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A Culture of Green


Academy of Art University

Phil Hamlett is on a mission. Hamlett wants see the Living Principles for Design used in every single classroom. To help design instructors integrate the Living Principles into their curriculum, Hamlett has helped create the Living Principles Scorecard which can be downloaded at www.livingprinciples.org.
This scorecard is intended for instructors and students to use together as a way to inspire questions, stimulate discussion and rate design projects on their relative ethical and sustainable merits. A scale system from 0-4 evaluates the project in the areas of environment, people, economy and culture.
Along with instructor Tom Sieu, Hamlett implemented the Scorecard last semester with students at the Academy of Art University. As a way to dimensionalize their understanding of the Living Principles, Hamlett, the School of Graphic Design’s graduate director, asks students to select specific Principles, familiarize themselves with them, then advocate for those principles in critique. By composing their own written definitions, collecting alternate definitions and relating all they know to class activity and peer projects, students are able to create a common framework for evaluating their efforts. A scorecard worksheet provides a mechanism for capturing written feedback, tracking progress and generating assessment.

Students used the Living Principles Framework and the Scorecard to guide their projects for a recent GOOD Magazine Design Challenge. They were asked to address intractable social and sustainable problems that confront the San Francisco Bay Area. Student teams were asked to consider how the communities they had identified might be involved in devising the solution to the problem at hand.

Team Spot examined the issue of abandoned urban spaces and their adverse affects on the communities in which they are found. The Green Spot Initiative proposes reclaiming these abandoned spaces by involving residents in the urban planning and implementation stage.
Project Firefly envisions transforming San Francisco into the first people-powered city by expanding the use of nascent piezoelectric capture systems. A personal Firefly device, much like a pedometer, captures kinetic energy and converts it to electricity. Web portals track users “personal power” cache and facilitate a range of participatory activities.
If California’s wine industry was able to overcome past stigmas and generate $51.8 billion and 309,000+ jobs annually, why can’t the country’s number one cash crop do the same? With the proper branding and marketing, Team Agriculture envisions tackling the negative perception of the cannabis industry with an industry association — the Greenhouse Cartel — to promote the Bay Area as a Mecca for cannabis tourism.

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