Recently in Design Category
Spirited voices mixed with the scent of Indian spices in The Commons: Meeting and Art Space at Institute on the Environment last Monday night. Dozens of Acara students, mentors and investors were gathered for a showcase of the 2012-13 Acara Challenge contestants.
Attendees supped on fare from Gandhi Mahal and mingled with the young entrepreneurs before settling in for brief presentations on seven start-ups developed by Acara alumni. The goal of each business - in addition to viability and profit - is to address a social or environmental issue at home or abroad.
In the early years of the new millennium, more than 1,000 worldwide experts compiled a report about the condition of Earth's ecological systems. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment findings "provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world's ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems," according to the MA website.
The next step, says Laura Musacchio, is to translate the information for nonscientists, to be applied by designers and planners for the enhancement of urban environments.
Musacchio, an IonE resident fellow and associate professor of landscape architecture in the College of Design, assert that this type of translation is a specialized skill she calls "knowledge brokering." A knowledge broker is a "cross-pollinator of ideas among professionals from different disciplines," she explained at the May 1 Frontiers in the Environment seminar.
A "ready, fire, aim!" approach, Virajita Singh explained during her Frontiers in the Environment presentation last Wednesday, is integral to sustainable design. By seeking improvements throughout the design process, aiming after firing produces a more precise result. Instead of leaving the loose ends of a project to serve as a lesson for the future, projects are treated as flexible, ongoing processes where design fixes previous missteps.