Tag Archives: sustainable

Sustainable Architecture: Communication through Art


For over 30 years Development Workshop France (DWF) has promoted sustainable settlement and shelter development, respecting existing values and utilizing local skills and resources.  Current projects focus on vulnerability reduction and the resolution of human settlement difficulties in Africa and South East Asia-difficulties that result from wide-ranging changes to the way people live, whether climatic and environmental, socioeconomic and demographic, or as a result of man-made and natural disasters and war.

DWF is the only nonprofit organisation ever to win two World Habitat Awards: in 1998 for Woodless Construction in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso; and in 2008 for Prevention of Typhoon Damage in Vietnam.

On Monday March 2, the founder and president of DWF will present DWF’s recent work in Burkina Faso and in Vietnam, and discuss the role that illustration, animation, music, and drama have played in educating and training on the local level.  Please join us in Kellen Auditorium at 4PM for this truly interdisciplinary event. More details of DWF’s work are on their web site: www.dwf.org

This event is hosted by Parsons faculty members Carol Overby, Design + Management, and Nora Krug, Illustration

John Norton, founder and president
Development Workshop France

Kellen Auditorium
66 Fifth Avenue, ground floor

Monday March 2  4-6PM
Space is limited; RSVP overbyc@newschool.edu

Alum Jill Bliss is interviewed about sustainable art


Parsons Illustration alum Jill Bliss was recently interviewed for Ecopreneurist.  Here’s a snippet of what she had to say

Crafts have always been historically rooted in all that is trendy in the hot, ‘green market’ today: local, sustainable and frugal. And, crafts are are gaining more sex appeal in part thanks to sites like Etsy.com, which has been described by the New York Times as a “cross between Amazon, eBay and your grandmother’s closet”.  Can you say more about the recent spotlight on crafts?

When I started in 2001, the burgeoning interest in crafts was a direct response to the ’soullessness’ of technology, a reaction against consumerism and a return to learning to doing things for yourself. It was a new form of punk-rock, with roots tied to the indie-music scene. I started my business out of necessity – I’d just returned home to San Francisco in time to witness the dot-com crash and couldn’t find a job working for someone else. So I created my own job. I began making things from whatever I had at hand in my studio, created a retail website and peddled my wares to local shops, at indie-music shows, and organized a few local craft sales events with other like-minded people.

This new crafts movement has grown tremendously since then with the advent of Etsy and large corporate sponsorship! It satisfies a need we all have to not only create things with our own hands, but to also have a dialog with, and get to know, others who make the things we buy and use. we’ve matured as consumers. We now want to know the story behind the product we buy and use. It’s no longer satisfying to buy just another throw-away item made in inhumane conditions by an unknown person in a faraway land.

From your Etsy profile, you say that you hope to encourage a more thoughtful art and design industry that focuses on reusable or sustainable materials and less consumption. Can you give us some examples of your creations that do this?

With everything I make, I use repurposed or recycled materials as much as possible and try to make only enough to satisfy demand. It’s important to me to only produce enough of a product that I can actually sell, or that I can make something else from if it doesn’t. Printing or making too many of something, even if it’s made from recycled materials, is just as wasteful as using new materials.

Read the entire interview here.  And make sure to check out Jill’s website and Etsy shop for more of her work.

[lovely images above from Jill’s illustration portfolio]