A structure made up of recycled materials on display in the Borland Project Space.

Exhibit visualizing sustainability research and crises on display this week

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —  A Penn State exhibit that highlights the collaboration between the Department of Graphic Design in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School and the Sustainability Institute to visualize data regarding the University’s sustainability efforts, as well as student work regarding environmental issues, is currently on display through Jan. 20 in the Borland Project Space.

Huiwon Lim, assistant professor of graphic design who is heading the exhibit, partnered with Illona Ballreich, program manager at the Sustainable Communities Collaborative, to visualize the achievements of her project, which was launched in 2013.

Titled “Sustainability in Graphic Design: To Enhance the Awareness of Sustainable Related Problems,” the exhibit also features work that began in Lim’s independent study class in the fall from three third-year graphic design students: Lauren Tarigo, Peyton Harris and Sara Meola.

According to Lim, the students each picked an issue from the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to creatively visualize. Tarigo focused her project on health and wellness in an interactive display.

“When you come to the exhibit, you can interact with it and share your own sleep data in order to visualize individual sleep patterns,” Lim said.

Harris, to highlight data surrounding waste, built a Nittany Lion out of wires and recycled products to represent Penn State’s recycling ratio.

Meola created colorful sculpture pieces to represent research conducted on coral reefs on the southern coast, including illustrating the bleach levels in Florida’s coral reefs.

“We are trying to enhance awareness relating to sustainability issues — we all know these issues are big social problems right now,” Lim said. “This is not yet about finding solutions but rather spreading awareness.”

Lim said he hopes the Department of Graphic Design take part in more projects that could help represent solutions for environmental crises. He also explained that the department has partnered with other Penn State groups to promote social problems before, including the Center for Pollinator Research.

“Visuals are the best ways to represent and spread awareness about social crises that are happening,” Lim said. “One picture is better than a thousand words.”

The exhibit will be open this week through Friday, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in the Borland Project Space (125 Borland Building).

For more news from the Stuckeman School, follow us on Twitter @StuckemanNews.