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Japhet Creek project wins major design award

Society for Environmental Graphic Design honors student collaboration

Japhet Creek design award

A prestigious international honor from the Society for Environmental Graphic Design has been awarded to a joint project between the faculty and students of the School of Art’s Graphic Communications Program and Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture

Of the 452 entries submitted from around the world for the 2011 SEGD Design Awards, the global professional organization only recognized 28, including the UH team’s project, Dis(solve): The Japhet Creek Project.

This is not the first award for the collaboration that created a series of park amenities for Japhet Creek, a part of the Buffalo Bayou waterway that is a significant natural resource in Houston. The project has also been recognized locally with a Mayor’s Proud Partner Award through the Keep Houston Beautiful project that salutes efforts to enhance and beautify the city.

Using biodegradable and recyclable materials, students designed and fabricated signs, benches and other amenities for this unique natural refuge that's just minutes from downtown Houston. Led by architecture professor Patrick Peters and graphic communications professor Cheryl Beckett, students created items that were both functional , such as a storage area for landscaping tools and educational, including informational graphics containing facts about Japhet Creek and the environment.

On the international stage, Dis(solve) was applauded for being “a healthy mixture of biodegradable/temporary elements and permanent installations, different materials and fabrication techniques, and a varied system of interrelated subject matter.”

That same juror also wrote, “It is at once playful and didactic, presenting important environmental messages in a nuanced and respectful way. Impressive work, made even more impressive by the fact that it was done by students on a limited budget.”

The award was presented during the 2011 SEGD conference Vive La Diversité held in Montreal June 1–4. Associate Professor Beckett accepted the award on behalf of the Graphic Communications 2010 senior class and their College of Architecture collaborators. Beckett was also invited to present the project at the 3rd Annual SEGD Academic Summit that preceded the conference.

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