My work on sustainability –which rides the line between art and education– has been featured in Creative Review (UK), U.S. News and World Report, BusinessWeek.com, worldchanging.com, SEED Magazine, and at the Barcelona Design Museum. This work resulted in a Fulbright fellowship, a 2010 Art(ists) on the Verge fellowship, several art grants and a finalist for the prestigious 2010 Bush Fellowship. I hold a masters from Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) and I teach design techniques to communicate sustainability at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. For sample presentations, see Media.
The boundaries between art, design, commerce, and technology blur and intersect in my work: real-world static data plays out into more emotionally charged, collectively visual, stories. I visualize the narratives behind the seemingly ubiquitous everyday objects that we interact with as consumers; focusing on the larger influence that these interactions hold on the world. By bringing the attention of the viewer to the detailed background narratives of objects and ideas, my intent is to inspire people to understand how their everyday choices impact global environment and society.
Background Stories was born
After a series of internships in advertising agencies in 2001, I realized I didn’t want to sell potato chips and soda for a living. I became fascinated with the idea of using marketing principles to ‘sell’ consumers on sustainability and landed an internship and some consulting work with the United Nations Environment Programme.
Following my interest in graphic design and journalism, and a Fulbright grant to the Netherlands to research these topics, I developed a concept of visual communication that shares – in a visceral way the back stories about the food we eat or the products and services we use.
Background Stories was born from a varied background: work and study in art, journalism, advertising, sustainability, graphic and interactive design. This one-of-a-kind system promotes corporate transparency and more sustainable purchasing behavior, allowing organizations to communicate their social and environmental objectives and progress to their consumers. Communicating a product by describing the context of its background can become a learning tool; increasing a customers positive understanding of a product and aiding in brand recall.