I remember being in Paris when I was first invited to visit the New York showroom where the Stetson master brand lives. I have to admit that when I thought of the brand name Stetson, the first thing that came to mind was classic American cowboy hats. I’d like to think that I have an open…
Gorgeous scenery. I think I know where I want to go for vacation.
Salvage: Creating the TEDxConcordiaUPortland Stage
When my curator, Matt Wagner of Hellion Gallery and I took a trip to the Concordia gymnasium for introductions and research for creating the TEDxConcordiaUPortland stage, we fortunately took the wrong road when we approached the school and ended up on the far north side of the campus where a small neighborhood of houses were being demolished or moved elsewhere for low income housing.
We both marveled and dreamed about the materials that potentially reside in these homes. We learned that Concordia University had purchased the land to create an outdoor athletics field. Through the understanding and generosity of the Physical Plant, we were granted access to the house and could take whatever we wanted. So, with an army of friends, we spent 2 days salvaging what we could.
It was the drawers that became the spark for this installation. It was these drawers that became the loudest voice and were unaltered, left in their natural state. All the other materials you see in the installation were also left as I found them, only trimmed. By the time this project was complete, I had only one box of scrap wood, which we respectfully honored in an evening fire pit of celebration & completion.
Other local community organizations, such as The Rebuilding Center, Pistils Nursery, Salvage Works, and Orange Carpentry also generously donated materials. In addition, the installation includes leftover cedar fencing from my Aunt Becky, cedar siding from my grandfather’s house, and pieces of a dining room table formerly owned by TEDxConcordiaUPortland’s Organizer’s father. So the palpable history and source of materials added a rich dimension of creative sustainability.
Many of these materials were doomed for the landfills. By using sustainable materials, using sustainability as inspiration, and wood rich with history, this was effortlessly created without the need of fresh cut timber, or materials that take centuries to decompose.
Written by Blaine Fontana of The Fontana Studios, creator of the TEDxConcordiaUPortland stage installation
Weronika Gajda aka By Niki shot these in her stomping grounds, the Seychelles Islands. Her photos are our January selections for the Ace x Impossible online gallery — as a token of our appreciation, we’ve sent her a limited PX Gold Edition from Impossible. The set will make anyone who likes a little flash with their flash very happy, with custom gold frames and a kit for making your own cards with your shots. Maybe Niki will send us one….
We’ll be picking shots out every month and sending flirtatious gifts, so enter your own photos to share the love.
Virginia Tech’s EcoCAR 2 team moving into gear, aims for second win
Fresh off Virginia Tech’s domination of the three-year EcoCAR Challenge which finished this past June, the College of Engineering Hokies are ready to dive head-on into EcoCAR 2. The rules will be much the same: Take a standard automobile and re-engineer to be more efficient, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining consumer acceptability, stock appearance and safety.
On 19 September 2011, Virginia Tech’s team was presented with a $25,000 donation from General Motors, a longtime supporter of the EcoCAR team and a co-sponsor of the North America competition. In the photo above, General Motors’s Keith Van Houten presents team leader Jesse Alley of Kingsport, Tenn., a faux giant check. Van Houten is an alumnus of the Virginia Tech’s mechanical engineering program and served as a close adviser on the recent EcoCAR Challenge project.
“I love being part of it and coming back to campus,” he said. “This is my eighth year as a mentor. For this competition, my role as a mentor is to be a General Motors liaison to the EcoCAR 2 teams to help them be successful.”
Added Alley: “I’ve been around long enough to realize what an incredible opportunity the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors provide to the students by organizing and supporting EcoCAR 2. It really is a unique once in a lifetime opportunity – there is not any other competition that can measure up to the EcoCAR or EcoCAR 2.”
Serving again as faculty adviser to the Virginia Tech EcoCAR team will be Doug Nelson, a professor of mechanical engineering.
—Reporting by Katie Wilkes.
City Harvest, a Robin Hood-grantee, can now rescue even more food for hungry New Yorkers. With the help of a $550,000 Robin Hood capital grant, City Harvest opened a 45,400-square-foot food rescue facility in Long Island City in 2011.
With areas to temporarily store dry goods, refrigerated space, freezer space, loading docks, a volunteer area, and room for a state-of-the-art kitchen for nutrition education, City Harvest’s new facility gives the world’s first and New York City’s only food rescue organization the space and opportunity to grow efficiently.
In the face of rising need, in coming years City Harvest will be able to double the amount of rescued food it provides in the five boroughs to 60 million pounds of food annually, all while keeping its overall cost to rescue and deliver a pound of food low.
Photos courtesy of City Harvest.