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Sarah Lidgus

Brooklyn, NY, United States


Member since May 16, 2007

  • 24laptop

    Nicholas Negroponte's $100 One Laptop Per Child Program has experienced some setbacks as of late (significantly incresed cost being one of the biggest), so the project has decided on a different approach: marketing. This articles in the New York Times outlines the new charitable strategy of One Laptop, where someone purchases two laptops for $399: one for themselves, and one that will be shipped to a child in a developing nation.

    The article points one unknown side effect of One Laptop's new approach: what will people do with thier own durable green-and-white laptop? Is it safe to say that most people paying the $399 have already bought their own kids a MacBook? What then of the "extra" laptop? Any suggestions?

  • The Garden State

    Community, Environmental Design


    When the Futurefarmers design studio plants ideas, it’s not just about reaping great design: it’s also about cultivating momentum. That momentum is often born in the curious mind of the collective’s founder Amy Franceschini, a rural farm girl gone urban designer. As a designer, Franceschini has kept with her what could be described as an “agri-mentality”: just as one farmer would trade her corn for another’s eggs, Franceschini relies on the community around her – everyone from neighborhood kids to Berkeley scientists to other designers – to help grow her designs into tangible reality. In this way, the subtle art of Franceschini’s design is that she knows what she doesn’t know – and then she goes out and finds the people who do. Researching collaborators as vigorously as they research solutions, the Futurefarmers aren't just a small design studio in the Mission District of San Francisco; they're more the makings of a major design force.

    Their modus operandi of constant collaboration, spurred on by infectious ideas, has ensured that the Futurefarmers collective continues to create some of the most exciting community-involved design today. Most of their work revolves around using the natural world to survive in the manmade one – using the design of nature as a lesson in living-better within urban areas. As a result, the intersection between science and art is central to Futurefarmers and to Franceschini. Victory Garden 2007+ is just one exciting example ...

  • How the Other 90% Lives

    Poverty, Environmental Design


    If you want to design for true impact, design for the neglected 90 percent. That’s the call-to-arms communicated through the current exhibition Design for the Other 90% which is nearing the end of its run at New York’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

    Design for the Other 90% is organized around affordable designs that aid in helping people out of poverty, but it focuses squarely upon a degree of poverty most designers can’t even comprehend. For the most part, these end users live on less than two U.S. dollars a day, reside in the rural areas of developing nations and are operating just above survival mode: food, water and shelter are persistent worries. This exhibition addresses the bulk of the world’s population often disregarded in design circles because of a lack of individual buying power. The message here is clear: these are the people who design could benefit most.

    There are many things Design for the Other 90% does well. It represents varied approaches yet offers consistent insight into the process of designing affordable products. It articulates both the passion and the practicality that go into this sort of design, where an intense desire to help must be channeled into precise planning and restrained materials. Cynthia Smith, the show’s curator, chose to put the exhibition outdoors in the Cooper-Hewitt garden, in effect bringing to life the function of these designs. The Big Boda Load-Carrying Bicycle, for example, is a bike that’s able to carry hun...

  • D21_fin_2__177_

    The DESIGN 21 blog is a space where words build ideas and sentences call for change. So when you’re here, try thinking this:

    Writing is an act of design.

    Not just an element of design, not just part of the process, but design itself. The words in the DESIGN 21 blog build sentences that propose a shift, question models and hopefully create change. This blog sees design without borders and asks those thinkers and writers who do the same to share their ideas and experiences with us. Look for our roster of writers to include design professionals and thinkers worldwide, people who are pushing the idea of design into new disciplines, new media and new perspectives.

    For the debut of the DESIGN 21 blog, we’re thrilled to have recruited writer Jennifer Leonard, a big-thinker who is using her talents as a writer and researching to shed light not about the world of design, as she puts it, but the design of the world. Jennifer has worked for several years as a print journalist, radio broadcaster and design critic. She has co-authored the book Massive Change, a book about the future of global design, and is a writer and researcher at IDEO. In this post, her first to the DESIGN 21 blog, she writes, “Design – a glorious process and practice that often yields equally glorious products – began to take on the mixed consistency of fluid water, blue sky and rich soil. I soon realized I was no longer navigating ‘the world of design’; I was knee-deep in an elixir called ‘design of the wor...

  • Green talk in white cube

    Arts & Culture, Environmental Design


    FIrst off: why is is so weird to get into a conversation with someone at an art space? I'm not so much talking about shows at a gallery, but moreso shows at museums or more "official" seeming art spaces. Conversation seems like it never happens. What a waste!

    All of this to say that I had a conversation in an official art space. I went to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts a couple weeks ago with my mom, and I got into this conversation with a woman named Micki who is a docent there. (And I guess that's sort of cheating, because docents are actually there for talking. But still, do we really take advantage? I sure don't. Man, I've missed out. Tsk tsk.) She was telling me about the show they had up by the [Collective Foundation] ( and it sort of reminded me of DESIGN21 for fine artists. I told her about the D21 project and she told me about a show that her friend was involved with that exlpored the possibilities of green roofs. I looked up the press release and it seemed like something perfect for a D21 audience. Wish I was in D.C. to check this out!

    Earth on Stone on Earth is Naturally So August 4 – 31, 2007 The artists of Earth on Stone on Earth is Naturally So amalgamate film, sculpture, textiles and plants to create a threshold between the gallery and the outdoors. The installation, which features works by Amelia Holmes, Karl Krause, Kelly McCoy and Evan Wells, presents a series of conceptual green roofs paired with films that...

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    Invisible 5 is a self-guided audio tour of Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles that maps the stories of people fighting for environmental justice along the route, revealing the hidden geopolitics of that contested landscape. It’s an amazing, beautiful project created over a year and a half through a collaboration between three artists, two community-based arts and activism nonprofits and scores of residents throughout the I-5 corridor. It tells a complicated, multi-leveled story through fitsrt person narratives, field recordings, found sound, recorded music and archival audio documents. Invisible 5 is an extraordinary example of what can result when design sheds it's self-referrential nonsense, packs a lunch, throws on a backpack and takes to the road.

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    The eco-aware New Materials Resource Library at California College of the Arts is a one-of-a-kind collection featuring over 1800 different materials intended for interdiciplinary use and inspiration. Its contents are accessible through a searchable database where students can find out information on a specific material's fabrication process, applications, properties and, most notably, its ecological data. The goal is to add another thoughtful layer to the material selection process by teaching students to recognize the advantages of designing with sustainability-- or at the very least, a greater awareness-- in mind.

    I looked around the website for some further info and links and I can't seem to find any. I believe the Library is a resource only open to CCA students at this time. If you's like to find out more, I think you can email Kim Lessard at for more info.

more grass!

Contact Sarah Lidgus

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design