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  • Alice Konitz

    Sep 18| Lectures
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    Graduate Fine Arts, Visiting Artist Lecture Series presents artist, Alice Konitz.

    Thursday, September 18th 11:115am - 12:30pm

    Graduate Studios: 10455 Jefferson Blvd Culver City CA 90230

    Image from alicekonitz.com

     

  • High&Low Bureau is a curatorial duo composed of Yael Messer and Gilad Reich. They curate exhibitions, film programs, performative events and publications, while engaging with a plethora of disciplines, media and modes of artistic expression.Their curatorial practice is dedicated to the exploration of artistic strategies that reflect on, and suggest alternatives to, specific social-political conditions.

  • Los Angeles is a city often described as having no center. Its art community has turned that "disadvantage" into an advantage and given itself a license for adventure. Organizations, galleries, and artists find decentralization to be an exciting option and they establish their addresses in unexpected neighborhoods and zones in the city and even beyond, in other cities and states. What are the challenges and advantages of this programmatic and conceptual strategy? What are the risks, to organization and audience alike? Is this necessary, and if so, is it sustainable?

  • Fritz Haeg

    Sep 25| Lectures
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    Image: Fritz Haeg, working to install the Edible Estate #12 garden in Budapest, 2012. Photo: Andras Kare.

    Graduate Fine Arts, Visiting Artist Lecture Series presents artist, Fritz Haeg.

    Thursday, September 25th 11:15am - 12:30pm

    Graduate Studios: 10455 Jefferson Blvd Culver City CA 90230

  • David Schafer

    Sep 30| Lectures
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    David Schafer is a visual and sound artist working in sculpture, sound, sound, performance, and works on paper. His work is concerned with the structures, translation, and intelligibility, of language and architecture. Schafer has shown nationally and internationally and has received several public commissions. Most recently he has had one-person shows at Studio10 gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, and Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, CA.

  • Sarah Manguso

    Oct 01| Lectures
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    Sarah Manguso is the author, most recently, of The Guardians: An Elegy for a Friend, named one of the top ten books of the year by Salon. Her previous book, the memoir The Two Kinds of Decay, was named an Editors’ Choice by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and short-listed in the UK for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize and long-listed for the Royal Society Winton Prize. Her other books include the story collection Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, and the poetry collections Siste Viator and The Captain Lands in Paradise.

  • Graduate Fine Arts, Visiting Artist Lecture Series presents artist, Jennifer Steinkamp.

    Thursday, October 2nd 11:15am - 12:30pm

    Graduate Studios: 10455 Jefferson Blvd Culver City CA 90230

     

O-Tube

El Dot Designs

Aug 24, 2013
Alumni Profile
Spotlight Category: Alumni

Leonardo Rodriguez and Lishu (Pokhrel) Rodriguez (both ’01 Environmental Design)

www.eldotdesigns.com

 

What is El Dot Designs?

We are a bamboo product design firm that specializes in home furnishings handcrafted by local and global artisans using renewable materials. We are certified as a B Corp (Beneficial Corporation), which uses the power of business to help solve our social and environmental problems, cultivating a positive approach toward humanity and our environment.

 

How did you meet?

We met at a bar in L.A, and then bumped into one another at the Otis cafeteria, realizing we were both attending our Foundation year. The following year, we found ourselves in Environmental Design, where we became best friends and companions on a lifelong journey.

 

What inspired you to start a sustainable design business?

Our inspiration came from recognizing the needs of a global society. When we moved to Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2003, we saw the real-world effects of pollution and poverty. There we discovered bamboo and its potential to make a positive impact on the environment and millions of people living in poverty. 

 

How do you practice sustainable design?

Sustainability is designed into every aspect of our business. For every product, we consider the social and environmental impact, including the value our product creates for our customers. Sketches are made on recycled paper, production is optimized for efficiency, renewable and nontoxic raw materials are sourced, and carbon-neutral shipping is preferred. 

 

How do you work with local artisans and suppliers?

We have global and local product lines. For our global line, we work in developing countries with abundant bamboo where we study the traditional craftsmanship of the region along with the needs of our artisans and their community. With local production, we use renewable materials and simple production systems for job creation.

 

How do your artisans view your work? 

Our artisans in developing countries are usually poor laborers with little or no educational background. They are usually surprised by and curious about our interest in bamboo (known as the poor man’s timber) and how much we value handcrafted products. This curiosity leads to an exchange of ideas that helps us share our collective story and hopes for the future. 

 

Where have you worked?

Mostly in Nepal and India. We hope to work with more developing countries to understand the different geographical and cultural influences, and translate them into a range of products.

 

What is the biggest reward and the greatest challenge faced by your company?

The reward is our motivation to be a catalyst for positive social and environmental change. The challenge is that it is not the easy path. 

 

How did Otis inform your practice?
The interdisciplinary interaction at Otis continues to influence our work. Otis gave us a strong foundation to continue our own independent studies, which is what running a business has been for us.

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