• MARK LEFFINGWELL

    Stuart Vettese, left, a senior design studies major, and Josh Scanlan, a senior studying architecture, hold up a piece to see how it looks on the wall at the Dairy Center.

  • MARK LEFFINGWELL

    Jorge Yepez, a senior architecture major, makes the final placements on his children's table design at the Dairy Center.

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University of Colorado Environmental Design students will show off their class projects in a two-week exhibit at Boulder’s Dairy Center for the Arts beginning Thursday.

Students from four classes in the College of Architecture and Planning will kick off the exhibits with an artists’ talk Thursday at 4 p.m. followed by the opening reception.

The McMahon Gallery will be filled with 35 projects designed by students in architecture professor Julee Herdt’s Green Technology fall and spring classes. The “Green Technology: Design from Salvage” projects were made from recycled materials, Herdt said, and will be priced for sale during the show.

CU senior Lee Runyan built a lamp from a broken airplane wing that stands at the far end of the gallery.

Runyan said he found the wing in a pile of wreckage at an airplane salvage yard near Stapleton, Colo. The junkyard owner gave him the piece for free because of the damage to the lower corner of the large, off-white metal wing.

Runyan said he stared at the piece for a while before deciding to insert a light into the center, where shines through the torn metal and reflects off the gold inner coating, exuding a yellow glow.

“It’s not very practical but I like that it tells a story,” Runyan said. “We added an aluminum beam that kind of acts as the frame of the plane so it really shows the story of what happened when it originally exploded and broke off the tail.”

A red chair made from a stop sign is perched in the corner and stands out among a sea of restored wood tables and benches.

Herdt said this year she noticed the majority of students being drawn to natural materials like wood.

“The focus of the project is on making something beautiful out of trash,” Herdt said. “But I think the students are taking it even a step further and finding that natural materials really lend themselves to the idea of sustainable design, more than plastics.”

One student cut grooves into a large wooden bench, creating seats while another organized scraps of wood with varying textures and colors to create a table with two barstools.

The hallway outside of the McMahon Gallery will be covered in photographs — 500 of them — submitted by CU students. The “CAPture” exhibit displays images that were taken from mobile devices including cell phones and tablets.

Photos displayed include those of ski lifts, fields with power lines and textured walls.

The Polly Addison Exhibition Space will host the NASHI Pine Ridge Project — an affordable, sustainable housing prototype built by CU and Oglala Lakota College students.

The prototype, which includes solar panels and wind energy, produces more energy than it uses.

The space will include information boards about the project and renderings of the prototype, which students will spend the summer building. Models of the house will also be on display.

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