Class project builds awareness of endangered species on Grand River watershed

Monday, July 31, 2023
cardboard 3D bird suspended in atrium

Students in this spring term’s Introduction to Critical Design Thinking course (SPCOM 149/THPERF 149) shared their work in public spaces on campus, expressing ideas and solidarity, and raising awareness toward social and environmental action.

Led by Professor Jay Havens, member of the Six Nations of the Grand River and a faculty member in the Theatre and Performance program, for their final collaborative project, the students built a giant three-dimensional model of the tiny Cerulean Warbler from repurposed cardboard. Their work is on display now, suspended above the foyer in the Modern Languages Building.

Havens describes their process: “For this class project, students were asked to research endangered species living in the Grand River watershed and then suggest how we could create a public artwork to help bring awareness to this fragile ecosystem. After selecting the cerulean warbler from several proposed species, the class built this artwork using recycled materials held entirely together with hot glue and tape. Nia:wen Kowa to everyone who participated in this.”

Students in studio building 3D cardboard bird
cardboard bird suspended with 2nd floor railing surrounding

Photo at top-left: students of SPCOM 149/THPERF 149 in studio building the Cerulean Warbler. Photo on right: Christopher Greenhalgh, Director of Technical Theatre, and student install the bird in Modern Languages foyer. 

two people on lift and ladder installing cardboard bird in atrium