Project 8: Clean and Green

Department: Studio Foundations
Title: Clean and Green
Date: April 17 – May 1, 2012

Check out the proposal put together by Professor Marsching and Kolozsvary’s Studio Foundation Department Freshmen level TIME: Nature Now: Climate Change for Artists and Designer section on the wall outside the Brant Gallery this week and next.  We’d love to get your feedback on what works and doesnt’ work, what you’d add or subtract, contributions of ideas and suggestions.

Amelia G Perkins, Anthony Fusco, Austin Carrier, Bradford C Paiva, Christopher Cruz, Danielle R Williams, Eleanor R Norton, Emelie Bergh, Eric Magnussen, Hanna Brown, Iris Laurent, Krystal Perez, Michael David, Michael Gower, Nanette Pengelley, Oyumaa Chuluunkhuu, Sarah Puente, Stephanie  Bogle, Christina Kolozsvary, & Jane D. Marsching

Project Clean and Green is a collaborative reimagining of the central courtyard of Massachusetts College of Art and Design by an interdisciplinary team of largely first year students in response to the concerns of toxins in our environment and of the needs of sustainability, community, and creativity on our campus.

Soil samples taken in the courtyard reveal lead levels far in excess of safe limits for humans.  We propose cleaning the soil through phytoremediation, or the use of plants as phytoaccumulators to draw lead out of the soil and up into their leaves.  Our tests in the Garden Lab at the Brant Gallery this semester used mustard greens, but we propose using sunflowers grown in defined spaces over the course of many seasons to take out the lead.

At the same time, we propose designing and installing mobile garden beds, which can be filled with seasonal food and flower plantings.  These raised beds on wheels can be moved out of the way for big events (like the iron pour, outdoor sculptures, etc.). Part of this plan involves engaging students in the redesign through competitions for the design of benches, butt cans and other elements.  A series of events will be held throughout the year that include music, art, and activism with the aim of gathering people together in a beautiful, restful, healthy, and fun space.