Experiencing the Earth Collectively: Bringing the Earth from above Art Exhibit to the US as a Framework for Sustainable Design and Thinking

By Elizabeth Graff and Wolfram Hoefer.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Land artists of the 1960s brought art out of the gallery and into the public realm with its cultural, social, and environmental implications. Comparatively, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Earth From Above exhibit takes images of poignant beauty intricately connected to environmental stewardship into a moveable gallery traversing the world’s predominant public open spaces. Another direction for environmental art that joins sustainable design, the far-reaching repercussions and momentum for positive global change is at the fore of the Earth From Above (EFA) mission with direct public exposure and synergistic educational relationships. For example, the design and production team that has evolved in the effort to bring the EFA experience to the United States, premiering in NYC, exemplifies the collaborative, problem-solving directive currently charged to the people of this planet as global citizens. An obstacle to responsible stewardship, environmental commentary is often shrouded in pessimism; conversely, individual and collective inspiration derived from the EFA exhibit provides workable ground for such care. With the US a major contributor to environmental degradation at a time of global recession, the event, scheduled for April 2010, is opportune. Highlighting a fitting consequence of contemporary environmental art and design, this paper discusses the educational and cultural avenue forged by trans-disciplinary collaboration of business professionals, educators, students, and practitioners in bringing sustainable research, design and technology to the public realm in the planning of the EFA/USA/NYC exhibit; and, in return, the cultural event inspiring constructive environmental progress that viewers can bring back to their homes, communities, professions and lives.

Keywords: Environmental Art, Environmental Consciousness, Sustainable Design, Earth From Above, Stewardship

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.155-168. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.349MB).

Elizabeth Graff

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Art & Architecture, University of Idaho, Moscow, USA

As Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Idaho, US, Elizabeth merges the art and science of landscape architecture in teaching methods of design and site engineering. Born and raised in New Jersey and having studied and practiced across the United States, she informs her service-learning teaching and holistic approach with cross-disciplinary professional practice experience in landscape architecture, architecture, and engineering. She holds an MLA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BSLA from Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey. Her research foci include Sustainable Development, Green Building, Environmental Art & Design, Youth-Inspired Community Design, and Experiential Learning.

Wolfram Hoefer

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers - The State University of NJ, Highland Park, USA

In January 2006, Dr. Wolfram Hoefer joined the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers as an Assistant Professor. He earned a diploma in Landscape architecture from the TU Berlin and a doctorate from TU Munich. \His research and teaching focus is the cultural interpretation of brownfields as potential elements of the public realm. Based upon Further he is investigating the different cultural interpretations of landscapes by the general public in North America and Europe and how they have an effect on professional approaches towards planning and design solutions for urbanized regions.

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