PSU Graphic Design: Sustainability

Funded Internships Through Trash Talk and the Living Lab!


Guest Post by Chris North
Hey incredible thinkers and makers:
I am contacting you all because I need your input and/or your involvement. ++ there is an opportunity for YOU to make money.

Trash Talk has captured the interest of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions via the Living Lab Endorsement program.

 A project endorsed through this process would make the project eligible for financial support and additional access to mentors or other resources to improve the long-term success of the project.

 A Living Lab Endorsement means that the work in a class meets the following criteria.

· Sustainability: Aligns with PSU’s vision for sustainability to implement lasting change to make a given place more resource-efficient, equitable, and ecologically balanced, while acknowledging a resource-finite world.

· Fit: Advances campus and neighborhood priorities.

·Place: Reflects an awareness of history and context within the campus and surrounding area.

·Scale: Project outcomes are designed in a manner that would be useful and applicable to other contexts and locations.

·Collaborative action: Fosters deep engagement with on-campus and off-campus partners, focusing on establishing an environment of co-learning.

·Monitoring, evaluation, and continuous improvement: Mechanisms are established to monitor progress and evaluate impact overtime.

·Educational design: The project is designed with clear learning outcomes for students in mind.

With this endorsement comes the opportunity to propose funded projects that were initiated in the course. A funded project translates into paid internships for students to develop, execute and manage a project for the long-term.

An existing example would be the School of Architecture students developing a plan for food carts to have covered, outdoor seating. The plan would be funded into the actual development of food cart patios.

There are so many great projects that were initiated in the Trash Talks seminar. The ISS and Campus Sustainability office are already using the Trash Talk video to encourage more buildings to participate in a waste sort. More examples that have the ability to take off as real projects are:

• Campus wide guerilla buddy bin program (compliments the existing All in the Hall program but is customized to meet the needs of each building culture)

• Mug Shot Coffee Bar: this humble little project started with the intent of eliminating the need for single use coffee cups. It exposed a need for public community spaces in the Art + Design building. Community = stewardship = greater sustainability

There were many concepts considered for this project. We started with a pilot but there is room to do more and to ask if the current model reduces single cup usage.

Other concepts that could be investigated include:

• partnering with Starbucks or Einstein on a cup program
• partnering with a street vendor to serve our block
• creating our own barista cart as a moneymaker for the school
• simply installing on demand hot water tanks

In addition to these ideas there are many more that could be considered as a result of Trash Talk. One could be a student run (intern paid) org that takes on sustainable community projects across campus.

So many possibilities but we need to begin with one and it needs only 1- 2 students who would be interested in working on a funded project to make this happen. You do not need to be a former Trash Talker to participate.

If you are interested please let me know. I must submit the application for a Living Lab project by May 1. I am hosting a brainstorm meeting during lunch on Tuesday from 12-1pm in room 170. RSVP by 5pm Monday or if you can’t make the meeting and are interested send me an e-mail and say Hey I’m interested, let’s do it.

Posted in Community, Sustainability


studio collective poster (1)

If you are on the print track you need 471 to graduate. This class will count for your 471 requirement. If you are planning on graduating in the winter and are print track you MUST take 471 before taking 472. This class also counts towards your upper division requirements as well. WIN/WIN! 

The Studio Collective // ART 399 004 (15966) M/W 2-4:50

Designers love to make.
We love to make things better. Better = smarter.

That’s where the Studio Collective comes in.

TSC is a framework for design thinking and making smart solutions that consider our community, our shared re- sources and the realities of our economic culture.

In this studio we design opportunities.

Portfolios are filled with experimentation, fresh thinking and added value.

One project. Many solutions.

The Art + Design building will be our subject and our client. We’ll be looking at how we make—what drives us, what fuels us. And when the making is over we’ll discover new ways to creatively use the remains of the day.

ART 399 004 (15966)
Fall 2013 • M/W 2:00- 4:50
contact Chris North

Posted in Community, In The Classroom, PSU Students, Registration Information, Sustainability

Solutions Generator: Use your design thinking to improve PSU


You are invited to a Student Info Session for the Solutions Generator program!
Solutions Generator is a leadership-service program that provides funding to teams of students to design, implement, and assess sustainability projects on campus and in the community.

Come learn how  you can benefit from the program!

  • Receive between $750 to $1500 in project funding for expenses
  • As a student and group member,  receive a $600 Educational Leadership & Service Award
  • Learn how to create an effective proposal for future grant writing
  • Students will gain experience in leadership and team building
  • Students will have the opportunity to network with community members and
  • Students will develop skills in facilitation and presentation

Information Session
Time: 12p – 1p, Monday, June 03, 2013
Location: Smith Memorial Building, Room 327
If you have any questions, please contact Nichole Martin (

Solutions Generator is a leadership-service program that funds students to design and implement holistic sustainability projects in the campus and community.
Supported by Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions thanks to generous funding from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

Posted in Extracurricular Projects, Sustainability

New Summer Class!

An interdisciplinary approach to designing for sustainable communities

Summer 2013 (4 credits)
CRN: 82304
8 weeks
T/TH 9:00 am -12:50 pm
Instructors: Chris North and Callie Jones

41__JakeTrudellMaking the invisible visible with impact. By student Jake Trudell Fall 2012

Positively impact people and communities within the Portland Metro area. Students will participate in an interdisciplinary approach to develop proposals for solutions that consider environment, place and engagement through systems based thinking, solution based processes and design focused outcomes. Coursework will include fieldwork, investigation, readings, design colloquium and systems thinking practices and application. This course is open to students of all disciplines. An interest or background in sustainability and communication is beneficial.

Helping kids safely walk to school; the kit (left) and the workshop (right). By student Joe Trussell Fall 2012


About the instructors:

Chris North, Adjunct Faculty in the School of Art and Design and Sustainability Scholar. North believes a true entrepreneurial education experience is to turn the tide of how we design, resource and collaborate on current issues. North has presented academic sessions at the Annual International Conference on Business and Sustainability and her students have presented projects at the AIGA Portland SHIFT series on contemporary sustainability. Website:

Callie Jones is Adjunct Faculty in the School of Art and Design. Callie’s interest in working with communities to promote equitable, livable neighborhoods led her to join the board of her SE neighborhood association and form The Community Lab. The Community Lab works on various projects for SE communities within Portland Metro that need strategic problem solving and design partnering. The Community Lab has been working with HACE, a civic ecology group in SE Portland, as well as with her neighborhood association on various projects.

Posted in Registration Information, Sustainability, Upcoming class for registration

Show & Tell with Alissa Walker + Student Good City Presentations!

Alissa Walker is our last Show & Tell of the quarter!

Please join us for our LAST Show & Tell of the quarter! Let’s welcome Alissa Walker!

Who is Alissa? In her own words from her website:

You can find my writing at GOODFast CompanyDwellSunsetPrintThe Architect’sNewspaperLAWeeklyMetropolisWiredDesignObserverCore77,
CoudalReadyMadeEyeHOW, and even at two magazines that don’t exist anymore, I.D. and STEP Inside Design. I’m a contributing writer for Fast Company’s new design site, Co.Design, and a contributing editor at GOOD, where I write the column Design Is a Verb. I’ve also written for the Los Angeles Times, but it wasn’t about design, it was about Star Wars. From time to time, I’ve been tapped to pinch-hit for the restaurant and nightlife blog Eater LA. And in 2008 I spent two incredible months pounding the pavement in New York while researching and writing the first of a new series of walking guides, City Walks Architecture: New York, which was published by the fine people at Chronicle Books in 2009.

This Show & Tell will be happening at ADX on March 14th starting at 6:30pm. This event is also happening along with GOOD Ideas for Portland Student Presentations by Nicole Lavelle’s Design Thinking class.

In 2010, she was named as one of seven USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellows for her writing on design and urbanism.

Go to her blog and check out the other wonderful things she has her hands in. Amazing!

Posted in Community, Show and Tell Series, Sustainability