2013-14 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Green Materials: Craft and Construction


Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Robert Leverich visual arts, architecture , Anthony Tindill sustainable design
Fields of Study
architecture, sustainability studies and visual arts
Preparatory for studies or careers in
visual arts, environmental design, architecture, art education, and sustainability studies.
Students entering in the program are encouraged to have background experience in environmental science and drawing, design, or craft.

This program builds on ideas and skills introduced in Green Materials: Arts, Science, and Construction in the Fall.  It focuses on craft and construction at different scales, from details and furnishings to building systems and construction methods. Each student will be part of a working studio to focus on individual and group 3D projects that address design and construction challenges, with supporting work in drawing, fabrication skills, building science, environmental history and ideas, and sustainable practices. We will engage this work as art, science, expression, and service, challenging such distinctions and looking for commonalities of approach and meaning.

Detail projects – furniture, hardware, built-ins, lighting, and other building details - will explore craft and sustainability through smaller scaled work with wood, metals, composites, and repurposed materials – where some of the most creative craft work is being done today.  Work at this scale is where one literally gets in touch with a building, so issues of ergonomics, comfort, usability, and equal access will come to the fore.  We’ll focus on wood and wood products in the winter quarter and metals in the spring quarter, introducing basic skills in each area.   Construction projects will address materials at the scale of sustainable building.  Energy is a primary concern: currently buildings account for 42% of U.S. energy use, larger even than transportation and industrial energy use.  New design and construction – or even better, renovating and retrofitting - can reduce that energy use in the future, even with an increase in numbers of buildings.  We will consider emerging technologies that enhance energy efficiency, design strategies that reduce the overall energy needs of a building, and the impact of current sustainable building movements.  Projects at both scales will emphasize informed use of materials – their benefits and their environmental, social, and economic impacts, and skillful use of tools and techniques, to design and build wisely. 

Lectures, workshops, and seminars will address themes common to both craft and construction: the history of environmental art and design, structure principles, ethics, beauty, community and sustainability.  Likely books include: The Craft Reader (Adamson), The Spirit of Design: Objects Environments and Meaning (Walker), Heating, Cooling and Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects (Lechner),and Reinventing Fire: Bold Energy Solutions for the New Energy Era (Lovins).

Engaged students will gain new skills in drawing, design, craft, and construction as sustainable practices, and the ability to speak for that work effectively through, graphics, writing, and public presentations.

Schedule and Location
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
$50 per quarter for studio fees.
Special Expenses
Up to $100 or more per quarter for tools and materials, depending on your projects.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 4th, 2013 This program requires faculty signature to register. The description has been updated.
April 30th, 2013 This program now accepts students at all class levels (Freshmen to Seniors).