OUR SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
How can we imagine and help shape a sustainable future for our world? Yvon Chouinard, the environmentalist entrepreneur and founder of Patagonia, says it well: sustainability is more a process than a goal, and we have to keep working at it. Otis works at making sustainability an educational priority. Creative approaches to sustainable design, both in our classrooms and in the projects of our faculty and alumni, devise global solutions to our most serious problems.
Otis introduces students to a wide range of real-world challenges and experiences through various collaborative projects, from designing sustainable toys to creating apparel that reduces fabric waste and uses fewer resources. In the studio, students and faculty examine the connections between industry and the environment, focusing on human responsibility for our natural resources. Students learn to challenge conventional practices in design and production while studying methods that promote sustainability, reduce toxic waste, and protect non-renewable resources.
Foundation student Brad Richardson expresses his learning goals: “I want to develop a design process that incorporates a sustainable sensibility, and uses nature as a reference for construction and functional design. I also want to learn about sustainable business practices and manufacturing techniques.” Brad’s goals are shared by many of his peers. Otis’ sustainability minor now has more enrollment than in any other interdisciplinary field at the College.
We are particularly excited that, at the annual Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show in May, Otis will launch the Sustainability Alliance with Nike, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, Disney, Quiksilver, and Todd Oldham as inaugural members. As we expand this alliance, the partners will collaborate with our students to explore and expand sustainable practices in art and design that will impact future generations.
Samuel Hoi, President