Sustainable Design at UMD

Sustainable Design6

I’m lucky to have worked on a sustainable art project on the breezeway leading to Darland Admin Building at UMD with Darren Houser, Mindy Granley, Catherine Meier, Kathy McTavish, and Wildwoods.

Duluth is a bottleneck for bird migration. Birds flying south prefer not to fly over open water, and so follow the coastline until they read the head of the lake in Duluth.

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City infrastructure is responsible for fatalities throughout the area; one out of every two bird strikes results in death. Birds often perceive reflections on large windows as open passages resulting in collision. Many times impact will result in injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, eye damage, ruptured air sacs, contusions, internal bleeding, feather damage, dislocations and beak damage.

UMD students and faculty from Art & Design and from Writing Studies, working with the Office of Sustainability and the UMD Student Sustainability Coalition and UMD Facilities staff, collaborated in the grant-funded project to begin to solve this problem.

Students in ART 3305 Sustainability Studio: Theory and Practice researched the window cling material and designed the composition that spans these windows. The chosen vinyl cling material is incredibly durable, easy to maintain, and greatly reduces the glares and reflections that birds misinterpret. Each section of material was cut and installed by students in the class.

Pictures are above. If you like what you see and if you work in a building with picture windows that cause bird strikes, consider lobbying for this work in your back yard.

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