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Events
  • Lucy Orta (b. Sutton Coldfield, UK, 1966) and Jorge Orta (b. Rosario, Argentina, 1953) founded Studio Orta in 1991. Lucy + Jorge Orta’s collaborative practice focuses on the social and ecological factors of environmental sustainability to realise major bodies of work employing drawing, sculpture, installation, object making, couture, painting and silkscreen printing, as well staging workshops, ephemeral interventions and performances.

  • Otis Community Banquet

    Oct 22| Special Event
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    In conjunction with the exhibition Food - Water - Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta
    Wednesday, October 22 | Bobrow Green
    11:30am – 12:30pm: Banquet for participating classes
    12:30 – 1:15pm: Open to Otis Community to view class projects created for Banquet, and sample soup and fruit-infused water

  • Graduate Fine Arts, Visiting Artist Lecture Series presents artists Lucy + Jorge Orta.

    Thursday, October 23rd, 10am

    Graduate Studios: 10455 Jefferson Blvd Culver City CA 90230

  • Artists Lucy + Jorge Orta in conversation with the curators Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of the traveling exhibition Food - Water - Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta. The conversation is followed by a reception. Food - Water - Life / Lucy + Jorge Orta is on view in the Ben Maltz Gallery through December 6, 2014.

  • JP Munro

    Oct 28| Lectures
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    Born 1975, Inglewood, CA. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

    chinaartobjects.com/artists/jp-munro/

  • Minor Declaration

    Oct 29| Student Event
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    Highly Recommended for Sophomores

  • Rob Spillman

    Oct 29| Lectures
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    Rob Spillman is Editor and co-founder of Tin House, which has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O’Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and numerous other anthologies. He is also Executive Editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Literary Festival. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Nerve, the New York Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and elsewhere.

O-Tube

El Dot Designs

Aug 24, 2013
Alumni Profile
Spotlight Category: Alumni

Leonardo Rodriguez and Lishu (Pokhrel) Rodriguez (both ’01 Environmental Design)

www.eldotdesigns.com

 

What is El Dot Designs?

We are a bamboo product design firm that specializes in home furnishings handcrafted by local and global artisans using renewable materials. We are certified as a B Corp (Beneficial Corporation), which uses the power of business to help solve our social and environmental problems, cultivating a positive approach toward humanity and our environment.

 

How did you meet?

We met at a bar in L.A, and then bumped into one another at the Otis cafeteria, realizing we were both attending our Foundation year. The following year, we found ourselves in Environmental Design, where we became best friends and companions on a lifelong journey.

 

What inspired you to start a sustainable design business?

Our inspiration came from recognizing the needs of a global society. When we moved to Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2003, we saw the real-world effects of pollution and poverty. There we discovered bamboo and its potential to make a positive impact on the environment and millions of people living in poverty. 

 

How do you practice sustainable design?

Sustainability is designed into every aspect of our business. For every product, we consider the social and environmental impact, including the value our product creates for our customers. Sketches are made on recycled paper, production is optimized for efficiency, renewable and nontoxic raw materials are sourced, and carbon-neutral shipping is preferred. 

 

How do you work with local artisans and suppliers?

We have global and local product lines. For our global line, we work in developing countries with abundant bamboo where we study the traditional craftsmanship of the region along with the needs of our artisans and their community. With local production, we use renewable materials and simple production systems for job creation.

 

How do your artisans view your work? 

Our artisans in developing countries are usually poor laborers with little or no educational background. They are usually surprised by and curious about our interest in bamboo (known as the poor man’s timber) and how much we value handcrafted products. This curiosity leads to an exchange of ideas that helps us share our collective story and hopes for the future. 

 

Where have you worked?

Mostly in Nepal and India. We hope to work with more developing countries to understand the different geographical and cultural influences, and translate them into a range of products.

 

What is the biggest reward and the greatest challenge faced by your company?

The reward is our motivation to be a catalyst for positive social and environmental change. The challenge is that it is not the easy path. 

 

How did Otis inform your practice?
The interdisciplinary interaction at Otis continues to influence our work. Otis gave us a strong foundation to continue our own independent studies, which is what running a business has been for us.

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