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LA Trade Tech Wins Inaugural JUNK BATTLE! Competition
LA Trade Tech College student team sitting on chairs they constructed from used cardboard at JUNK BATTLE! April 20. Photo by Sophie Kuller ( 
Students from the Architecture and Environmental Design program of Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) won top jury and popular awards at the inaugural event of JUNK BATTLE!, where LA County architecture and design students took on the challenge of turning their own institutions’ waste into something useful and amazing. 

More than 130 people attended the premiere event held in LA’s downtown Arts District on April 20. Teams and individuals from UCLA, California Institute of the Arts, and ArtCenter College of Design were also honored for the projects they had developed over quarter- and semester-long courses and interdisciplinary seminars. Pasadena City College played a key supporting role. 

JUNK BATTLE! submissions were as ingenious (for instance, amazing furniture was created out of old cardboard) as they were fun (a hat made out of broken bottles and other trash), and focused attention on institutional challenges (from redesigning the CalArts campus with sustainability in mind to making the ArtCenter community garden more welcoming and better used). Some ideas, such as refurbishing trashed computers for high-end student use and turning old wooden pallets into beautiful herb and garden boxes, might be worth scaling. 

Schools are already lining up for JUNK BATTLE! 2019. At least one municipality is hoping to use our model to involve their local teens. And CalArts is building on JUNK BATTLE! momentum to launch an initiative called NEW NORMAL, a one-day environmental event that brings together Green literature + Green living workshops with a Sustainable Arts Fair. 
Want to commemorate the event with your own JUNK BATTLE! t-shirt designed by Michael Braley? Go here to get yours! 
Special thanks to our sponsors: NCompass, a leading producer of premiere events; Liberty Ranch; COMMON; HMC Designing Futures Foundation, and the Farbstein Family.
Photos by Sophie Kuller (
Photos documenting the 2017 “Roadtrip to Pando,” designed by Michael Braley, 2018.

Did you make the 2017 ROADTRIP TO PANDO (or wish you had)? In this new 40-page book, designer Michael Braley beautifully documents the trip with photos, reports, and commentary. 

Read about ideas to save the Pando clone, make LA the resilient city by 2028, and take Pando global, along with reflections from Ed Bacon, John Cobb, John Bielenberg, Paul Rogers, and Rich Binell. The book is a treasure.
Order now
Go Fund Pando!
Image from GoFundMe campaign for Pando. Courtesy of Brad Einstein, Kyle Niemer, and The Fishlake Discovery Association.
If you’ve traveled to Fish Lake, Utah in the past with the hope of exploring the Pando clone, you might have driven right past without knowing it. We want to help fix the problem and make visitors aware of the location of the largest living thing on planet Earth. 
The Fishlake Discovery Association, along with myriad friends, are launching a GoFundMe campaign to create Pando signage at Fishlake National Forest and support conservation efforts. 
Please make your contribution (of any size) here. Don’t miss this chance to support our one-tree forest namesake! 
Pando Blog Highlights
The sun, as seen through an ultraviolet imager.

Storytelling for an Ecological Civilization
A reflection on waste and consumer culture written by UCLA design professor Rebeca Mendez and delivered by Rebeca at the JUNK BATTLE! event April 20.
Read Rebeca's Post
"USE MORE, it’s fine" sends an ironic message at the entrance to the LA Cleantech Incubator for JUNK BATTLE!, April 20.

Deposit Trash Here
Design strategist Marc O’Brien’s recounting of JUNK BATTLE! events and how they add up. 
Read Marc's Post
"RISK – melrose – Sporties". By Matteo X, licensed under Creative Commons.

Banking on Fairness Is a Risky Business
The fifth installment of Steven Mintz’s posts on public banking. The final blog in the series will appear shortly.
Read Steven's Post
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