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Art Center Gets Sustainable

art center catalog.jpgAnd speaking of Kit Hinrichs, the famed flag maven‘s alma mater was the subject of a recent Los Angeles Times feature. Writer Reed Johnson highlights the Art Center’s new(ish) core value of sustainability, that is “to make the private college a global leader in stylish, consumer-seducing designs that also leave small carbon footprints and don’t end up rotting in landfills.” And it’s not going to happen by making every freshman take Sustainability 101. “My personal goal would be that the S-word is placed out in no time and we don’t have any dedicated sustainability class anymore because it’s so ingrained in everything we do here and it’s a no-brainer,” said Nikolaus Hafermaas, the college’s acting chief academic officer.

Among the eco-conscious student design concepts mentioned are handsome tote bags made from Army truck surplus tarps and salvaged city of Pasadena fire hoses, a single-serving electric tea set, and “a gray-water recycling kit that someday could become as much of a standard bathroom fixture as a shower curtain.” And we especially like this one, which has future Yohji Yamamoto (or Y-3?) collaboration written all over it:

Kam Leang, a 28-year-old from Utah, discovered during research that residents of Tokyo annually discard 400,000 umbrellas. So he came up with a streamlined umbrella made of recyclable materials that unfolds as gracefully and sculpturally as a piece of origami. He’s proposing to stock them in vending machines so that commuters and shoppers can buy and return them on a pay-per-use basis.

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