creative juice / happenings

designing for good

Aimee Hayes

By guest blogger, Aimee Hayes

This past weekend, I took my 10-year-old son shark diving in the South Pacific Aquarium at the Point Defiant Zoo in Tacoma. We’ve been patrons of the zoo since he was a toddler. It’s a beautiful little zoo, and we’re lucky to have it so close to our home in Gig Harbor.

The zoo took on a new identity recently, housing a travelling art exhibit that completely blew me away. The Washed Ashore Art Project is there through October 21st, and it’s a sight to be seen!

Volunteers from a town in Oregon began collecting trash that was washing up on local beaches. They decided to use their passion and creativity to make a statement about pollution, and to start a movement. The 12-foot-tall sculptures depict everything from a sea turtle to a shark to a beautiful giant red octopus. The colors are so vibrant and the sculptures are so beautiful, you can’t help but take a closer look. You’ll see Bic lighters, Barbie legs, and more bottle caps than you can possibly imagine. The use of trash from the ocean is so creative, and is such a bold statement. It nearly brought me to my knees to see how our trash is choking our oceans. But, it also made me proud to see people working together to make a change, raise awareness, and use this trash and their talents to design for good.

The sculptures evoked emotion from me almost immediately and got me thinking about how we can all use our superpowers to improve society, our community, and the world. As a design community, we have such amazing talents. It’s a gift to see people coming together to put those talents to use in ways that create awareness and impact others.

When you choose to pursue a career in design, it’s not always compelling and wonderful. You don’t find passion in every subject or product you’re working on–but the passion for creativity still lives within you. By investing time and talent into a project outside of work, society benefits, your community benefits, and you will benefit–emotionally and mentally, and perhaps even physically.

Check out this clip from PBS News Hour to learn more about the Washed Ashore Art Project:

I encourage all of you who have a need to create to go do it! There are so many opportunities to volunteer in our local area. Here is a list of some of the latest and greatest volunteer opportunities for designers in the Seattle area.

Organization Website
Design in Public
Architects without Borders
Seattle ReCreative

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