Designing Water’s Future Studio, Guest Expert Presentation by Tara Lohan

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October 17, 2008

Designmatters recently welcomed guest speaker, Tara Lohan, Senior Editor at Alternet and editor of the book Water Consciousness, to Art Center to give a talk on the global water crisis in this term’s Designing Water’s Future transdisciplinary studio. The goal of this studio, involving Environmental Design, Product Design, and Graphic Design students, is to generate a public awareness campaign about the global water crisis and inspire communities into action.

“Water scarcity may be the most underappreciated global environmental challenges of our times.”

–World Watch Institute

Tara started off her presentation with the simple statement that “Water has to do with everything.” Facts such as “Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a water borne disease,” and the average person in the United States uses 150 gallons of water a day, which is staggering compared to other nations, certainly underlined the need to raise awareness to this critical issue. When trying to find solutions to the global water crisis, Tara stressed that we must tie in the crisis to climate change and work on conservation messaging. With all the scientific information, facts, and figures on the crisis, everyone seemed shocked that more policies are not in place in America to deal with this crisis.

Divided into five teams, students are tackling this complex problem from a variety of angles, coming up with systems, products, and messaging that target different audiences. This studio offers a great opportunity for designers to help raise awareness, suggest solutions, and change peoples’ attitudes and behavior.

The final outcomes of the class will be submitted for the Aspen Design Challenge, an international design competition addressing the global water crisis.