Environmental Designer Michael Singer to Speak

Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 14:45

Renowned artist and environmental designer Michael Singer will present a talk titled "Creative Process: Environment, Infrastructure, and Aesthetics" Thursday, March 2, at 7:30 pm in Gamble Auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Building on his fall 2005 visit, Singer will continue his dialogue with the MHC community, exploring how environmental design and artistry could be used to enrich the MHC landscape.

Singer's work has been instrumental in transforming public art, architecture, landscape, and planning projects into successful models for urban and ecological revision and renewal. By "putting the land back into landscape" (New York Times), he has redefined the practice of art and broadened its applicability to the development of public places, buildings, and infrastructure. His works integrate community needs, sustainable building principles, land-use planning, environmental responsibility, and aesthetic design.

In 1993, the New York Timeschose Singer's design of a massive waste recycling and transfer center in Phoenix as one of the top eight design and architectural events of the year. By revealing the process of recycling, the center invites involvement in a facility normally closed to the public. Renewal and transformation are integral to all elements of the design: buildings, roads, landscape, water, and wildlife habitat. The project won several awards, and is credited with promoting aesthetic design excellence in the U.S.

Singer's design of indoor and outdoor gardens for the Institute for Forestry and Nature (Alterra, IBN), Netherlands, has also been featured as a leading example of outstanding green sustainable design. The gardens work as the "lungs and kidneys" of the institute's headquarters, cleaning air and gray water, as well as providing climate control without air-conditioning.

Among Singer's many other works are a sculptural floodwall and walkway that model river reclamation in Michigan, a large interior sculpture garden for the Denver International Airport, and cogeneration power facilities. His plans define an "Urban Eco-Sustainable Network," with habitat creation, education, recreation, water preservation, and urban agriculture as part of the electric generation facility and site.

A graduate of Cornell University, Singer has received fellowships and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Vermont State Governor's Award for the Arts.

The event is presented by the Center for the Environment with support from the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.

Related Links:

Center for the Environment

Michael Singer's Web site