SCP Arts Projects


Senior Engineering Design Clinic

Senior Engineering Design Team presents their AirBooth prototype that can produce sound using air itself (Fall 2017).

City Lights: Urban Experience (ENGL 203)

Students in Olga Herrera's course connect art and storytelling to convey the human experience of climate vulnerability, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council.

Leadership for Social Justice (JPST 365)

Students in Mike Klein's course share their visual representations of their research about the diverse stories of transit riders, in collaboration with Metro Transit.

Environmental Problem Solving (ESCI 310)

Students in Chip Small's course co-create a children's book with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson about nutrient cycling based on research in the UST Stewardship Garden.

City Lights: Urban Experience (ENGL 203)

Co-created illustration by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson and English students based on their research of stories of climate vulnerability (Fall 2018).



Spring 2019


SCP and the St. Thomas Department of Biology Pollinator Path have a multi-year partnership to enrich the ecological and educational value of the pollinator path for St. Thomas and the broader community through course-based partnerships across disciplines. The Pollinator Path transforms parts of campus into an open-air lab for observing pollinators in action and enriching pollinator habitat.  Anyone can walk it, from campus visitors, students, neighbors, and students on field trips.

In Spring 2019, courses in Biology will apply their ecological knowledge to co-create illustrated interactive activity guides in partnership with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson that engage and guide the public to observe and identify pollinators and flowers - to bring this knowledge to life.

Participating Courses:

Engineering Graphics and Design (ENGR 171), AnnMarie Thomas
Spring 2019

SCP and the St. Thomas Department of Biology Pollinator Path have a multi-year partnership to enrich the ecological and educational value of the pollinator path for St. Thomas and the broader community through course-based partnerships across disciplines. The Pollinator Path transforms parts of campus into an open-air lab for observing pollinators in action and enriching pollinator habitat.  Anyone can walk it, from campus visitors, students, neighbors, and students on field trips.

One goal of the Pollinator Path is to create an immersive experience at the ‘gateway’ bed for the university community and visitors.  Students in ENGR 171 will create design ideas for the structures (e.g., benches, archways, mosaics) to facilitate this immersive experience, guided by collaborating artist, Jessica Turtle.

The Earth's Record of Climate (GEOL 162), Kevin Theissen
Spring 2019

SCP Arts is collaborating with Kevin Theissen in the Department of Geology to design and construct a “River Corridor Walk” that highlights the geology and ecology in our location along the Mississippi River Gorge and in greater Minnesota. The River Corridor will have multiple interpretive installations that combine science and art to increase the St. Thomas community’s literacy about local geology and geologic history.

The River Corridor Walk project will be funded by the CAS SOLV Initiative. SCP Arts is partnering to facilitate the integration of the River Corridor into course-based, arts-based projects through which students apply what they are learning to develop interpretive content, in collaboration with local artist Jessica Turtle.


J-Term 2019


PLACE & Urban Ecosystem Ecology (BIOL 490), Chip Small
J-term 2019

PLACE’s Via development in St. Louis Park, MN encompasses multiple sustainability goals, including social, economic, and ecological dimensions.  PLACE would like to calculate the carbon footprint of Via residents.  However, current carbon footprint calculators do not take into account the multiple dimensions of sustainability and affordable living that PLACE has integrated into their development.  Students in Urban Ecosystem Ecology will create a carbon footprint calculator capable of integrating these multiple dimensions that can be compared to standard carbon footprint calculators.  This will enable PLACE to quantify the difference in carbon footprint that living at their development can make for people. 

Students will also collaborate with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to co-create icons that convey students' findings for carbon savings that living at PLACE creates.  The illustrations will be displayed at PLACE’s Via development to promote residents' awareness of actions to promote these possibilities.


Fall 2018


Thematic and Intertextual Perspectives:  City Lights, Urban Experience (ENGL 203), Olga Herrera
Metropolitan Council
Fall 2018

Students in ENGL 203, in collaboration with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson, will connect human experiences and climate vulnerability data through story and art.  Through library research, ethnographies, artist input, subject interviews, and information from the Metropolitan Council's Climate Vulnerability Assessment, students will explore climate vulnerability in neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, selected from the localized flooding and heat interactive story maps. The Council may use the final illustrations to communicate to their stakeholders the significance and risks of local flooding and extreme heat in urban areas.

Illustration co-created by students and SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson that communicates experiences of climate vulnerability.


Leadership for Social Justice (JPST 365), Mike Klein
Metro Transit
Fall 2018

Metro Transit has an overarching goal of communicating the importance of public transportation to the Twin Cities community to raise awareness of transit as a community asset.  Students will research the diverse stories of transit riders and how transit has been a part of their lives.  Students will collaborate with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to translate their research into illustrations.  Students will co-create an illustration for their book cover that portrays these stories.  Nelson will also create illustrations to be displayed on a bus or lightrail train to engage the broader public with these real-life narratives.

Illustrated book cover by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson and students in JPST 365.


Environmental Problem Solving (ESCI 310), Chip Small
Fall 2018

Students will co-create a children's book with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson about nutrient cycling based on their research in the UST Stewardship Garden.

Workshop with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson to develop a children's book based on students' research.



2017


AirBooth is a digitally connected interactive sculpture which combines Art and Science to communicate air quality data in a compelling way.  It is a data visceralization project using both physical and virtual elements. It collects air quality data from around the world in real time, and processes it into sounds and images. The purpose of the AirBooth is to stimulate an emotional response and promote thought about air quality. The final product is intended to be exhibited in a public setting, such as a science museum or art gallery, with the potential to travel around the country, or have multiple AirBooths installed around the world. When you step into the AirBooth and pull up the AirBooth.net website on a smartphone, you take control of the booth. Real-time air quality data is translated into both visual and aural representations, engaging the user in a visceral way. This is designed to prompt contemplation and provide an opportunity for deeper engagement.

Courses at the University of St. Thomas are collaborating with AirBooth creators to improve the design and function of the AirBooth.

Engineering Senior Design Clinic
Summer and Fall 2017

The AirBooth collects air quality data from around the word in real time, and processes it into sounds and images. The sounds are played in the AirBooth and the user controls the booth’s ‘location’ and sees the visual representation through the smartphone app. The AirBooth has three components: 1) the physical AirBooth 2) the webapp and backend, and 3) the Arduino interface between components 1 and 2.

Engineering Senior Design students will take the current proof-of- concept prototype and develop it to a working pre-production model capable of generating sound using air (rather than using speakers), with minimal energy usage, and a human powered element.  Students will also consider the design aesthetic of the final piece. 

Learn more here!

Writing/Designing for the Web (COJO 258), John Keston
Fall 2017

The vision is for the AirBooth to be a gateway to further information and exploration about air quality.  COJO 258 students will provide first level curated web information that leads the user to further information elsewhere. Students will write and design content for the AirBooth website in a responsive web format capable of integration with the current AirBooth web app.


Learn about the SCP Arts here.