Alaska is of course a unique place. And Anchorage, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau and Nome each have their own special blend of history, culture, accessibility, weather and other facets that have shaped their local personality. Thus, we felt it was important to provide our Design Labs artists with tangible items – things they could hold, examine, contemplate and consider – to familiarize them with both Alaska and the unique community that they’ll be working in this April.
For each of the five Design Labs cities, we assembled boxes of materials. These hefty boxes contained items that tell specific stories (photos, books, newspapers, magazines and brochures) as well as items that represent local experiences (shell casing, dog bootie, driftwood, rain poncho, walrus bone, railroad spike, headlamp, beach glass, old coffee can, salmon jerky, duct tape, spruce bough, glass ball, halibut lure/hook… you get the idea).
We sent the five artists their boxes several weeks ago. We’re pretty confident the artists had as much fun going through their boxes as we did assembling them.
With their “culture kits” in possession, the artists are now in the initial stages of developing the plans for their Design Labs projects.