By Vanessa Ovian
BHS Art Hosts Well-Known Architect and Designer as Visiting Artist The Burlington High School Art Department will host well-known architect and designer Benjamin Uyeda on Friday, November 4, as a visiting artist for its students in architecture, art and business classes. The visit will give students an opportunity to hear how he combines architecture and sustainable design with marketing to create a thriving social media based business.
A graduate of Cornell University with Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture, Uyeda is co-founder of ZeroEnergy Design, a modern green architecture and mechanical design firm, FreeGreen.com, a web based media company that distributes green home designs over the internet, and HomeMade Modern, an online design source that publishes easy-to-follow, DIY recipes for creating modern home furnishings. In his own words,
Uyeda was raised in a “family with limited financial resources where design was a way to transform mundane ingredients into something special,” crediting his mother who instilled the idea that even though there may be limited resources, there is always access to new things and experiences. Benjamin Uyeda’s career began as a designer of high performance, sustainable homes that produced as much energy as they used. The reality, however, was that these homes were often expensive, second homes for clients, and as a designer he felt the need to be creating not catering. With that in mind he founded HomeMade Modern, a digital media based business that now boasts over 11 million worldwide views in over 50 countries. He is sponsored by Home Depot, Ryobi and Quikrete, has authored HomeMade Modern, Smart DIY Designs for a Stylish Home, and can be found on a number of social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Buzzfeed. Benjamin
Uyeda’s visit to Burlington High School is facilitated by faculty member Christina Chang who teaches Intro to Architecture. Developed in response to student requests for studies in architecture, landscape and interior design, the full year course provides an opportunity for advanced art students to acquire a knowledge of these fields through a variety of learning experiences. Among those experiences are exposure to visiting artists such as Uyeda whose charismatic style will undoubtedly raise the level of interest and excitement among the students. “Ben's work is much more than just sustainability,” states Chang. “He has approached design and idea sharing in a new way that is accessible and appropriate for this media and tech-savvy group of students.”
Recognizing that Benjamin Uyeda’s expertise goes far beyond the designer’s creativity, Chang reached out to Krista Anderson, a marketing teacher in the Business and Information Technology department of Burlington High School. “I always welcome every opportunity to expose my marketing students to a variety of jobs and careers,” comments Anderson. “I immediately saw great synergy with what we'll be covering in my marketing classes . . . discussing how to use social media to reach audiences, spread message and create interest.”
The visiting artist program at Burlington High School is an integral part of the Art Department. In addition to the visit by Benjamin Uyeda, past guest speakers have included Pixar artist and alumnus Erik Langley, landscape painter Arnie Casavant, printmaker Randy Garber and painter Lei-Sanne Do. Additionally, the department hosts an annual Alumni Day, a homecoming for alumni that provides yet another opportunity for students to look at career possibilities as they approach the college years. To learn more about the designs of Benjamin Uyeda, visit www.HomeMadeModern.com, watch his TEDx talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glPmxeVMgyg, and follow him on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Buzzfeed.
Christina Chang teaches art and design to students in grades 9-12.