David Buckley Borden is a Cambridge-based interdisciplinary artist and designer. Using a creative combination of accessible art and design, David promotes a shared environmental awareness and heightened cultural value of ecology. David’s place-based projects highlight both pressing environmental issues and everyday phenomena. Informed by research and community outreach, David’s work manifests in a variety of forms, ranging from site-speciﬁc landscape installations in the woods to data-driven cartography in the gallery. David studied landscape architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and worked with Sasaki Associates and Ground, Inc. before focusing his practice at the intersection of landscape, creativity, and cultural event. David is a 2016/2017 Bullard Fellow in Forest Research at Harvard University where he explores the question, “How can art and design foster cultural cohesion around environmental issues and help inform ecology-minded decision making?”
As environmental challenges become more critical, scientists are increasingly thrust into the spotlight to provide vital information to policy makers, community groups, and individuals. The urgency of getting a population of non-scientists to both understand and care about aspects of ecology is real. Ecological awareness is a powerful mechanism for environmental change. To that end, I believe that science communication collaborations between artists/designers and scientists can foster cultural cohesion around ecological issues. An informed public with a shared ecological awareness is in a better position to support long-term stewardship and conservation practice. Moreover, an informed public will become their own empowered advocates and are more likely to play an active role in maintaining their environments, for both themselves and future generations.
As a Santa Fe Arts Institute Water Rights resident, I investigated regional water rights issues through the lens of landscape futures, infrastructure systems, and speculative design. I produced a series of digital drawings based on community conversations, site visits, and ecological research. The drawings illustrate water rights scenarios as well as associated stakeholder attitudes, fears, and hopes. The creative themes center on key water rights drivers with a mix of cultural touch points and site-specific conditions across iconic New Mexico landscapes. My SFAI experience also contributed to my ongoing landscape futures research at Harvard University.