The Camp Fire Atlas

Nina Claire Napawan, UC Davis

Specifically, students in the course will investigate the recent climate impacts as a result of the Camp Fire in Fall 2018 as a case study — exploring how they responded to the climate-related health and environmental event, and how their network of places and people aided their responses. Through this exploration, students will communicate their stories and design opportunities for further story sharing, embedding these stories in the context of their UC Davis campus community.

Inviting Edges: Placemaking at the Sustainable Living and Learning Communities

David De La Pena with the help of Carolina Hernandez, Shirley Chen, Levi Felger, Jennifer Mendez, and Charles Wray, UC Davis

Inviting Edges raises awareness of and celebrates the Sustainable Living and Learning Communities at UC Davis by focusing on making the hidden community more open, welcoming, and accessible to the general public.

This project mobilizes research, learning and service to enhance a sense of place at the SLLC. The research builds upon theories on democratic landscapes. It positions placemaking within asset-based community development, noting that meaningful places already exist and should be enhanced through public engagement. In classroom settings such as LDA 141 and 198, the SLLC has been a space for examining participatory processes and models of service. Through the SLLC committee, students have gained even more experience in advancing sustainability through physical design. 

The SLLC is located on the UC Davis campus and invites participation beyond the university. The Ecological Garden and Student Farm host dozens of school tours annually, and the Community Garden includes many Davis residents. The Domes housing coop is also managed by the nonprofit agency with strong connections nationally. These and other programs share a physical space, which is both beloved and lacking in overall identity.

Immersive Bike-Mobile Sustainable Tea Lab

Harold Linde, UC Davis

A mobile bicycle transportation pavilion that fosters cultural and social connection through the shared act of having a cup of tea.

The Temporary Campus Immersive Tea Space is a temporary structure located on UC Davis campus adjacent to the underutilized UC Davis Arboretum. Designed using the principles of sustainability, community and wabi sabi, the structure will bring together diverse participants from both campus and the surrounding community to enjoy immersive tea experiences during the 2019-20 academic year that are facilitated by UC David Global Tea Initiative.

This structure reimagines immersive tea experience provides diverse participants to opportunity to cultivate respite, presence, connection to self/other/planet—and a sense of wonder in ordinary details that often go missed during our hectic, day-to-day lives.

Justice Delayed

Jonathon Parris, UC Davis

An encouraging introspection told through a visual tale of the history of housing segregation. The exhibition prompts individuals with questions regarding their perspectives on race and racism, in hopes that it will affect positive change.

The criminal justice in the United States preys upon people of color, minority groups and poor communities.  This is the prison industrial complex run amok,  and when the police are in our schools, bad behavior in class for BIPOC can lead to jail-time.  It is absurd that this is our only (or at least, primary) way of doing justice.  Peace Rooms seek to change that, and integrating them into schools, particularly in underserved areas (which are at a greater threat to police heavy-handedness) can allow for means of resolution outside of punitive systems.  Currently, the studio, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, is encouraging and enabling schools to renovate unused spaces into Peace Rooms for student-oriented resolutions.  I would like to help–my plan is to design and make a prototype of non-hierarchical furniture for these rooms.  Given my background as a fine furniture maker, it will probably be fancier than necessary.  That said, the design/plans will be easy enough for school wood shops to reproduce them.  This would allow more students to get involved in creating their space for justice and equity.

Solar Micromobility and Resilient Placemaking

Beth Ferguson, Elton Hao Wu, Angela Sanguinetti, David Haddad, Jamie Oka, UC Davis

A reimagination of services as a flexible infrastructure to help cities and universities. The project embraces Davis’ bike-oriented community through the installation of a solar-powered charging station for electric bikes, scooters, and personal mobile electronics.

This project connects to the Placemaking initiative by involving two Spring courses taught by Professor Beth Ferguson; Studio Practices in Industrial Design and Studio Practices in Sustainable Design. Students will be involved in the research, prototyping, furniture design, placemaking design and LED lighting display design. Students will be asked to prototype the LED art lighting display with the laser cutter and 3D printer. Professor Ferguson, a new designer in residence at the Autodesk Center for Technology at Pier 9, will be able to fabricate the final lighting display using the Autodesk waterjet cutter and other advanced fabrication equipment. Students will have hands-on experience designing and building solar charging stations that will contribute to sustainable transportation and energy use in the UC Davis campus community and beyond. 

In addition to providing clean, renewable energy for personal electronics and two-wheeled electric vehicles, the station will integrate environmental dashboard technologies and other creative, multimodal data visualizations to educate and provide feedback to the campus community regarding local energy and environmental issues. Our vision is that the station will serve as a functional gathering node, community focal point, and energy and environmental information center.

The Nature of Cities

Tracy Corado, UC Davis

The project brings awareness to the interconnectedness of urban environments with their respective natural counterparts. It aims to highlight how nature adapts and is visibly influenced by urban places.

As people spend most of their time in cities, they continue to become disconnected to nature. Some cities have recognized the benefits of nature and have incorporated it into the city, however, this is frequently correlated with high income. Lower income communities, and people of color frequently do not have as much access to nature in urban environments. This is true for Sacramento, Los Angeles, and other arid environments. “Considering the potential link between direct environmental experience and conservation action, inequitable distribution of urban nature may contribute to the incredibly low numbers of minorities in environmental leadership positions. (The Pigeon Paradox, Dunn et al.)” Interest in environmental protection is correlated to experiences as a child, however children growing up in very urban environments are missing the personal connection to nature that is necessary before developing an interest to protect it. Everyday Nature will allow for the creative exploration of urban nature that is accessible. Place based learning will transform nature from something that is “over there” to something that is part of daily life. Additionally, partnerships will allow community members to explore nature focused programs that are available to them while challenging their own community and relationship with nature. This project will be test piloted in Davis, and after successful iterations will be used in Sacramento communities that have less noticeable urban nature.

Listen Here!

Jesse Drew, UC Davis

Focusing on local, community-based voices of marginalized communities, this project explores the transition of how low power radio has undergone from urban pirate stations to the LPFM Stations of rural California.

Radio is place-based media, that is local, not global. California, which played a large part in initiating LPFM, has been in the forefront of this movement, and currently has over 200 stations. The Low-Power radio stations that have come on line are hyper-local, reflecting local communities, local issues, local characters and local personalities. 

Paradoxically, in an age of global digital media, local radio is thriving. 

Listen Here! Will provide an aural snapshot of the local phenomena of radio, and highlight the spectrum of California communities that are on the air. 

The Listen Here! project will travel to a representative sampling of 8-10 LPFM radio stations to photograph, interview, record, edit and produce a radio program that will then be broadcast on each of those respective stations, bridging the places where they originate, connecting the local to the rest of California.  After the broadcasts, the local productions will be available for listening and browsing collected media via an on-line interactive map. The map will then be available for future additions by other contributors.

The Militarized Arboretum

Gabi Kirk, Bobby Moeller, Javier Arbona, UC Davis

The production of an alternative walking tour guide of a commonly forgotten aspect of UC Davis history. This project reflects on the occupation of Putah Creek, a local landmark, as a militarized occupation.

“The Militarized Arboretum – A Walking History of UC Davis” aims to defamiliarize the campus landscape by examining a radically divergent institutional context in our school’s history: when the U.S. Army Western Signal Corps School commandeered campus to serve as a base during World War II. How does examining the history of UC Davis as military base blur the borders between ‘wartime’ and ‘peacetime,’ ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign,’ and ‘historical’ and contemporary ‘leisurely’ sites? What is Putah Creek and its watershed’s importance to natural/human history in this place, and what stories of violence along the creek have been buried? We use speculative placemaking methods (archival research, walking tours, and visual/written production)to join the campus and community conversation on how to commemorate past violences for a more diverse and equitable future. We address themes of global U.S. empire, settler colonialism in California, student protest, and police militarization.