Cottage Industry

January/February 2016

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Cottage Industry

Photo: Courtesy David Szlasa

To complete an unusual recent project, 11 Stanford students called upon an always useful but underappreciated skill: scrounging.

As part of their Arts Intensive course, their challenge was to design and build an eco-friendly mobile art studio in 14 days, using repurposed materials from Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The siding and interior paneling of the 84-square-foot room came from fallen trees that were milled on the property, and students installed windows and insulation made of scraps they found in the preserve’s maintenance yard. “We were really hunting and pecking through their garbage,” says David Szlasa, the video artist and public art producer brought in from Oakland to teach the course.

The finished product is a versatile space—7 feet wide, 12 feet long, 8 feet tall, and equipped with solar power—sitting atop a utility trailer. Beginning in winter quarter, the studio will spend winter and fall quarters on campus, where students will be able to reserve it as a production and exhibition space, and spring and summer quarters at Jasper Ridge, where visiting artists will use it as a studio for courses of their design.

Louise Stewart, ’16, is an intern at Stanford.

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