August 21, 2008

RISD Presents Showcase Addressing Climate Change at Democratic National Convention

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Partly Sunny

The Green Constitutional Congress
August 25, 6-8PM

August 16-September 20, 2008
Opening August 21, 6-8PM
Robischon Gallery

Partly Sunny
Opening August 24, 11AM-4PM
Denver Pavilions

The Green Constitutional Congress
A Symposium on the Future of Environmental Action
Hosted by Bruce Mau
August 25, 6-8PM
Free Open to the Public
Buell Theater, Denver Performing Arts Center
rsvp [email protected]

Rhode Island School of Design Presents Showcase
Addressing Climate Change at Democratic National Convention

The City of Denver and the Host Committee of the Democratic National Convention 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 opens on August 24.

“If we are to avert the most significant effects of climate change,” Partly Sunny director Charlie Cannon says, “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 selected for RISD’s showcase at the Denver Pavilions, along the 16th Street pedestrian district. At the policy level, a display explaining the London congestion pricing program illustrates how a toll for driving in the city has reduced traffic and emissions while raising revenue to improve public transportation. A non-profit 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 NYC in 2009.

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

Kallie Weinkle [Furniture Design 2008] chose the event as the focus for her degree project, using reclaimed wood from shipping pallets to create a table that will serve as a central activity point for Partly Sunny. Consisting of six separate trapezoidal units, the table can be configured into a variety of shapes, accommodating more than 40 people. “I wanted to highlight the beauty of what we think of as waste,” Weinkle explains.

The table will play a key role at an August 25 panel discussion, co-hosted by Dialog:City and the University of Colorado Denver at the Temple Hoyne Buell Hall at the Denver Performing Arts Center. 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.

Partly Sunny is one of nine site-specific interactive public art and design initiatives that will be presented concurrently as part of Dialog:City: An Event Converging Art, Democracy and Digital Media. Daniel Peltz, an assistant professor of Film/Animation/Video at RISD, also has work in Dialog:City, taking political rhetoric into an unexpected context in Participatory Democracy and the Future of Karaoke. Dialog:City begins on August 21 with an opening at the Robischon Gallery.

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Media contact: Jaime Marland, 401.427.6954

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