Lauren Davis has always been passionate about the environment.
“Whenever I’d watch The National Geographic channel and a tiger would die or kill a deer, I would bawl my eyes out,” said the fifth-year in interior design.
As she and her love for the environment grew, Davis knew she wanted to help preserve it. She was driven by this instinct to create “Flourish,” an environmental education center for children, for her final project that will be featured in the Department of Design Spring Exhibition.
The exhibition will showcase the works of 45 undergraduates from the three majors: interior design, industrial design and visual communication design. It will also include the works of four Master of Fine Arts students from two majors: design research and development, and digital animation and interactive media.
Davis said “Flourish” is a design for a center with an after-school program where children, ages 4 to 12, can go to learn about sustainability while their parents are still at work. She said it would also be open during the day for school-related field trips and for those children who are home-schooled. There are different interactive walls within the design, she said. One is a chalkboard where they can write “green”-related pledges, while another is a touch-screen wall that displays images and sounds of endangered species, like the Siberian tiger, when a child touches it.
Hannah Kruse, a sixth-year in industrial design, chose to recreate the stadium concession-stand experience through her conceptual project, “Crave.”
“It’s (about) organizing the lines, getting them through traffic, and keeping people entertained while they are waiting for their food,” Kruse said.
Kruse’s idea includes features such as a service that allows visitors to pre-order food vouchers and fast passes to skip concession lines, a separate food pickup window, a sectioned-off area from event traffic for the lines and a cart full of leftover concessions that visitors can buy at a discount price while leaving the event.
Brittany Layton, a fifth-year in visual communication design, said she wanted to maximize the experiences of traveling and journaling with her concept of “Jot.”
Layton said a smart journal doesn’t exist yet, but it would be a journal with embedded sensors and an attached sleeve with a digital screen that will display the relevant media.
“’Jot’ is a two-part system that is comprised of both a mobile application and a smart journal,” she said. “The mobile application collects all of your recordings … and compiles them all into one place. Then it syncs up with the journal so when you are turning the pages of your journal, which is just a paper journal, the sleeve is populated with pictures and videos that are relevant to each page.”
Thomas Heban, a fourth-year MFA in digital animation and interactive media, created a seven-minute short film called “Here Be Giants” as his final thesis animation.
“It is a narrative story (of) a young boy who is traveling in the footsteps of his grandfather,” Heban said.
Heban said the meanings behind “Here Be Giants” were somewhat personal as he looks up to his parents and grandparents.
“It’s kind of how your perspective of your relationship with (those) people that shape your growth as a young person,” he said.
The Department of Design Spring Exhibition will show Tuesday through April 11 at the Urban Arts Space. A reception will also be held April 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. The conceptual projects will be displayed on large posters, Kruse said. Admission is free and the space is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m.