COVID-19 came suddenly and with a wallop, forcing classes to operate remotely, canceling sports events, and leaving campuses empty last spring. Fortunately, New Media faculty and students have already been experimenting with digital tools for collaboration, like e-portfolios, web-based F2F classes, videoconferencing and discussion platforms like Slack. Read the rest of this entry »
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New Media student projects are more than term papers to be chucked when the semester’s over. Many enjoy a renewed life after graduation, as demonstrated by recent TV and news articles on outdoor-oriented ventures from the 2015 capstone course taught by Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais. From drone classes for high school students to mobile apps to help forestry workers, these capstones have expanded outside of the classroom and into the nearby woods and skies overhead.
In an article on the growing cohousing movement, National Geographic magazine interviewed Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais about her research on these “living laboratories for sustainability.” Blais spoke to the sharing economy at the heart of Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, an intentional community on the coast of Maine founded by people seeking a greater connection with the environment and each other.
It’s hard to articulate ecological values with a vocabulary inherited from the industrial age. The Lexicon of Sustainability, an exhibition co-curated by Dan Dixon and Still Water’s Joline Blais, aims to change that. Read the rest of this entry »
Maine has long held a fascination for out-of-state writers and artists, who have evoked the state’s pristine forests and rocky coastline in stories and paintings. But what is it like to grow up here? The Bangor Daily News recently showcased a series of “digital postcards” created for a New Media class taught by Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais.
Starting in June 2013, the home of Still Water Co-Directors Jon Ippolito and Joline Blais becomes an experiment in sustainable living through digital feedback. This net-zero-energy unit in the award-winning Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage now includes a smart grid whose energy generation and use patterns can be monitored in real-time on the Web.
The Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage is featured on Ron Beard’s live call-in show Talk of the Towns on radio station WERU on the 25th of January.
Still Water Co-Directors Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito are partners in building this innovative community, whose net-zero energy homes and consensus governance aim to be a model for sustainable development.
Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage has grown quickly since breaking ground in the fall. As reported last Wednesday on Maine Public Radio, nine out of 36 homes have already been completed, and the scene already resembles the “friendly and sociable” village predicted by the Bangor Daily News and featured in the BBC, WCSH TV-6, and WABI TV-5.
There are challenges to forming a harmonious community. But one thing everyone can agree on is the importance of food.
While the local food movement encourages us to shop within a hundred-mile radius, at Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, we have the opportunity to produce hundred-yard food. If we wanted to, we could plant raspberry ‘sharing’ bushes between neighbors yards, spiral herbs outside our kitchen doors, alternate apple and peach trees along the driveway, and dangle grapes and kiwi from the Common House trellis. And if knowing your farmer is key to food security, being your own farmer (even for just a blueberry bush or apple tree) is even better, because then we know what it means to generate life, food and community.
The week culminates on Friday 2 March at the School of Cinematic Arts with Redesigning Reality, a hands-on session in hacking the “scripts” that govern us to make everyday life more sustaining and sustainable.
Workshop participants redesign their favorite foods and Web sites, looking to nature as a model for the victual and virtual.