Small Group Discussion 1/10

Who is my audience? The consumer, and then everyone else...

Generate ideas, then notice patterns. 

Awareness of the problem and the call to action. 

"Ask me about" buttons


Instead of writing in full sentences, can you break it down so someone has to question? 

Come up with some simple categorization system

Would I engage? 

Skis lead to a website with a fact- branded or visible to show that someone can look this up. 

Choose a name that sticks- is the goal to look it up after? 

MTV's GYT campaign- catchy but ambiguous

Trendy not preachy


How can you advertise through photos? Make mockups

Daily occurences of climate change. 

Sydney ShafferComment
December Review

Notes from my December Review:

  • How is the aesthetic "cool," how are you adding messaging to the aesthetic? Is it a call to action? 
    • Who are you talking to? Where is the conversation? Redefining messaging? Synergy between? Synergy between visual and verbal. 
  • When this product moves through the system, how many people does it impact? 
    • Think: the lift line, the manufacturers, etc. 
    • Methodical analysis of who sees what part, and when do they see it? 
  • How do we encourage people to be an agent of change? 
  • Top + Bottom interaction- how do the audiences change from the vantage point? Am I working with a 2 canvases? 4 canvases? 
  • "Ask me about" buttons- encouraging people to engage in conversation. 
  •  What is the individual contribution to the collective action?
  • Play with age and who I am talking to- am I making childrens skis? Adults skis? How is that impacting each different audience? 
  • Truisms or calls to action? 
  • What is our compensation for building skis? 
  • Have the questions, not the answers
  • What is the level of individual action?
Sydney ShafferComment
Call with Ellen Rutt
  • trying to get a one-off is really hard
  • cast a pair of skis in some sort of material and create a mold | cast in porcelain - commentary on the fragility of the environment
  • print designs on an adhesive vinyl
  • weave in the idea with the prototype
  • impact of the real object- without the real object
  • take the parts of that
  • necessity of maximum impact- physical object, whether it works is more or less important. 
  • act of recycling uses a lot of energy, where is the energy coming from
  • acknowledge the paradox of our existence
  • we aren’t going to stop producing objects, so if we are not going to, how do we continue
  • how do ask these questions knowing that the system is fucked but also hoping to highlight some ways that shed light on the subject
    • sent the past work and general idea, the vibe of our ski company and the graphics we put
    • women skis, wanted them to be a bit gendered towards women
    • provided 5-10 initial sketches
    • refined from there based on feedback
    • they sent a template  and worked with the template
  • don’t concern yourself to pleasing just them - remember that whatever they think, other people exist
  • simpler you can make the initial idea and the more you can deal with the core concept the better off you are
  • keep it small and really refined
  • focus on one thing remembering that it is just for now
  • Ellen's IP: collages/digital collages that were environmentally focused, different pieces of global systems interacting, people shopping for iPhones combined with people making 



Sydney ShafferComment

I began the day working through some early sketching- seeing what I had for the purpose of organization. 


One of the first messages I am sketching is the idea of Renewable Energy. Ive been giving this idea a lot of thought. Climate change is a pressing issue that is causing early season snowfall to be limited. 20-30% of revenue comes from Christmas week (fairly early in the season), according to Powder Magazine. With limited snowfall due to rising temperatures and irregularity, mountains are forced to make snow to compensate and make the necessary revenue. Snowmaking, however, is one of the most expensive mountain operations using around 1/2 of a resort's energy budget each season. At the World Climate Summit in Paris, the 100% Renewable Campaign was announced, working towards 100% Renewable Energy among all US Ski resorts and mountain communities. Right now, we are in transition working towards this goal, some resorts already successful in this endeavor, using solar and wind power as renewable resources. I want to focus on these two forms of renewable resources to raise awareness of these transitions and highlight this cycle that occurs- climate change decreases snow, decreasing snow requires snow blowing, snow blowing uses energy, non-renewable resources have a negative impact, worsening climate...and repeat. With this transition to renewable resources and zero net emissions, US mountains are taking a stand, and it is one worth highlighting. 

In my early sketch, I use shapes and lines to show the relationship of the earths core, to the sun, highlighting the resources available as an alternative to non-renewables. Inspired by the style of RAMP Ski designs, I exposed the wood core underneath the illustrations. 

A second idea I am working towards uses sunglasses, inspired by retro styles and 80's ski style, to create a vibrant, and whimsical design inspired by an object that "protects from the sun." In this case, it is the warming earth, and using the sun as a resource for energy. 

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IP Review Prep- Thesis and Presentation Development

Working Thesis: 

Untitled is a collection of five snow-ski designs that address issues of climate change, encourage environmental awareness, and inspire action, specifically through the lens of skiing and the winter sports community. Untitled engages the audience, asking them to help preserve our winter landscapes and environments, because as Jeremy Jones, founder of the organization Protect Our Winters says, "We all need winter". 

After reviewing, we discussed restructuring the thesis to have a more problem/solution format, and the inclusion of more words extracted from discursive design language. 

Climate change is a global issue, but one that has a large and direct impact on the winter sports industry. Untitled is a collection of five snow-ski designs that recognize issues of climate change, provoke thought, and inspire change, helping people to better comprehend a global issue, on a smaller scale within the niche of skiing. Untitled engages the audience, asking them to help preserve our winter landscapes and environments, because as Jeremy Jones, founder of the organization Protect Our Winters says, "We all need winter". 

Sydney ShafferComment

Article: May 10 2016

Burton snowboards ran a program where they brought elementary school students in to help design the new lines of Burton Kids Snowboards. Their conclusion was that the "future of snowboarding is in good hands." This statement resonated with me, the idea that change is going to start with youth, an idea i have had in the back of my mind as I have continued to do research. These kids have the passion to make change going forward. They don't necessarily know the issues facing them and the environment, but they are the ones that need to be rallied in the drive to make change, harnessing their passion in a productive way.

example image from the article

example image from the article

Sydney ShafferComment
Recycle Your Product, Give it More Life- Rambling Reflection

lifespan goes beyond when you buy something and it comes off the market. the core of skis comes from trees, the fiberglass, the plastic etc, it all comes from somewhere, created by some process, developed from some raw material. You use your skis and then what do you do? Not enough focus is placed on what happens after. We need to keep them out of landfills. 

The materials can be recycled, just look at Burton. Adirondack chairs are great, don't get me wrong (I have two), but there are only so many you can have. Salvage what you can, reuse materials when possible, give it longer then the time that it is under your feet. 

Sell, Donate, Repurpose, Recycle. 

Competitive skis, for example, have a very short life span. Competitive skiers own a lot of skis, wear them down, and move on to the next pair. Whether that is because they grow, they are too worn down, or there is a new model or style. These skis can be reused, passed on to someone that will not do the same sort of damage to them, or require the same amount of strength. Competitive skiers aren't going to use less skis, or extend their lifetime beyond when they are safe on a competitive level, but is there anything that can be done after? 

Look at climbing ropes: they become worn, they become unsafe. This isn't to say to use them beyond their life, but what happens once they are no longer strong enough to hold someone? Climbing ropes can be recycled by melting them into nylon pellets, which can be remade into common household items. 

Burton reuses parts of their boards when possible.
"In addition to our lifetime warranties, we are working to design our products for end of life solutions. If a product comes back, we first aim to repair it, but if we must replace it, we work to keep everything out of the landfill. Last year, we saved 60-85% of every board from the landfill by upcycling into things like the sample holders for our local breweries, shelving units, and employee name tags. We’re also entering into a partnership with our local trash hauler to grind up all of our used product for reuse."

Sell: what are they worth? age? use? days on snow? initial price? keep the lifetime long. 

Donate: adaptive programs, young kids. 

Recycle: find snow sports recycling programs that turn them into chips and then use them for other products. SIA Ski Recycling Program has recycled over 500 tons of used ski equipment to manufacture other sports gear. 


Sydney ShafferComment
Input vs. Output: Rambling Reflection

The ski industry and outdoor industry requires a lot from the environment to exist. To do what we love takes a lot from the environment, but what we give back, besides passion and immense gratitude, is very little. There are leaders in the industry taking charge in this fight against climate change, but it needs to be an awareness among the average skier, athlete, outdoorsman. 

The energy and environmental impact of chairlifts, of snowmakers, of creating skis and apparel, to run lodges, transportation and grooming...the list goes on, is huge. It all has an impact. We know that we need these things to continue to do what we do (or do we?), but we also need to care the MOST and have the MOST awareness of the impact that these things have. The environment isn't getting better. The earth isn't cooling. The altitude where snow is present is higher and higher. With every impact we have on the environment, we must have an awareness, or make a change. 

Perhaps changing to renewable energy is the way in which we give back.

We need to give back, not just take. 


Buzzwords: intake, reciprocation, awareness. 


Sydney ShafferComment
Paula Scher


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" a Philadelphia based mixed media and street artist. Most of her work is conceptual and often comments on popular culture, body image, social justices, or lady drama. She draws inspiration from past and present personal life experiences. Her work, raw and vulnerable, seeks to touch on the viewer’s emotions and evoke feeling upon first glance.  Amber Lynn holds a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts, where she has also taught. She has been showing her work in Philadelphia since 1999 and also other artists works at her prior gallery and boutique, Amberella. She was awarded Rad Girls Artist of the Year 2016."

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Sydney ShafferComment
Statistics, Organizations and Ideas


  • We are using the resources of 1.5 planets
  • Need to shift to renewable energy
  • Since 2004, Patagonia has recycled or upcycled 164,062 pounds of products
  • 2016 was the third consecutive year to set global heat standards
  • Since 1880 global temp has increased 1.7 degrees F
  • Since 1979 arctic sea ice minimum has decreased 13.3% per decade
  • Global sea level has increased 7 in over the past 100 years
  • Increase in CO2 = increase in warming earth
  • Outdoor industry is responsible for 7.6 million jobs
  • Past 10 years have been the warmest on record
  • Northern hemisphere has lost 1 million miles of spring snowpack since late 1970
  • Snow levels are rising in elevation
  • Burton reuses 60-80 percent of boards to keep out of the landfill
  • 100% iof burton snowboard cores are made from responsibly harvested wood
  • 2000 L of water are used to make 1 pair of jeans


  • 1% for the planet: 1% of sales to preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Non profit created by Patagonia to encourage other companies to take part.
  • Work Wear: reduce Patagonia's footprint and change consumer relationships with all stuff- Invest in quality, repair what you can, pass along, recycle when unusable.
  • Protect our winters: Mobilizing winter sports enthusiasts and diehards.
  • Chill- Burton
  • Blue sign


  • Most important right is the right to be responsible
  • Its not easy to be conscientious
  • Balance our impact
  • Culture of consumption
  • Climate change is not a one man job
  • Climate change is a product of human action
  • Focus on reducing, neutralizing or reversing
  • Build products with a sustainable and long life span or cycle.
  • Embrace clean energy alternatives
  • Mobilize the people who are affected/ care
  • Change is driven by need
  • Passion that isn't political - POW
  • Use recycled materials
  • Focus on life span
  • "protect our environment to protect our lifecycle" - burton
  • Goal to reduce impact
  • Reduce raw material usage and promote recycled materials.
  • Encourage lifetime warranties
  • Increase safe chemistry
  • Reduce packaging
  • "each decision matters and its impacts ripple out" - Burton
  • Snow sports industry should be the first to input sustainable practices
  • Give more than you take
  • Know your impact
  • Consume only what you need.
Sydney ShafferComment
Messaging: developed v. 1

Awareness vs. Action- “The window to save skiing, and perhaps our way of life on earth, is closing, and symbolic gestures no longer cut it”

Leave a better world than you started with

Ripple effect- each decision we make, as individuals, as businesses, etc. makes a difference.

Trend is not destiny

Expand product lifecycle- what can you do when the life of a product is over.

Where do things come from- Skis have multiple parts, multiple ingredients. They require a core, often made of wood, they require a top sheet, edges, a base, and composite. | Where do we get these components, what does it require to make skis. | Have an awareness of what you are using and where it comes from and its impact.

Snow levels are rising in elevation

Earth is rising in temperature

Individual input vs. output: Are we giving back equal or more than what we are taking

Sea levels rising and glaciers are melting

Group/individual leaders to make changes- Change will continue if we don’t try to reduce/neutralize or reverse our impact

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish

Switching to renewable energy- many mountains and ski towns etc are setting the goal to switch to 100 percent renewable energy. With a climate warming, snow making will become more imperative, which in turn will cost more money. In the long run, renewable energy is cheaper, and more sustainable.

Rally a community that cares behind an issue that matters

Passion that isn’t political

Changes start with youth

See a need for change- Jeremy Jones started Protect Our Winters to unite a passionate group to push congress to pass climate change legislation.

Sydney ShafferComment

The designs of my project are based on messages advocating for awareness and change with regard to environmental issues that are changing the face of skiing. 

Using statistics, quotes, and concepts from research, I have begun to organize my ideas to further develop the messages that will inspire the graphics. 


Current Major Environmental Issues: 

  1. Pollution
  2. Global warming
  3. Overpopulation
  4. Natural resources depletion
  5. Waste disposals
  6. Climate change
  7. Loss of biodiversity
  8. Deforestation
  9. Ocean acidication
  10. Ozone layer depletion
  11. Acid rain
  12. Water pollution
  13. Urban sprawl
  14. Public health issues
  15. Genetic engineering
Sydney ShafferComment
Revised Proposal

I will be developing a new ski brand with a focus on environmental awareness. In developing this brand, my central focus will be designing a collection of ten ski graphics that explore the relationship between winter sports and the environment, acknowledging ski graphics as works of art in their own right, while exploring new media and techniques.

Over the last century surface temperatures have risen 1.4 degrees F. In the past 60 years, the east coast lost 15% of snowpack, and by 2100 it is estimated that only 4 of 14 ski resorts (in the east) will be economically viable. Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, and the climate is changing (to name a few). To ski, you need snow, and for it to snow, it needs to be cold, so while these changes will undoubtedly affect everyone, they will affect the ski industry, and the ski community in a very specific way. With this knowledge, how can I target skiers with a message of change? How can I bring recognition to an audience that relies so heavily on the environment but in turn gives very little back? One that engages in a negative cycle of making snow, or buys into the unproductive life-cycle of a ski? Using skis as a canvas, I plan to use research on companies, organizations, and statistics to identify messages and create designs that highlight these issues, targeting an audience that has an inherent passion for the topic.

My entire life I have been surrounded by of skis and snowboards, intrigued by the designs that adorned the top. Snowboards boasted the coolest graphics and brightest colors, where skis, until fairly recently, did not live up in their design. It was in these moments of awareness that I began to see that I could use skis as a canvas to make art. The goal of this project is to create aesthetic and visually impactful skis that continue to progress design in this specific field. Where my project takes on a new responsibility is in using skis not only as a piece of equipment, but as a way to spread awareness about a topic that is so inherently relevant. Companies like Patagonia, who focuses on sustainability and their environmental impact, and organizations like Protect Our Winters, who brings together “a passionate crew of diehards, professional athletes and industry brands mobilizing the outdoor sports community to lead the charge towards positive climate action,” draw attention to necessary change. In merging messages like the ones they promote, ones developed from research, and inspired by others, with a new method of communication, there is an opportunity for a new awareness.

This project begins with a collection of ten cohesive, yet different, ski designs based on messages that will be informed by research. One of these final ten designs will get made into an actual pair of skis, ideally through collaboration with a smaller ski company. If impossible, I will use a pair of old skis and do the design through more accessible resources. These skis will then become part of a campaign for a brand of skis that I will create, and develop a brand identity and packaging for, that focuses on the relationship between the ski industry and the environment. This identity will be showcased in some sort of printed collateral, like a magazine, a book, or large prints, where research, visual identity, and products are brought together into one cohesive place. My fall back plan will to focus more on the ski design and less on the other design elements, designing only a collection of skis. Both projects I plan to exhibit in a gallery space.

Statistics from Powder Magazine: Deep: The Future of Skiing in America

Proposal development

Proposal development

Sydney ShafferComment
Art in Unexpected Places: Aspen Snowmass Lift Tickets

"When AAM Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman first arrived in Aspen with a fresh outlook on the possibilities inherent here; she noticed the square white paper lift tickets dangling off ski jackets all around town. To Heidi, these lift tickets—utilitarian two-by-three inch cards—were an opportunity, blank canvases on which art could be presented. She approached Aspen Skiing Company with an idea for a collaborative endeavor: to invite contemporary artists to participate directly in the cultural life of the valley by creating new works for display on the lift tickets. Ever since, skiers and snowboarders on Aspen’s four mountains have worn ski passes displaying unique, contemporary, wearable art. ASC and AAM have collaborated to produce ski passes with artworks by such renowned contemporary artists as Yutaka Sone, Peter Doig, Karen Kilimnik, Jim Hodges, Carla Klein, Mamma Andersson, and Mark Grotjahn."

This year, the 2017-2018 season they collaborated with Paula Crown:
"The five lift-ticket designs give a curated view into Crown’s sprawling sculptural installation, SOLO TOGETHER. Using the form of the crushed red Solo cup in the form of 150 unique hand-painted plaster sculptures, the work unpacks the symbol of all-American fun. The ubiquitous, single-use plastic cup offers an opportunity to contemplate a number of complex ideas including environmental awareness, the singular experience of togetherness, FOMO, and a consumer culture defined by abundance and optimism."

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