EventMay 9, 2018

JUNK BATTLE: Recycling Trash into Art

On Friday (April 20th), CalArts students competed in the inaugural competition, Junk Battle, a new environmental contest that asks some of LA’s most creative young minds to focus on an enormous environmental issue—namely, what to do about the mountains of waste that we humans create.

Students from four schools, CalArts, UCLA, ArtCenter, and LA Trade Tech, were invited to create amazing and/or useful stuff from a big pile of trash that their own schools create.

“It’s been an enlightening project,” says faculty advisor Shannon Scrofano Associate Director of Design & Production in the School of Theatre. “Our students asked some tough questions about the Institute’s sustainability efforts and how we’re currently handling waste. Not only did Junk Battle lead to some interesting creative output, I think it will lead to changes here on campus.”

Junk Battle is the creation of Pando Populos, an LA-based non-profit think tank that is focused on ‘rethinking civilization along ecological lines.’ “Imagine TED meets architecture-and-design studio meets hackathon meets innovation black belts,” says Pando Populos’s Creative Director John Bielenberg, “and you’ve just imagined what JUNK BATTLE! is.”

Student Janet Huai-Chin Pi (BFA Theatre ’19), who co-leads the materials collective on the CalArts campus, was part of the 11-person team that competed at Junk Battle. “Our team was cross disciplinary, so we collected many observations about daily life here on campus,” says Huai-Chin Pi.

When asked what her team created for JUNK BATTLE Huai-Chin Pi stated, “We have this thing called ‘New Normal,’ which is a one-day event that consists of a sustainable arts fair and green workshop that’s happening on May 9. Our goal is to provide options of imagining what a green future could look like on campus. Then we have a master planning project, which basically turns this CalArts campus into a green building.”

The students participating in junk battle saw this as an opportunity to improve its sustainability efforts.  “It was really inspiring to see how accessible and resourceful the school can be if you take that initiative,” said Bora Lee (Scenic Design BFA 4).

Event Details

New Normal: Sustainable Arts Fair and Green Workshop

May 9th, 2018

California Institute of the Arts

24700 McBean Parkway

Valencia, California 91355

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