by Barbara Black
The students in Howard Davies design course may have enriched the
lives of an unusual local population 18 chimpanzees living in a
South Shore shelter.
The Fauna Foundation is a privately-run, government-certified non-profit
organization that serves as a sanctuary for neglected and abused farm
and circus animals and former biomedical research chimpanzees.
Intelligent and athletic, these chimpanzees needed challenging play structures.
Fauna itself was also looking for a design for a publicity kiosk that
would use graphic and digital media to communicate information about their
activities, and about such controversial issues as the use of animals
in the entertainment business.
The students worked on the project over five weeks in October and November
in DART 310, a core course in the Design Art program that looks at ways
young designers can use their skills for the greater community.
Davies, who is a professional designer as well as their teacher, was contacted
by Fauna last summer.
I was pretty sure that this was the perfect type of problem for
our students in this particular course, he said. Not only
does it offer an opportunity for them to learn something about the pros
and cons of animal testing, but it also took advantage of a wide range
of skills, including two- and three-dimensional design, as well as digital.
The students were delighted to be able present their work to the Fauna
group on Nov. 28. They made a party out of it, with vegetarian cuisine.
For their part, the Fauna Foundation intends to build some of the play
structures and kiosks in the next few months, and will use the models
and drawings produced by the students as a method of fundraising.
For more information about the Fauna Foundation, consult their Web
site, at www.faunafoundation.org.