University Libraries

Video as Ecological Tool: Reinvisioning a Sustainable Campus

Video as Ecological Tool: Reinvisioning a Sustainable Campus

Students in Prof. Mary Guzowski and Prof. Loren Abraham's week long Architecture seminar course "Architecture as Catalyst" (ARCH 5110) produced videos to communicate current campus deficiencies with environmental sustainability and propose through audio visual narrative, solutions for a "reinvisioned" future campus environment.

Student Examples:
Dream (Produced by Jon Jacobs & Max Schmitz)

Student Comment: This video envisions a campus that therapeutically reconnects us to nature in hopes of starting a dialog about who we are and our relationship to the environment. Though the video is surreal and radical in nature, it gives you a moment to dream, a moment to return, a moment to ponder the natural world that we are very much a part of. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Connection (Produced by Sarah Bremer & Matthew Wingard)

Student Comment: Farming on Church Street. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Dragon (Produced by Becky Alexander and Thea Holbery-Johnson)

Student Comment: Water quality and the West Bank. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Cleansing (Produced by Griffin Jameson and Alec Sands)

Student Comment: Looking at improving water quality. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

The Flower (Produced by Sopheak Pho and Joanna Himes)

Student Comment: Minimizing our impacts. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Waste Generation (Produced by Alex Kang and Christopher Wingate)

Student Comment: How the students at the U are the 'Waste Generation'. (Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Washington Ave. Bridget (Produced by Shawn Walsh and The Phan)

(Creative Commons - full attribute, no commercial, derivatives okay).

Learning Objectives

The catalyst objectives are to:
1. Explore digital video production as an ecological design and communication tool.
2. Use digital video to explore an “ecological provocation” or question on the UMN campus.
3. Consider the unique integrative and experiential design opportunities of video.

Catalyst Outcomes
Working with film producer and guest instructor Jeff Sylvestre and UMN Multi-media Librarian Scott Spicer, students will collaborate in small teams to produce a 1-2-minute video “provocation” that inspires students, faculty, administration, and the public to imagine the sustainable design opportunities of the University of Minnesota Campus. Digital video multi-media exploration will be used to:

• Assess existing ecological conditions at the University of Minnesota (a select site or sites will be assigned to the student teams; 2 on each of 3 sites)
• Visualize energy, water, and/or resource flows and integrated ecological opportunities on campus.
• Present design concepts and interventions to reduce ecological impacts (e.g. issues such as water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, stormwater runoff, urban heat island, pollution, habitat and biodiversity) through ecologically strategic design interventions.

Demonstrated Learning Benefits

Interview Coming Soon

Subject Knowledge Acquired

Reflection on sustainability and potential solutions within the field of architecture
Communicating architectural creative solutions for sustainability
Subject research (info. lit.)
Mixed media content research (media lit.)

Soft Skill Set Acquired

Video Production-Editing Skill Sets
Audio/Visual Mixed Media Composition
Voice Over (scripting)
Media Literacy (Media Arts Approach: video production skill sets to communicate idea. Critical Media Literacy: Deep understanding of how messages are created to invoke emotion, assessment on students ability to effectively produce media to communicate ideas and invoke emotion, discussion of mass media representation of sustainability issues, use of user-generated content to draw awareness and propose a solution using alternative media communication channels (Media Mill)).
Project Management
Group Work

Challenges

Interview Coming Soon

Course Assignment and Grading Rubric

Assignment Objectives, Grading and Support Resources .pdf
This catalyst will use off-the-shelf digital video and editing software to envision the interrelationships of energy, waste, water and carbon emissions across the building and site scales on the University of Minnesota Campus. Video will be used to both observe and assess existing ecological design conditions on campus and to visual possible ecological design interventions. The primary goal of the catalyst is to explore the creative design potential and opportunities of video as a temporal and spatial ecological design tool. Students will work in teams to investigate ecological design solutions and interventions that could inspire the University of Minnesota towards becoming a zero emissions, zero-energy, zero water, zero runoff, and zero-waste campus.

GRADING
Grading for this course is S/N. For team work a passing or no passing grade will be given to the team, and it is important that work is coordinated between individuals and that each team member participates fully. Criteria for passing or no passing grade includes: level of engagement with instructor’s agenda, provocative addition of students’ agenda, demonstrated understanding of methodology proposed by instructor, overall attitude of “high risk/high reward”.

External Campus Support Resources

Media Services was approached spring semester to discuss support for a student media project in the week long Arch. Seminar, "Architecture Catalyst" course (ARCH 5110). Scott met with Mary Guzowski and Loren Abraham in-person and via email/phone in advance to further refine the assignment and discuss support needs. Scott made a class visit to discuss digital storytelling concepts and campus support options, in concert with Filmmaker, Jeff Sylvestre, who consulted with the course on deeper understanding of critical video production/technique and messaging. Due to the short time-line, Jenny and Scott arranged to support a class session in the Walter SMART Learning Commons where all groups were present working on their projects. A few set office hours were also arranged where students requiring additional support could receive support with scheduled request. Jenny/Scott came to the class screening to view and critique each presentation with discussion. Prof. Barry Lehrman (Landscape Architecture) consulted with this class as well, as his undergraduate course (LA 1001) also integrated student video projects on landscape sustainability.

Scott, Jenny, and Architecture subject librarian Deborah Boudewyns met with Mary Guzowski to debrief the project, discuss possible future refinements, and collaborations.

ARCH 5110 Media Production Guide

Student Production Support from the SMART Learning Commons

Reserve Production Equipment
Schedule Video Production Project Support

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License