lock and vent to the outside for air release. The waste container can be removed and emptied in a public bathroom.  The final design included materials salvaged and recyclable goods such as plastic bins and pvc pipe. The homes are fireproof, tip-proof and come with wheel locks to discourage theft.

image-3Six Garment Diet – Otis College of Art and Design

Work by: Danielle Anthony, Kelly Banik, Sana Ho, Christina Ingalls, Hanna Jun, Natalie Kantor, Eunjee (Elaine) Kim, Eliana Levin, Yoandra Magallanes, Annie Mong, Vivian Mong, Linn Partee, Puttarapoen Kuntolbutra, Ariella Seltzer, Caroline Slutskaya, Victoria (Tori) Taylor, Christie Torgerson, Brianna Vizcaino

Rose Brantley, otis fashion design chair, in collaboration with professional designers from Nike and Hurley, guided the twenty juniors to use the Nike Considered Index Tool, which analyzes the entire lifespan of a product, to create “The Six Garment Diet”. This collection includes six essential pieces, including t-shirts and jeans along with other garments of the students’ choice, that can be worn year round, all made with sustainable materials and methods while minimizing waste, packaging and laundering, ultimately eliminating the need for consumers to purchase new clothes for each season. The students worked collaboratively to address the themes of regenerative (reuse, recycle, repurpose), heirloom (classic, timeless, improved with age) and sustainable design (zero waste and environmentally sound materials). The final collections were displayed at Hurley’s H Space Gallery, in Costa Mesa, CA.

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image-10Home Sweet Street – School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Work by: Chin-yun (Sonya) Lai

By observing homeless activity in downtown chicago, documentation was made of their daily activity and struggle to find shelter. Homeless people need something which can keep them warm, provide space for living and storage, and be lightweight and portable. The Jacket-Blanket-Bag (JBB) addresses these issues. The garment is made of Tyvek, felt, and heatsheet, which are waterproof, comfortable, and retain body heat. The JBB can be unzipped to form a blanket or folded to make a shoulder bag. When two JBB combine a tent is formed. This in return gives a homeless user more options in how to better survive in harsh climates and difficult urban environments.

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image-6Homes For Less – Emily Carr

Work by: Anna Gukov, Amanda Huynh, Emilie Madill, Lydia Cambron

Given the task of designing a 64 sq. ft. living environment at the cost of under $1,500 in a 15-week timeline. The frame structures use pine beetle wood, and are designed to be constructed as components in a factory environment. They would be assembled in place using simple connectors by the very people who would use them. One major project criterion was that at least 30% of the building components would be recycled / reused materials, reducing costs and exemplifying sustainable practices in new and creative ways. The structures are meant to be placed within a community environment where there will be washroom and shower facilities as well as a communal gathering space.

photo-16This is My Home, This is My Blanket – Art Center

Work By: Cindy Chen

In continuing partnership with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI), Designmatters and the Department of Illustration led a transdisciplinary studio on the topic of Human Rights to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The resulting work formed the poster exhibition, “Images for Human Rights: Student Voices,” which was first displayed as part of the annual UN DPI/Non-Governmental Organization Conference at The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris from September 3-5, 2008, and has since been shown at the Pasadena Central Library, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Student Cindy Chen created two posters inspired by Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. “I chose to make a poster about homelessness because it is something I notice in my everyday life and on a global level. I wanted to use everyday objects that homeless people have appropriated to create shelter, privacy, and a home to survive. In this context, objects that we dispose of take on a different meaning.

image-14Home Equals X Video – OCAD

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*Special thanks to all of the students who contributed their work to the show and volunteered their time to make it such a great success!

More Images from the Show

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