Pando Days ’22 Premiere Recap

A sea turtle bites into floating plastic, from CalArts’ Pando Days ‘22 project “Sea Studio.” An immersive program developed for its new public education space at the Port of Los Angeles, Sea Studio is dedicated to public education for ocean awareness.

Pando Days ’22 Premiere Recap

By   |  Dec. 19, 2022

Pando Days ‘22 premiere week held back-to-back events showcasing fifteen projects from as many Southland colleges and universities focused on building County sustainability. Schools dedicated full courses, studios, or labs over the fall term and delivered results over three days in a series of online events beginning December 6. 

This year’s Pando Days project premieres brought to life some amazing projects across five categories of sustainability: Habitat, Climate & Water, Spirit, Health, and Communications. School teams were given 10 minutes apiece to present their work, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from specialists across sustainability-related fields. 

Next up, a panel of distinguished judges will assess all the season ‘22 projects. Cash prizes will be awarded at the Finale, April 16, at the Caltech campus in Pasadena. 

Here’s a recap of the Pando Days ’22 premieres, organized by category.

Category: Habitat

At Elephant Hill, El Sereno, USC students team up with resident leaders to grant new life to neglected landscape.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, brought teams together that had focused the fall term on the category of habitat – from natural to built environments. Projects focused on better ways to move around the County, offering greater access to urban green space, public education initiatives and more.

Mount Saint Mary’s University of Los Angeles project advocates for replacing high-water landscaping with native plants, utilizing air and soil sensors for a data-driven approach.

USC developed a test-plot for renovating currently neglected land at Elephant Hill in El Sereno, with a focus on land conservation and stewardship for and by the local community.

California Lutheran University‘s initiative creates a wildlife corridor right on campus. A new native plants ecosystem attracts local wildlife. 

Los Angeles Community College District‘s project develops education modules in water and power conservation and efficiency for professional development and student education. Topics range from smart building design to wastewater treatment.

ArtCenter College of Design re-enivisions LA mobility by the year 2050. With breathtaking ambition and eye-catching design, the project imagines transportation to enrich and connect Southland communities.

Category: Health, Communications, and Spirit

A blueprint from the Santa Monica College project, “Altered District” highlighting possibilities for future work-place designs for LA’s garment workers.

Wednesday, Dec. 7, brought five teams together focused on health, communications, and spirit. The diversity of category challenges produced topics ranging from Protestant church curricula focused on climate migration to improving labor conditions for garment workers in downtown LA.

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College‘s project reimagines a three-mile stretch of green space and recreation along the train tracks in Watts. Plans transform a neglected, disadvantaged area into thriving landscape with forward-thinking designs.

ArtCenter College of Design, with a second project in the ‘22 lineup, has five different undergraduate teams rethinking the design of commonly-used products in more sustainable and less wasteful ways.

Santa Monica College is applying its innovative design and engineering solutions to a project that helps preserve LA’s Garment District as a manufacturing hub while simultaneously making it a more accessible, equitable and sustainable place for the workers who make our clothing. 

College of the Canyons’ new podcast series spearheads an effort to train the next generation of leaders in sustainability using intergenerational dialogue and learning.

Meanwhile, Pepperdine University’s curriculum for Protestant church leaders is the first professional development and education resource of its kind focusing attention on climate migration and how the church can get prepared to respond.

Category: Climate and Water

CSUN teamed up with The River Project to develop an advocacy plan to revitalize the Sepulveda River Basin.

The five presentations on Friday, Dec. 9, were all about climate and water – from meaningful ways to interact with complex ecosystems at points of urban-water interface to developing a network of Southland solar panel production. 

California State University, Long Beach submitted two projects this year. CSULB-project 1 is an augmented reality experience through which visitors can explore the precious Colorado Lagoon ecosystem at a more intimate level.

CSULB-project 2 also uses augmented reality – this time, focused on the Long Beach breakwater. The project aims to empower the community to engage with and find eco-friendly solutions to the environmental problems that are a legacy of the artificial structure.

California State University, Northridge’s project is an advocacy plan related to the Sepulveda River Basin. The plan is addressed to local government officials and policymakers to secure funds and support the Basin’s revitalization.

In a first-of-its kind intercollegiate collaboration for Pando Days, Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona teamed up with community partner CHERP to create the strategy needed to establish five state-of-the-art, non-profit and community-centered solar panel manufacturing plants across LA County. The plants will deliver jobs and keep energy dollars circulating in local economies. 

California Institute of the Arts’ team focused on developing a new, immersive learning experience for an old warehouse space at the Port of Los Angeles that will focus on ocean education. The project envisions mobile, interactive learning installations and experiences illuminating the ocean’s vital role in planetary health.

Find out more about the Pando Days ‘22 season and see the full range project materials, school-by-school, along with video recordings of all premiere presentations. 

And mark your calendars for the Pando Days April 16 Finale, where you’ll find out the winners from this year’s program and learn how community partners are moving selected projects forward.

Members of the Pando writing team include Rich Binell, Alexi Caracotsios, Amy Goldberg, Rebecca Schmitt, and Eugene Shirley.