SWITCH: Senior Thesis Process Blog

Amberella

" 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

Statistics

  • 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


Organizations

  • 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


Ideas

  • 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
Messaging

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. 

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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

https://www.aspensnowmass.com/we-are-different/art-in-unexpected-places/lift-ticket-artwork

"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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Sydney ShafferComment
J Skis

J Levinthal Ted Talk | No One Needs More of the Same Thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr5KHJa-BCs

"IT'S JUST SKIING" 

Jason Levinthal started Line based off of his senior year project to redesign the shape of the ski. He eventually sold Line to K2, and later started his own company J Skis. 

https://www.powder.com/stories/jason-levinthals-next-step/

Jason's designs are based on what he is interested and what he likes. He has fun with his business and makes limited skis, all hand numbered and signed by J, making them pieces of art. 

"They will be numbered one out of however many we make, signed and dated by me. So everyone who buys them has in their hands and on their feet a unique product with a deep story, designed and built by hand by people you will meet and know. It will feel like you're doing more than just buying another mass-produced widget.

Sydney ShafferComment
Libtech and Growth Skis

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/220998-Sustainability-in-Ski-Manufacturing

This blog post written to Teton Gravity discusses sustainability in ski manufacturing. In this article, the author lists "businesses that have already taken steps to reduce their impact and foundations with information regarding sustainability and environmentalism in the ski industry:"


• Purl Wax http://www.purlracing.com/index.php
• Liberty Skis: uses bamboo cores http://www.libertyskis.com/ 
• Gown Eco Freeride Skis http://www.grownskis.com/
• Lib-tech http://www.lib-tech.com/
• Praxis Skis: locally manufactured http://praxisskis.com/
• On3p: locally manufactured and sustainable bamboo cores http://on3pskis.com/
• Wagner Customs: Locally manufactured in a wind and solar powered factory http://www.wagnerskis.com/
http://protectourwinters.org/
http://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/en/
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/
http://www.1stepnow.com/
http://www.saveoursnowfoundation.org/
http://business.transworld.net/34286...kiing-company/

I did some further research into Libtech and Grown: 

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Nutrition Label

Skiing takes a lot from the environment and doesn't necessarily give much back. This ski design addresses the intake in the form of a nutrition label. The information isn't correct but this is an early concept. 

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Tattoo Sketches

Digital sketches of how I can incorporate the Sailor Jerry Traditional Tattoo style into skis with the idea of irreversible climate change. The Magic Eight Ball predicting the outlook of the earth if we continue on the path we are on, and the heart with the banner saying "snow" 

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Outlook Not So Good: Early Concept

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Ski, Snowboard and Skateboard Design

Skateboards and the Artists Behind Them | Skiers and the Artists Behind Them | Snowboards and the Artists Behind Theme

https://culture.evo.com/?s=%22behind+the+art%22&x=-1160&y=-175

Christopher Everhart:

Lunar Solar Creative: ON3P, Jiberish, 4bi9, Saga. Mix of texture, print and photo. Ben Kuhns and Trevor Woods. 

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Abe Kislevitz: http://abekislevitz.com/4frnt-skis-graphics/

Eric Pollard: Rider, artist and creator. https://ericpollarddesign.com/pages/ski-graphics

Travis Parr: https://www.icelanticskis.com/pages/fine-art-prints

Russ Pope: minimalist brush strokes with bright backgrounds. 

Chris Pastras

Aarto Saari

Andrew Pommier

Corey Smith: "death valley realism to californian optimism"

 https://www.actionhub.com/reviews/2013/10/11/capita-defenders-awesome-fk-snowboard/

https://www.actionhub.com/reviews/2013/10/11/capita-defenders-awesome-fk-snowboard/

Mark Kowalchuck

https://snowboardmag.com/stories/artist-profile-mark-kowalchuk

Electric Coffin

http://electriccoffin.com/workproject/k2-burton/

http://electriccoffin.com/workproject/evo-sea/

K2 Snowboard Turbo Dream : https://vimeo.com/68262802

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Bryan Iguchi 

natural wood canvases

shows the journey of water through the ecosyste in his art. 

nature and art as an inspiration

http://arborcollective.com/snowboards/products/

Jamie Lynn

http://www.lib-tech.com/snowboarding/team/jamie-lynn/

 

Mike Parillo

https://vimeo.com/45256179

http://mikeparillo.com/fine-art/

painter, psychedelic surrealism

Burton Balance 2000 Snowboard

Sydney ShafferComment
Patagonia

Patagonia is known for its environmental consciousness. Its such an interesting company- it knows how successful it is, but in a really modest way. They are willing to take risks, being truly transparent with their information, being straightforward with their messages, and constantly pushing themselves to be better. They are realistic, while also establishing big goals. They make incredible products, but don’t encourage buying. They know what’s up. 

For this reason, I felt that Patagonia would be the best place to start with my research. They have goals and messages intertwined in everything that they do. 

Everyone has by-products, individuals, companies, organizations, etc. An awareness of these by-products provides a jumping off point to make changes. 

“a love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them” 

address a culture of consumption by encouraging an awareness of what you are buying. 

“we’re now using the resources of one and a half plants on our one and only planet” - I think this is a really great line, putting in perspective our consumption. 

They have the confidence to be transparent. 

Responsibility is both on the business and the consumer - one cant exist without the other. addressing climate change is a big picture where everyone must be involved and making changes. 

“climate change, as deadly a condition of infinite human actions, is not an issue we can tackle outright” - patagonia focuses on the specifics, identifying places within their business and practice where they can make changes, have an awareness, address an issue, encourage transparency. 

Encourage recycling in their products - they will repair, replace or recycle old products in order to keep them out of landfills. They reuse materials, use organic cotton, do research to make the best product. 

Sydney ShafferComment
Ski designs using NASA aerial views depicting climate change...

Climate change can be very visible from an aerial view, and when looked at from an artistic point of view can be very beautiful in its colors and shapes. During research I came upon a NASA page where there were different dates with different images showing wildfires, drought, melting glaciers, volcanic eruptions etc, and used these before and after images for graphics: one ski representing one date, and the other representing the second. 

https://climate.nasa.gov/images-of-change?id=612#612-wildfires-scorch-argentinas-pampas-region

Sydney ShafferComment
Early draft of an idea using traditional styles of tattooing:

beginning draft of an idea using traditional styles of tattooing- how can i send a message through this style of tattooing and classic images of this style to talk about climate and sustainability. can this look at the elements and the issues they face. bold statement of fire representing the heating of the earth of the dryness that starts fires. the stars and the dark background representing air pollution? it is an early working draft but needed to get some creativity out. Used digital drawing. 

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Sailor Jerry

Traditional Tattoo styles born in the 1700s out of high seas sailors. Bold lines and bright colors. Some of the most controversial and groundbreaking artists can be tattoo artists, graffiti artists and skateboard deck artists. This style of tattoo is one that I am really inspired by as a potential design style. 

Going forward, I will continue to research tattoo styles for potential ski designs. 

"Sailor Jerry. Norman Keith Collins (January 14, 1911 – June 12, 1973) was a prominent American tattoo artist, famous for his tattooing of sailors; he was also known as 'Sailor Jerry'" WIKI

http://sailorjerry.com/en/tattoos/

https://www.tattoodo.com/a/2016/02/a-beginner-s-guide-10-tattoo-styles-explained/

Sydney ShafferComment
A Rambling Freewrite about Getting Green Done...

Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Line of the Sustainable Revolution by Auden Schendler

We are conditioned to think that as individuals we can individually make a change in the future of the climate. Told to recycle, told to close the fridge and save energy on a personal level. Told to not leave the car running. As Ive been reading this book, the individual mentality is early pointless in the greater scheme of climate change. It is going to take major drastic unified steps and large corporations to make changes. Unless everyone will make these changes, recycling one can won’t make a difference. Banning plastic bags from a company doesn’t make a change. This is a big picture issue, and focusing on the small takes away or distracts from a larger focus. It is easy, the book says, to focus on the tangible and hard to focus on something that seems impossible. It is too grand a scale to be able to conceptualize it and fully understand. It requires everyone, people individually and corporations alike to delve into the daunting unknown of the bigger picture. We need to make bigger moves. We must also change our overall mentality to not judge individual choices, such as SUVs, because this just further dividues the people that care to make changes. Everyone on a general scale wants to make good choices, most people arent malicious in their intent. It is a problem, in many ways, of unity. 

My initial idea to change the way skis are made as far as the manufacturing goes isn’t logical, it is a small scale change with possible negative side effects. Melting bags isn’t going to do anything, except perhaps release more into the atmosphere. Sustainability is about large corporations making changes and skis are pretty good the way they are. Ive looked into the companies that are making a change and am inspired by it. I think that a cognizance among people who care and individual steps to make change is important. Maybe it is an idea to keep in the back of my head. I think the statistics of climate change are really interesting, and the idea of changing a large scale mentality is really cool. It isn’t an individual effort. but it is a necessary one. It has been the goal through history to leave it better than we found it, no matter what it may be. This isn’t what is happening. it is going to take a big mental change to do so. Not doing anything large with the fear of failure doesn’t get anywhere. Experience, they say in the book is often what people call their mistakes. They go hand in hand, so even if we fail and make mistakes, the experience we gain will at least bring knowledge to the future. But people have done research, and they have ideas, its a matter of bringing these ideas to fruition. Straying from the book, I watched a TED talk a few weeks ago about sustainable design, and how the electric tea kettle boils too much water for someone that really wants one cup of tea.The amount of space it allows thus leads people to pour too much water, which uses extra energy, and this sum of energy used by all of the people becomes a staggering statistic of waste (Leyla Acarolu). It is making changes like smaller electric tea kettles that don’t produce waste. I’m no sustainability expert by any means. Ive done a bit of research, and read a bit of a book, watched a few TED talks. But as someone who grew up on the slopes of a mountain, who over the course of my life has seen the weather changing on the glacier of Whistler Blackcomb in the summers when I would go up to ski at camp, and who has experienced some really crappy winters, and who genuinely loves to ski, climate change hits close to home. Retrospectively, I see this, but it wasn’t until recently that I internalized this and REALLY realized it. The issue of climate change goes beyond the ski industry and the mountains, it will affect everyone in one way or another. 

Sydney ShafferComment
Lifetime of a Ski

My initial idea to create skis from recycled materials has started to change. While I will include that in my Thesis, I have realized that I am NOT a materials engineer. This could be a great project or idea in the future, one to bring to engineers and people specializing in materials, however in the context of a year project I think I can continue to merge sustainability and climate change in other ways. As suggested by Brandon, I began to research and create a "lifecycle." To do so, I began by researching how skis are made. This put me in the middle of my timeline. I then worked backwards to the raw materials and where materials are sourced, and that environmental impact. I then worked forward until the end of the skis life, and ways in which they can be recycled beyond the "classic ski adirondack chair." 

Lifetime of a Ski.jpg

Leyla Acaroglu Ted Talk

Paper Beats Plastic? How to Rethink Environmental Folklore

https://www.ted.com/talks/leyla_acaroglu_paper_beats_plastic_how_to_rethink_environmental_folklore

"Life Cycle Thinking," everything created goes through a series of life cycle changes

"Life Cycle Analysis:" extraction of raw materials > manufacturing > packaging and transportation > use and end of life. 

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