Aquarium of the Pacific Resilient Cities Project

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Jennifer May, Director, Designmatters November 16, 2016

Designmatters is proud to be partnering with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on our fifth project!

Resilient Cities received a grant award from the National Endowment of the Arts to engage a transdisciplinary group of ArtCenter students to work with scientists and experts from the Aquarium of the Pacific to design and install an exhibition looking at how cities, with Long Beach as a leader, can be resilient in the face of climate change. The exhibition will include calls to action that individuals, families and communities can take to mitigate the effects of climate change, and adapt to the changes that are already happening.


Led by Environmental Design faculty Rob Ball and Chiara Ferrari, the project kicked off in September with briefing on climate change for the students from leading expert on climate science Richard Somerville, a look at how climate change is impacting extreme weather events from meteorologist for the National Weather Service Mark Jackson, a description of how climate change is affecting sea level and coastal flooding, especially in long beach, from CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific Dr. Jerry Schubel, and lessons on messaging from Tom Bowman, lead exhibition designer for the Aquarium.


From there, the students worked closely with Dr. Jenny Lentz and David Bader from the Education Department of the Aquarium to develop exhibition messaging and concepts for the Aquarium’s large and diverse audience. After receiving feedback from the Aquarium team in October, the students and faculty are now working on finalizing the exhibition concept and design for a final presentation in December. The project will continue on in the Spring, with a small group of students working with the faculty to refine and fabricate the exhibition for installation at the Aquarium in 2017.