Agri-fiber Paper Lab, $42,130 (2011)
This proposal aims to create a sustainable design studio that provides knowledge and services, establishing sustainable print, digital, and systemic design solutions for the University of Illinois campus and eventually for the community. This studio will begin in a phased approach. The first phase begins within a mixed graduate and undergraduate art and design classroom setting that investigates the practice of true sustainability of current design studio models that will lead to a pragmatic structure, ensuring a triple bottom line approach to design and business.
The second phase would be a physical manifestation of the design studio. Connected within the discourse of a sustainable design studio, is the modeling of a paper production studio that focuses on use, re-use and manufacture of paper. Consequently, we aim create prototypes of various materials that address issues of office waste paper by integrating locally grown renewable agri-fibers and blended variants (wood-pulp and cotton). The initial explorations of this paper market will focus on artist’s papers, model making and packaging materials as well as related greener options including such products as seed mats that can be placed in areas on campus that would encourage the growth of indigenous plants. It is our desire to use this initial phase as a stepping stone toward creating a signature paper that can be used by not only the print designer but also by office printers of the University of Illinois to aid in their daily job functions (syllabi, University letterhead, envelopes, posters, etc.) and to offset the consumption of traditional paper sources.
The third phase of this project to develop a model for a regional sustainable paper product source derived from locally grown agricultural product to create a regional commodity from agricultural fiber waste. This investigation should establish a platform to invite undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from areas including, but not limited to ACES, Engineering, GSLIS and well as FAA to pursue future research surrounding recycled paper product and agri-fiber materials and associated sustainable uses. Relationships with industry leaders will be sought as a source for support for the continuation of research projects relating to sustainable materials developed from agri-fiber sources.
Funding : $22,500 (SSC)
Funding: $19,630 (CRB)
The funding helped us get the equipment necessary to kick-start the lab. We began the lab in the Soybean Press area of the UIUC Printing Services Building in 2012, and through the help of another external donation moved Fresh Press to Art + Design's South Studios (#3) in 2013.