RMCAD class rooted in sustainability partners with Denver Botanic Gardens

RMCAD class rooted in sustainability partners with Denver Botanic Gardens

At RMCAD, we’re always on the lookout for new, unique opportunities to provide to our community. Whether it’s our Visiting Artist, Scholar, + Designer Program or exclusive events and workshops, there are  plenty of activities to participate in both on-campus and online. In the Summer B term of 2023, students in Special Topics: Sustainable Design + Pollinators partnered with the Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) for an eight-week term filled with sustainably-focused designs, guest speakers, and of course, many visits to the DBG.

Denver Botanic Gardens Sign

“It was an incredible opportunity to partner with the Denver Botanic Gardens. It allowed our class to see the real-world impact of sustainable designs,” explained Assistant Professor Heidi Landis. In fact, it wasn’t just students that got to participate in this incredible opportunity. Using RMCAD Renew, alumna Zuzia Kudasik audited the class for free to keep up to date on her skill set rooted in graphic design. In addition to an immersive learning experience at the DBG, the class attended several guest lectures from both RMCAD faculty and DBG staff.

RMCAD alumni presenting their work to the class
Alum Zuzia Kudasik presenting their work to the class.

Students in the course were tasked with creating sustainable designs for their chosen pollinators and displaying them on the RMCAD campus. From urban hummingbird feeders in the Sculpture Garden to solar powered fountains outside of Triboro, the sustainable designs provoked several thoughtful discussions from the class. “With my design, I really wanted to focus on implementing a sustainable hummingbird feeder within an urban setting,” said current graphic design student Caleb Carpenter. “Ideally this wouldn’t just be out in a field somewhere, it would be near a city street to bring life into our urban environment.”

Students in the Denver Botanic Garden's library
Scientific Data Manager Richard Levy giving students a look inside the DBG classrooms.

While at the DBG, students were given a tour of the gardens, attended exclusive guest lectures, and were able to utilize the on-site classrooms to work on their projects and learn all about sustainability. At the end of the term, it was clear that students were excited for future collaborations and workshops with the DBG. “Thinking towards the future, we would love to offer courses or summer workshops where we focus on different aspects of sustainability in partnership with a business in need,” said Landis.

Are you interested in being a part of projects just like this? Check out our online and on-campus Graphic Design programs today. Are you a RMCAD alum? Take advantage of RMCAD Renew. We also recommend reading What you can do with a degree in graphic design to learn more about career opportunities within the field.


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